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The local area guide to living in Chelmsford

The city of Chelmsford sits in the heart of Essex, just 30 miles away from London. It offers all the perks of a big city and access to a wide range of good jobs – both within Chelmsford and in nearby London – while being affordable to live in as well. Even though it’s very much known for its modern day offerings, the city’s history actually dates back to Roman times. The Romans arrived in Chelmsford, or Caesaromagus, as it was once known, in 60 AD – and the city has since continued to grow.

One of the best things about Chelmsford is that there’s always something to do. There’s great shopping here and a vibrant nightlife scene, as well as a number of international restaurants to choose from. The music festival, V Festival, is also held at Chelmsford’s Hylands Park every August.

Information about the local residents

At the time of the 2011 census, Chelmsford’s population was recorded as 168,310. The median age of residents (age 40) was very much in line with the average across other major cities in England. Just over 90% of the population identified as White English / Welsh / Scottish / Northern Irish / British; other nationalities listed in the census data included Asian, Caribbean, and Bangladeshi.

As Chelmsford is conveniently located in the London commuter belt, a significant number of workers choose to commute to the capital city for work. At the time of the census, two thirds of the population were in employment and just 3.4% of the population were unemployed. The range of industries worked in varied, but included Wholesale and Retail Trade, as well as Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motor Cycles (14.8%), and Human Health and Social Work Activities (11.1%) – the two biggest categories.

Nearby schools

Whether your children are of primary school age or secondary school age, you’re sure to find a good school in the city of Chelmsford. The majority of primary schools are judged as “good” by Ofsted, with some rated as “outstanding”. These include Moulsham Infants and Galleywood Infants School.

Recent exam results indicate some of the best secondary schools in the region. All pupils at Chelmsford County High School for Girls achieved a minimum of 5 A* - C grades at GCSE level in 2015 and 99% of pupils achieved this at King Edward VI Grammar School. Other good secondary schools include New Hall School, a private day and boarding Catholic school, and Chelmer Valley, a comprehensive school.

Getting around

Whether you’re looking for good transportation around the city or good links into other major cities like London, Chelmsford offers a variety of options. While many usually travel in and around the area by car, traffic can get busy - especially during morning and evening rush hour. Those travelling further afield may like to travel by rail, with Chelmsford Station offering regular services to London.

Other transportation options here include Park and Ride and the public buses, which connect to most towns within Essex and Stansted Airport. While services are good, traffic can result in delays – so it’s worth factoring this in when planning your journey.

Local shops

Chelmsford is home to all your must-have amenities and boasts a range of popular grocery stores. Within the city, you’ll find an Iceland, Lidl, and Asda supermarket, as well as an Afro-Caribbean supermarket and Oriental goods store. The city also has its own high street and a number of malls, filled with all your favourite high street stores.

On the high street, you’ll find brands like Debenhams, Marks and Spencer’s, and Boots. The malls feature similar offerings, with Meadows home to BHS amongst other shops and cafes, and High Chelmer, the older of the two, home to HMV, River Island, and Primark. The city also has its own independent department store, the Quadrant, selling fashions for the 30 plus shopper.