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Property for sale in Essex

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The local area guide to living in Essex

Essex is a county that is just to the north-east of London, bordering Suffolk, Kent, Hertfordshire, and Cambridgeshire. The name Essex derives from the early Middle Ages and was first settled by the Saxons at the start of the sixth century. During World War Two, the Blitz caused a housing shortage in London, causing many Londoners to look elsewhere for available property, with Essex at the forefront of their search.

Essex is a part of the Metropolitan Green Belt, an area that encompasses the capital and is comprised of many open green spaces, where urbanisation is resisted on the whole. The Borough of Brentwood has a huge woodland area, including Weald Country Park, which is around 700 years old. Because of the rural setting of Essex and proximity to London, it is an ideal place to live for city workers. Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, and was given city status in 2012 as part of the Diamond Jubilee. It is home to a significant number of people who work in the Docklands and Canary Wharf area.

Information about the local residents

Essex has a population of around 1.4 million people, and this is excluding the unitary authorities of Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea. The inhabitants of Essex are slightly older than the national average, with 18.3% being older than 65 while the figure for the rest of England stands at 16.3%. The majority of older people reside in Tendring, with 20% of people aged over 65 living there, and 25% in Castle Point.

The unemployment rate in Essex is slightly lower than the national average, with 3.8% of the population being marked as unemployed, compared to 4.4% for the whole of England.

The majority of people living in Essex are homogeneous, with only 5.6% of the population coming from an ethnic minority background.

Nearby schools

There are a good variety of primary schools all over Essex, including Elm Hall Primary School in Witham, and St Thomas More's Catholic Primary School in Colchester, which have both been given glowing Ofsted reports.

Very reputable secondary schools include Burnt Mill Comprehensive School in Harlow, the Newbridge School in Romford, and The Fitzwimarc School in Rayleigh.

For higher education, the University of Essex offers a multitude of different courses. There are also campuses for the Anglia Ruskin University and the University Campus Suffolk in and around the county that collaborate with the University of Essex.

Getting around

For commuters looking to get into London, the M25 and M11 offer direct access to the capital, as well as to Kent, Hertfordshire and Cambridge.

Depending on where you are in Essex, there are a number of railway services available. The West Anglia Main Line goes to Liverpool Street from Harlow, and The Great Eastern Main Line also goes there, as well as to Suffolk and Norfolk from Harwich. From Southend-on-Sea, you can get to Liverpool Street, as well as Fenchurch Street.

London Stansted and London Southend Airport are the two closest airports to Essex, with Stansted in particular being a popular choice for many budget airlines such as Ryanair.

Local shops

There are a number of places to take the family out in Essex, with a great deal of culture on show. The Chelmsford Museum and the Essex Regimental Museum all make for an interesting day out, while Sandford Mill has some exhibitions covering a range of subjects such as art, science, and archaeology.

For shopping, look no further than Lakeside Shopping Centre, which boasts over 250 different shops and boutiques, and can be found in Thurrock. For discount shops, head on over to the Clacton Factory Outlet and the Freeport Braintree Outlet Shopping Village. There are also a range of farmers’ markets dotted all over Essex, both in the rural and more urbanised areas.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.