In this guide we introduce you to different aspects of the county, and give you tips on moving to this beautiful part of the country.
Essex has long been famed for its inhabitants, with programmes like The Only Way Is Essex making the area famous in modern times for a very specific type of cultural charm. Behind all the stereotypes, and reality stars though, lies a stunning county with a lot more to offer than a fake tan. Gorgeous medieval architecture, green and lush countryside, charming seaside areas and some of Britain’s most beloved painters like Constable all stem from Essex.
If you’re planning on moving to Essex you have a lot to look forward to. There are so many incredible aspects of the county to enjoy, like the history and the scenery, but there is also so much to build on in the future, like the economy and the education of which Essex is well known for.
The history of Essex begins on the books in AD 527. It was originally called The Kingdom Of Essex which was founded by Anglo Saxon King Aescwine. During Pre-Roman, Norman, Victorian and Post-War times, the county changed massively. The Victorian Era in particular was a time of great transformation for the area, bringing many connecting railways to the area, carrying both goods and commuters. Post-war a lot of housing developments came to different areas of Essex to answer to the housing shortage in London. Key historical buildings in the county are; Shire Hall and Waltham Abbey.
Famous People From Essex
Essex seems to be most famous for its reality TV stars at the moment. The Only Way Is Essex, also known as TOWIE is in its 20th series now and viewing figures continue to grow strong. The programme has bought lots of tourism to the area of Brentwood and you can now take a TOWIE tour if you visit the area, to see all the key filming spots from the TV show, and possibly even some of the stars in their shops.
Other famous people from Essex include; comedian and public speaker Russell Brand, actress Maggie Smith, chef and tv personality Jamie Oliver, playwright Sarah Kane, singer and presenter Olly Murrs and artist Grayson Perry. With its close proximity to London, Essex also holds the homes of many famous people who reside there and commute into the capital.
Getting Around In Essex
Essex has an incredible public transport system, enabling really quick and easy access around the county and into nearby cities.
Train: There is an extensive rail network in Essex with the majority of trains ran by Abellio, c2c and Greater Anglia. Transport for London also provides transport in certain areas. If you do want to travel into London there are lots of services from Essex, and it only takes around an hour to an hour and a half on the train depending on your location.
- Bus: Commercial buses run through Essex and aren’t subsidised by the local council. The services are incredibly efficient and run through most areas in the county.
- Walking: For a more heart healthy way of getting around you could enjoy more walking. There are lots of circular walking routes to enjoy in Essex enabling you to explore some of the most stunning and interesting towns in the area.
- Cycling: Another great way to get healthy and to commute in an eco-friendly way, cycling is a great choice for getting around the area. There are lots of bridal paths and cycle routes to enjoy, and lots of ways for you to travel to where you need to go in a healthy way that doesn’t involve any traffic. There is even an Essex cycling app in development to make it even easier for you.
The Essex Economy is strongest in the south because everywhere else tends to be majority agricultural land. In Harlow you will find scientific, pharmaceutical companies and electrics based businesses. Chelmsford holds electrics based businesses as well as businesses related to finance and insurance. Britvic also has a base in Chelmsford. Brentwood, Basildon and Debden also have important business headquarters and production units. Southend On Sea is mainly a tourist area because of Adventure Island theme park, and the commuting possibilities into London also make it a key area for city workers to base themselves. Recent newspaper reports suggest that Essex County Council has plans to double the Essex Economy to £60 billion with new development plans.
Essex holds over 540 primary and secondary schools and around 19 schools for special needs. Schools are a combination of private and state schools. Three authorities run the schools; Essex County Council, Southend-On-Sea and Thurrock. Further education in Essex is ample, with the University Of Essex holding campuses near Colchester, and in Loughton and Southend-On-Sea. University Campus Suffolk is also attached to the University Of Essex and holds five locations in Norfolk and Suffolk and one in Ipswich. The distance between Essex and London means that students could commute to a university in London, or work at university in the week then go home for the weekend.
Things To Do In Essex
There are lots of things to do in Essex, many of which are age-old institutions and rights of passage for many Essex families who have been in the county for generations. Whether you’re a couple or a family with young children you will find plenty to do in the county, including:
A Visit To Colchester Zoo
With events on throughout the year, plus a wide range of exotic animals to see, Colchester Zoo is a wonderful day out for all the family.
Go Out In Sugar Hut
Made famous by The Only Way Is Essex, Sugar Hut is a famous club based in Brentwood Essex, where the Essex elite are said to go out and let their hair down.
Go Out For The Day To Adventure Island
Adventure Island in Southend-On-Sea has a selection of thrill rides and family-friendly attractions for all ages to enjoy.
Have An Ice Cream Or Share A Bag Of Chips On Southend Seafront
There’s nothing quite as romantic as some traditional seaside food on the seafront. Embrace the traditions of the British seaside on Southend Seafront.
Go Crabbing At Maldon
Kids love crabbing, and Maldon is the place to do it in Essex. Just make sure you get the best local crab bait, and remember to put them back after you’ve had your fun!
If you fancy more of an educational day trip with the kids, Southend Planetarium is a lovely choice. With changing talks on all through the year, a visit here never gets boring.
For an exciting day trip with mystery and history combined, visit Kelvedon secret nuclear bunker. Kids who love mystery will be intrigued.
Go To V Festival
Living so close to V Festival now, you can visit and avoid having to camp out. You could even just go for one day and enjoy the festival atmosphere without all the party fuelled chaos in the evening.
Go On The Burnham Ferry
Cross the River Crouch in style on the Burnham Ferry for a fun way to explore the local area. Wallasea Island is a real draw for nature lovers, who will love the Wallasea Wetland Project and the wildlife it attracts.
Visit Chelmsford Cathedral
A stunning, and beautiful piece of history and architecture, Chelmsford Cathedral is worth a look if you like historical buildings and want to learn more about the religious history of Essex.
Go For A Walk In Epping Forest
Epping Forest is a former royal forest, and is a stunning ancient woodland perfect for walks and exploration.
Moving To Essex Tips
Moving home is one of the most stressful things we can do in life. This is especially true if you are moving across the country to get to your new location. Clearly Essex is an amazing place to move to, but you need to get there first, and these top tips will help ensure your move to this incredible county is a smooth and stress free as possible:
Hire Good Solicitors
Whoever is dealing with the legal side of the move should be professional and able to make the process as convenient and easy for you as possible. Do your research and ask friends and family for recommendations on people they have worked with. You might have to look into it a little more than you might like, but it is absolutely worth it in the long run. Imagine having paperwork issues you need to be there for when you’ve already travelled miles, or organising all the moving companies and packing up only to find the legal side of things won’t complete until 3 months after your planned moving date. You can avoid this kind of nightmare by hiring the right legal team from the off.
Budget The Move
There are lots of things that cost money when moving home, including the moving itself. To avoid stress, budget the move so you know you have the cash to cover it. When things get stressful you don’t need even more stress added on top because a lump of cash is required that you hadn’t expected. Rightmove has a good moving calculator you can find here or there is also another, more up to date, Cost of Moving House Calculator from CompareMyMove.com
Start Planning Early
Give yourself a lot of time before the move to save for your budget, to book everything that needs booking, and to get yourself packed in good time. There is nothing fun about frantically packing an entire house a week before moving!
Be Ready To Troubleshoot
The moving process will throw all sorts of issues your way, ones that you probably won’t have even thought of. Although you will do your best to organise the entire process, be ready to troubleshoot problems that do arise. Have an open mind, so you don’t end up bubbling over with worry every time something doesn’t go as planned. Plan for things to not go as plan.
Extend Your ‘Landing’ Areas
Often, when people move home they have just their current house and their new house to move between or, moving furniture is very much an A to B process. This can cause all kinds of issues because the physical space you are trying to live and pack in becomes a logistical nightmare. You might have young children who you’re trying to care for in rooms full of boxes, or perhaps you have a new home that needs decorating before you unpack but you’re restricted by all your goods filling up the space. Your current home may need cleaning before you leave it to the new owners, or you may be doing it up for sale. Your new home may need cleaning and restoring before you can unpack. Extending your landing areas means having additional space to store items whilst you sort out your two homes. Perhaps a neighbour has a spare garage, a relative has space in their home, or perhaps you could even invest in some cheap self storage to give you the flexibility you need. Cheap storage can provide you with storage as small as a sports locker and as big as a football pitch, and the contracts are usually negotiable so it’s a great flexible option to access if you need to.
The best moving companies and London self storage units all book up quickly during key moving seasons. You must book your moving company and london self storage unit as early as you can to avoid disappointment. Do your research, sort out the finer details then get the services booked, so you don’t have to think about them until you need them. This saves a lot of stress scrabbling for contracts with the best companies last minute.
Enjoy Your Move To Essex
Hopefully you now feel a lot more acquainted with Essex, and a little more prepared for your exciting move there. Remember, the more research you do and time you put in, the more prepared you will be for the entire process. Happy moving!