Essex is Not All About TOWIE and Bas Vegas
Despite its close proximity to the capital, Essex has its fair share of hidden gems off the beaten track that are still a practical option for commuters.
For those who need to commute into London for work, the idea of living in a remote community away from all the hustle and bustle sometimes seems like an impossible dream. However, the county of Essex is full of magical spots with their very own community spirit, history and character. Best of all, they are a realistic proposition for commuters who want the best of both worlds. Let’s take a look at three examples.
There’s something a little bit magical on an island. If minimising the travel time to the city is high on your list of priorities, you might want to look no further and start looking for some independent mortgage Canvey Island to make this your new home. Trains from nearby Benfleet Station run every 10 minutes and the journey time into Fenchurch Street is less than 50 minutes.
The island itself saw most development in the post-war years, and 1960s-style bungalows and semis predominate, although there are a few Victorian townhouses dotted around. The island has a vibrant, modern feel, and Basildon is a short drive away, so this is a great place for those who want to be off the beaten track, but only by a short distance.
The Dengie Peninsular
If Canvey is Essex’s Mississippi Delta, the Dengie Peninsular might be called its Wild East. Surrounded on three sides by water – the rivers Blackwater and Crouch to the north and south and the North Sea to the east, there is a certain island feel here, too. The main town, Burnham on Crouch, has a population of 7,500. It is popular with the sailing fraternity and has a pretty high street with an unusual octagonal clock tower.
The surrounding villages all have a tranquil feeling and a sense of stepping back in time – this is a place where village shops and petrol stations have stood the test of time, where cricket is played on village greens and the village pubs are full of friendly locals. Despite the feeling of being transported to another world, the city is still just an hour by train. The Southminster branch line survived the Beeching Cuts by the skin of its teeth, and today is thriving like never before.
Our final look at Island Life in Essex takes us to Mersea, not far from Colchester, to the north of the county. Time it wrong – or right, depending on your love of adventure, and just arriving can be a challenge, as the causeway, or Strood, is often impassable at high tide.
Mersea is an island of two halves. West Mersea is a small, bustling town with sailing and fishing very much at its heart. It’s also a popular spot for tourists, and the small, independent seafood shacks and restaurants are second to none. Those who prefer peace and tranquillity opt for the hamlet of East Mersea. Like the villages in the Dengie, this is a place where community spirit reigns supreme. Whichever you choose, Colchester is only a 20-minute drive, and has frequent fast trains to London, particularly in the rush hour.