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I'm Nicola, editor of Muddy Essex, here to bring you the quirky, cool and downright unmissable in the area.

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Gotta Have It

Move over, chocolate. From gin to jewellery, and options for men and minis, here are the best alternative advent calendars to count down the festive season.

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Little Black Book

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Our curated A-Z of the grooviest local businesses

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    • Comforting classics from The Pie Room

      Comforting classics from The Pie Room

      Ooh, is there anything more satisfying than good flaky pastry? These two warming recipes from Calum Franklin’s new cookbook The Pie Room will take you into autumn and beyond.

    • Let’s get physical

      Let’s get physical

      If you’ve fallen off the fitness wagon during lockdown, don’t sweat it: plenty of cool new classes are springing up across the county to help you get back in shape – and stay motivated

    • Why ours is a county of cyclists

      Why ours is a county of cyclists

      With its quiet stretches of countryside and labyrinth of forgotten-village lanes, Essex is a region best explored on two wheels. Here, we hit Harlow for a leisurely spin – and select three more scenic cycle routes for intrepid trailblazers

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  • Back-to-school for grown-ups

    Back-to-school for grown-ups

    The kids may be going back to school but why should they get all the new gear? We all deserve shiny winter boots and bags too. Here’s our pick for back-to-school style.

  • Kids

    • BRENTWOOD SCHOOL, BRENTWOOD

      BRENTWOOD SCHOOL, BRENTWOOD

      Striking an unusual balance between co-ed and single-sex learning, this successful independent delivers history and heart alongside its stellar academic record

    • How to manage back-to-school anxiety

      How to manage back-to-school anxiety

      With the nation’s schoolchildren poised to go back to school, it’s a tense time for everyone. So, how, as parents, should we control our fears? Muddy finds out.

  • A (garden) room of one’s own? Cue the rise of the ‘she shed’
  • A (garden) room of one’s own? Cue the rise of the ‘she shed’

School Reviews

Our honest reviews of the UK’s best schools

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Fun Finder

Making plans? Find your perfect Pub, Inn, Hotel, Café, Restaurant or Bar across the Muddy counties.

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Best Places to Live 2020

The insider’s guide to the Top 200 places to live outside London

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Muddy Stiletto Awards 2019

Be part of the UK’s most prestigious local lifestyle Awards in 2020

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Little Black Book

Our A-Z of the grooviest local businesses to help make your life easier

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Essex

Reader Treats Just For You!