Top places to live in Essex Ingatestone
Perfectly placed between Brentwood and Chelmsford, with its own rail station, Ingatestone is the picture-perfect combo of commuter town with a vibrant village feel and oodles of gorgeous indies, including a couple of Muddy Award winners. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
No surprise this charming village is a sought-after hub for families and urban exiles attracted by the High Street’s swishy indie businesses, picture-perfect location sitting between Brentwood and Chelmsford, good schools, and a speedy commute to London. Add lush green spaces and period buildings, including a collection of 19th-century almshouses, and you’ll see why this pretty village is so popular – and pricey.
No shortage of tasty options here but first up has to be Ingatestone’s oldest pub, The Star Inn, serving up short-crust pastry pies that are a big hit. After a lighter bite? Then head to Muddy Award Winner 2021 Farmshop / Deli Abigail’s Delicatessen. Offering all kinds of artisan goodies to take away, you can also enjoy a hearty brunch or super-fresh lunch in the bijou tea room. Also of note is our 2021 Muddy Awards Destination Pub, a hop and a skip over in the neighbouring village of Stock: The Hoop, which was constructed in 1640 from the timber of warships at Tilbury Docks.
It’s a village so no big chains here, thankfully, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in shops – far from it. The High Street boasts a host of indie businesses, including Muddy Awards finalist Abigail’s Lifestyle (yes, same savvy lady behind Abigail’s Deli), Aura and La Pomme, all offering gorgeous gifts, divine smellies and gotta-have-its. For beautiful blooms, head to another of Muddy’s brilliant finalists: The Blue Dandelion, where you’ll find unique floral designs alongside cool and quirky homeware, lifestyle and jewellery pieces. You can also find the finalist Stock Florist over in the neighbouring village of Stock.
Being a Saxon village, you’ll find loads of historic buildings on your doorstep, including Ingatestone Hall, the Tudor house that sits in formal gardens surrounded by 11 acres of grounds. Apparently, Queen Elizabeth I stayed there, so if it’s good enough for her… The Grade II-listed Mountnessing Post Mill is a gorgeous working mill, and great for your Insta. Just a few miles over in Brentwood is Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, where littlies will love meeting the residents, from donkeys and ducks to raccoons and reptiles.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICES
All this doesn’t come cheap – you won’t get much change from £750,000, with some detached houses selling for over £2,000,000, semis for £570,000, and terraced £460,000.
There’s a good selection of local infant and junior schools, as well as the Anglo-European School, which attracts kids from all over Essex. And thanks to being nestled between Chelmsford and Brentwood, Ingatestone nippers are just a six-min train ride from schools such as New Hall School in Chelmsford or Brentwood School, both in our Muddy Best Schools Guide.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Back in 2008, some nosy research on the UK’s richest towns showed Ingatestone was right up there at No.14. If anyone knows where it ranks now, let us know!
Top marks. Ingatestone railway will whisk you into London Liverpool Street in a super-speedy half-hour, and will set you back around £3,844.
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