My Favourites

My Favourites

Save your favourites with a single click and you’ll never forget a brilliant Muddy recommendation.

Ad
Ad

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.

WHY?

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.  

EAT

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.

SHOP

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.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

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.

HOT PROPERTY

This 7-bedroom Edwardian country house, with 4 acres of land and permission to extend, is on the market for £2,700,000 with Strutt & Parker

SCHOOLS

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!

COMMUTE

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.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live

be the first to know

Sign up for our free newsletter for our curated best bits of Essex

Essex

Best Place to Live in Essex Reader Vote

We made our selection – now it’s time to have your say!

Cast your vote by entering your email address and ticking the town or village you think deserves to win for the chance to bag £1,000 to spend at John Lewis, courtesy of our partner Strutt & Parker.

Your email address

The email address you provide is confidential and will only be used to validate your vote. For further information please read our Privacy Policy here.

Thaxted

Cobbled streets, medieval architecture, and thriving independent shops: Thaxted is an under-the-radar Essex gem with great commuter links.

Epping

Surrounded by acres of green space, you’d never know this market town is just 17 miles from the capital.

Colchester

Not just the oldest town in Britain but we reckon one of the best, thanks to good schools, theatres galore, award-winning park, plus its very own zoo, and all within easy reach of both the coast and the capital.

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.

Highlands House Estate Chelmsford

Chelmsford

Great schools, parks and, yes, shopping: Chelmsford remains one of the best places to live in Essex since gaining city status.

best places to live Frinton-on-Sea

Frinton-on-Sea

Yes, immaculate swathes of blonde beach help, but there's a lot more to this upmarket seaside town than ice creams on the prom.

Leigh-on-Sea

Combining a buzzy cafe culture with Old Town charm, Leigh-on-Sea is one of the county's hippest property hotspots.

best places to live Saffron Walden

Saffron Walden

Cosy pubs, a medieval market town and more country walks than you can shake a wellie at.

Know another brilliant place to live in Essex?

Tell us your favourite town or village and we’ll check it out for our next edition of Best Places to Live.

I nominate...

THANK YOU FOR VOTING!

Now go and win yourself a whopping £1,000 to spend at John Lewis on an insanely squishy sofa, wardrobe overhaul, kitchen gadgets - or whatever you like! - thanks to our partner Strutt & Parker.

Photo of sofa

Need to know

  • - Read our full Reader Treat Terms and Conditions here

  • - The prize is a £1,000 voucher for John Lewis
  • - There is no cash alternative
  • - Entrants must be UK Residents aged 18 or over
  • - The prize draw closes on 22 Mar 2022
  • - Once notified by email, the winner will have 48 hours to accept their prize
  • - Only one entry per person per county allowed
  • - Voucher must be redeemed within 24 months