Top places to live in Essex Manningtree
A historic high street packed with independents, plus rolling riverside vistas: here's the lowdown on why to move to Manningtree. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
It might be England’s smallest town, but Manningtree sure packs a picturesque punch. Overlooking the River Stour, dwellers can walk along the yacht-dotted estuary to neighbouring Mistley and skim stones with little ones on the biscuit-coloured beach. A bunting-festooned high street packed with independent delis and traditional pubs amps up its slow-living credentials.
Located a short stroll along the river, some of the most stylish foodie spots in the area include Lucca Enoteca – think handmade Neopolitan-style pizzas fresh from the wood-fired oven – and The Mistley Thorn, which is well-known for its exceptional seasonal pub grub. Tip: you can’t go wrong with the Thorn’s seafood stew.
Set in a beautiful Georgian house with views out to the estuary, Manningtree’s North House Gallery in The Walls hosts contemporary exhibitions with a sharp focus on East Anglian artists, while the internationally acclaimed Beth Chatto Gardens in Elmstead Market – a 20-minute drive away – is worthy of a visit for the tea room alone.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
A two-bed terraced house in the area carries an average price tag of £265,668, rising to £408,262 for a three-bed detached property. However, Mistley, in particular, can prove more expensive when it comes to larger period properties in walking distance of the water and many demand £700,000, plus. See Churchwood Stanley, Concord Property Sales & Lettings and Grier & Partners for local, independent advice.
For such a small Essex enclave, Manningtree and Mistley certainly hold their own when it comes to education: The Mistley Norman Church of England School is a top village choice and Manningtree High School in Lawford is one of the county’s leading secondary schools. Meanwhile, Ipswich School, just 12 minutes away by train, is a selective co-ed indepedent for ages 11-18 that also offers up a Prep and Nursery – plus state-of-the-art facilities.
BEST KEPT SECRET
The Mistley Kitchen’s cookery workshops, which cover everything from foolproof Sourdough bakes to Mediterranean masterclasses. What’s more, the airy kitchen has its own homeware shop and wine cellar so you can congratulate yourself with a bottle of something special on your way out.
Despite being a short stroll away from one another (a 14-minute walk, to be precise), both Manningtree and Mistley boast their own train stations, with an average train journey into London taking one hour, 40 minutes. Annual season tickets cost from £6,052.
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