Top places to live in Essex Thaxted
Cobbled streets, medieval architecture, and thriving independent shops: Thaxted is an under-the-radar Essex gem with great commuter links. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
Thaxted had no less than four awesome Muddy Essex Awards winners this year, so there’s clearly something in the water! Perhaps it’s the effect of all those picturesque surroundings: medieval and Georgian architecture, pretty countryside, colourful thatched cottages… think Midsomer Murders without the, er, murders. And with a history that dates back to before the Domesday Book, Thaxted’s hardly short on period features.
You won’t go hungry for long here. Head to historic local pubs The Maypole and The Farmhouse Inn for good, proper pub food at reasonable prices, and a lovely view of the Chelmer Valley from the latter. In surroundings this picturesque you won’t be surprised by the abundance of cream teas on offer, so that’s the weekly quota of clotted cream consumption seen to. Be sure to head to the local butcher and baker on the High Street to pick up a hot bacon roll.
Thaxted’s winding, historic High Street (crowned with the landmark, Grade I listed Guildhall) has an admirable collection of independent shops, including Muddy Award-winning interiors store Vintage Style Living and gift shop Gifted. With these, plus an award-winning fitness instructor (Amy-Jo Simpson) and yoga studio (Thaxted Yoga), your life here would naturally be one of effortless fitness, great gift-giving, and a beautiful home.
Although temporarily closed at the minute for essential restoration, John Webb’s Windmill is ordinarily a must-see, still standing as one of the finest examples of an early 1800s mill after dutifully grinding wheat for over 100 years. The tourist-hotspot market town of Saffron Walden is only a 15-minute drive away and, of course, Thaxted is nestled right in the stunning Chelmer Valley, which boasts beautiful walks aplenty.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICES
You can let out that breath you were holding: the average price of houses sold in Thaxted over the last year was £484,681 — decent! Detached properties sold for an average price of £605,837, semi-detached properties sold for an average of £429,105 and terraced properties fetched on average £328,214.
The town’s primary school, Thaxted Primary, is very involved in the community, and a really friendly choice for the first seven years of education. A 20-30 minute drive away is selective state secondary Hockerill Anglo-European College, as well as the private, well-heeled Bishop’s Stortford College, which sees pupils through from 4-18. The go-getter, expansive Felsted School is also just under 20 mins away.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Here’s one for your next pub quiz: Thaxted is home to the Thaxted Morris Men, who — having been founded in 1911 — enjoy a claim as one of the oldest Morris Dancing revival groups in England. One of their first performances was at celebrations for the coronation of King George V. What d’ya reckon, fancy donning the bell pads and giving it a go?
With the M25 just 10 minutes away, Thaxted has excellent connections to London for commuters. Cambridge and Colchester are both under an hour away, and for holidays (or international job appointments), Stansted airport is a mere 15 minutes away.
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