Essex is one of the most geographically diverse counties in England.
Across the county, there are industrial heartlands, coastal seasides, the London suburbia, beautiful countryside and wonderful Essex towns in their own right.
It’s no wonder that city-dwellers have historically looked at Essex as a place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Over the years, with ever-developing transport links and the Internet, the world has become a lot smaller.
However, it’s still possible for people to escape busy cities and flee away to the countryside.
Property website Compare My Move collected together the best towns for a ‘rural relocation’ across England.
Their research looked at house prices, average incomes, weather, wi-fi speeds and number of restaurants nearby.
Looking at all these data points, they were able to identify the best places in the UK for city-dwellers to move to if they wanted a new life in the countryside.
In their top ten was Ingatestone, Essex.
Ingatestone is a small town in between Chelmsford and Brentwood, just off of the A12 and the Greater Anglia train line runs straight through to London Liverpool Street.
It’s known for its diverse and independent business-led high street, as well as it’s locality to beautiful green areas.
Compare My Move gave the town a score of 74.92, putting it tenth on the list.
In the the top fifth of the table, three other Essex locations were on the list.
West Mersea was in 11th place – the main population centre on Mersea Island – and one spot below in joint 12th was Epping, just on the outskirts of Greater London in Epping Forest.
Down in 27th was Dedham, on the Essex and Suffolk border.
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Dave Sayce, managing director at Compare My Move, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has seen many people reconsidering their living situation, with a large number of city dwellers ditching urban living and relocating to rural areas for a slower-paced life in the beautiful English countryside.
“It’s easy to see why people are choosing a quiet life in the country as the UK is home to some of the world’s most beautiful rural towns and villages.
“However, relocating can come at a large cost, particularly with hidden fees, such as the cost of removals.
“It’s not surprising to see the top rural destinations are near London.”
Here are the top ten best places in the UK for a ‘rural relocation’.
- Guildford – Surrey
- St Albans – Hertfordshire
- Shere – Surrey
- Dorchester-on-Thames – Oxfordshire
- Wallingford – Oxfordshire
- Caversham – Berkshire
- Leamington Spa – Warwickshire
- Alresford – Hampshire
- Aylesford – Kent
- Ingatestone – Essex