Moving to the Essex countryside? Read our top property tips...

Zoe Napier estate agent with her dog

Zoe Napier - Credit: Zoe Napier Group / Adrydog

We sat down with property specialist Zoe Napier to get the lowdown on what you should consider when relocating to rural Essex 

We’re moving to Essex from London – what areas will offer great countryside but also good links to the city? 

Often described as ‘the best-kept secret of the home counties,’ Essex enjoys more than 1,500 square miles of countryside and over 300 miles of meandering coastline. There are quaint villages, two cities and towns steeped in history, including Britain’s oldest recorded town, Colchester.  

Some of the prettiest parts can be found around Ingatestone and Epping and right up to the north of the county, where the Colne Valley sits on the Essex-Suffolk border. There are just as picturesque areas west of the county, such as Great Dunmow, while the east coast offers miles of walks, coastal sanctuaries and vibrant waterside eateries.   

Essex offers great links to London Liverpool Street, with a 90-minute train journey from the furthest parts. Closer to London, the journey times are far shorter, enhanced by the new Crossrail from Shenfield. 

What should we consider when searching for a country property? 

Firstly, decide the important factors when it comes to location. For example, maximum journey times to schools, the railway station or nearby relatives. Historically, buyers have migrated from London using the A12 or M11 corridors as the starting point for their search.  

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Other considerations could be aircraft noise, with both London Stansted and London Southend airports conveniently situated in Essex, to broadband strengths, which are rapidly improving to fibre in many rural villages. 

You may also wish to establish where new developments might be planned. A good local agent would know, and the relevant local authority will have details online about all planned developments. 

Hunters Lodge, Fryerning with a Guide of oieo £3 m

Hunters Lodge, Fryerning. Guide price £3million - Credit: Zoe Napier Group / Adrydog

I have horses. What areas offer the best value for land? 

Essex offers great value for those wishing to buy an equestrian property, and those looking for a home with nearby livery stables. For some horse owners, good hacking is important, while for others easy access to large horseboxes for show venues takes priority.  

There are several hotspots for hacking, and a good agent with experience of horse ownership will know the pros and cons of an area based on the discipline of the horse and the owner’s requirements. 

I'm time-poor. How can you help with finding a property? 

The Zoe Napier Group team is adept at assisting those looking to buy in the countryside. We specialise in the sale of unique homes, so buyers are often prepared to greatly extend their search areas to find the right property.  

We cover the whole of Essex and South Suffolk, offering the best selection of properties available – with or without land – so long as it is served by one or more of the Zoe Napier Group’s four niche brands:,, and Our Essex team are supported by our London office in Mayfair, W1. 

Get in touch... 

Zoe Napier M.N.A.E.A, founder and owner of The Zoe Napier Group 

01621 840 333 

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