Living in Chelmsford

Some of the many benefits of living in Chelmsford

Chelmsford is a thriving city stretching across 132 square miles with a population of around 120,000 people. It was voted the Sunday Times ‘Best place to live in the East’ in 2018 and was listed as one of the top ten best places in the East of England in 2019.

Centrally located in Essex, Chelmsford is within easy reach of many miles of coastline, from Southend to Harwich, as well as varied countryside. Essex also holds the record as the driest place in the UK!

Culture and entertainment

There are no fewer than three theatres in Chelmsford: The Civic, The Cramphorn and The Old Court, providing a mix of music, drama, comedy, dance, talks, and lectures for all ages. Chelmsford City Museum collections include fine art, geology, industrial and military artefacts, housed at Oaklands House which sits within the award-winning Oaklands Park. Hylands Estate, a prestigious Grade II* listed public park and neo-classical villa, is open to the public and holds seasonal music and theatrical events as well as farmers’ and crafts markets, flower shows, and food festivals.For movie-goers there is an 8-screen Odeon cinema and a comfortable Everyman, both in the city centre.

Chelmsford Cathedral, an oasis of calm in the bustling city, offers regular worship opportunities in a beautiful building that dates back to the 13th Century boasting two organs and many specially commissioned pieces of art. Brentwood Cathedral, 15 minutes down the A12, celebrates Mass daily as well as promoting music events

A pedestrianised High Street, two shopping malls and the upmarket Bond Street area – including John Lewis – offer many shopping opportunities. There is also a daily market and Saturday market in the city centre. Further shopping can be found at several retail parks around the city.

The beautiful Hylands and Oaklands estates offer walking, cycling, and running opportunities and Chelmsford has a Sport and Athletics Centre in the Melbourne area of the city. The Riverside Centre has a 25m swimming pool, as well as an ice rink. Further afield, Chelmsford City Racecourse holds regular meeting and events, and skiers can take advantage of Brentwood’s dry ski slope.

Eating out and local food
Food lovers are well catered for in Chelmsford, with an excellent range of local restaurants including The Lion Inn at Boreham, the Bib Gourmand winning Galvin Green Man in Great Waltham, Mrs Salisbury’s tea rooms in Maldon, and The Wine Cellar on Duke Street. For local farm produce, look no further than Lathcoat’s Farm in Chelmsford, Jamie’s Fruit & Veg in Danbury, Tiptree Jam Factory, and the White Elm Garden Centre & Tea Room, Bicknacre.

Transport links

Chelmsford is just 35 minutes on the train from London and a new rail station at the foot of New Hall’s Avenue is due to open in 2024/5 giving even easier access to the capital. A video about the road and rail infrastructure can be viewed here. The Crossrail connection at Shenfield (15 minutes’ drive down the A12) offers transport across London to Heathrow or Berkshire. For travel further abroad, London Stansted airport is 30 minutes’ drive from Chelmsford and both Southend and London City airports are also close by.