Situated in the southeast of England, Essex is filled with family-friendly towns, bustling cities and rural idylls. While the county is a great place to live in its own right, it’s also ideal for commuters who want to live outside of London but benefit from easy transport links to the capital.

Bordering Hertfordshire to the west and the North Sea to the west, Essex covers approx. 1,417 square miles. To the south, the county is adjacent to the River Thames, with the southwest of Essex flanked by Greater London. 

We have been doing removals in Essex for over 50 years, so who is better than Brycelands Removals to explain the best commuter towns in Essex?

How Long Does It Take to Get from Essex to London?

While the journey time from Essex to London varies depending on what part of the county you’re travelling from, there are several rail links that offer high-speed services. A non-stop train from Basildon, Essex takes just 37 minutes to arrive at London Fenchurch Street station, for example. 

However, due to the location of Essex to the northeast of London, the most common destination by train is London Liverpool Street. From Liverpool Street, commuters can use the London Underground to move around London and the rest of the home counties.

If you’re situated close to Rainham in Essex, you can expect your London commute to take around 25 minutes if you’re travelling to Fenchurch Street or 36 minutes if you get the train to Liverpool Street. 

Even towns set further into Essex offer great transport links for commuters. the village of Elsenham to Liverpool Street offers a journey time of 57 minutes, for example, while a train from Alresford near Colchester takes approx. 1 hour and 19 minutes to arrive at Liverpool Street station and 1 hour and 47 minutes to get to London Euston. 

As you can see, London is highly accessible from Essex and commuters will find it easy to get to and from work. In fact, many towns in Essex have London Underground stations on the Central, including:

In addition to this, the Elizabeth Line runs into Essex, culminating in Shenfield and providing easy access to Stratford, Liverpool Street and Paddington.

With so many ways to travel, it’s easy to see why so many commuters choose this county as their home, but where is the best place to live in Essex? 

The Best Commuter Towns in Essex

If you’re planning to relocate to Essex and keep your job in London, you’ll want to know where the best residential locations for commuters are. We’ve made it easy to access the information you need with our definitive list of the best commuter towns in Essex:

1. Purfleet

Set on the banks of the River Thames, Purfleet is one of the most popular towns in Essex amongst commuters. Its close proximity to London ensures you can always reach the city easily, with a train journey to Liverpool Street station taking just 41 minutes.  

Although Purfleet is close to London, it has its own distinct character, as well as a wide range of amenities and attractions. Just a 10-minute drive from Lakeside Shopping Centre and close to Watts Wood and Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve, Purfleet really does combine the best of city and rural life.

2. Chelmsford

Chelmsford is Essex’s smallest city, which means it offers a wonderful urban environment in which to live. However, don’t be fooled into thinking Chelmsford is solely an urban area as there is plenty of green space around! Admiral’s Park and Tower Gardens, Chelmer Valley Nature Reserve and Hylands Park are all easily accessible and offer a fantastic countryside experience. 

With more than 200 trains running from Chelmsford train station to London’s Liverpool Street every day, you certainly won’t have any issues commuting from one city to another! A journey time of approx. 40 minutes, two of the best grammar schools in the county and an average house price of £408,000 make Chelmsford one of the top commuter towns in Essex. 

3. Saffron Walden

Amongst Essex’s most coveted towns and villages, Saffron Walden is a picturesque location that offers a family-friendly lifestyle for commuters. A traditional market time, it has a bustling high street, good schools and is surrounded by green spaces, including Bridge End Gardens and Castle Mound. 

Although Saffron Walden is situated towards the north of the county, it still offers good transport links to London via the M11. In fact, you can get from Saffron Walden to London Liverpool Street in just under an hour via Audley End train station. 

4. Grays

Close to Purfleet and near to London, Grays is becoming increasingly popular with commuters. As you might expect, the town is filled with eateries, shops and bars, including Carters Dessert Diner and Grays Charcoal Grill, but you might be surprised to learn that Grays has its own beach too! 

You can get from Grays station to London Fenchurch Street in just 39 minutes, which makes it one of the best commuter towns in Essex. What’s more – average house prices of £352,000 make Grays an ideal choice for commuters who want to combine city and country life. 

5. Wickford

Located 30 miles to the east of London, Wickford is a small town with a big character. Home to Beauchamps High School, it’s a popular location for families with school-aged children and has a history going back more than 2,000 years. 

Despite being a relatively small commuter town, Wickford has lots to offer, including a busy high street, community centre, swimming pool, open-air market and library. With a journey time of just 40 minutes by train into London, it’s easy to see why Wickford is a top Essex commuter town. For anyone who wants to enjoy a quieter pace of life while maintaining good links to London, Wickford is the perfect place to be. 

6. Manningtree

Manningtree’s location to the east of the Essex coast means that many people discount it as a commuter town, but don’t be fooled! You can reach Liverpool Street station in just 1 hour and 7 minutes, so it offers a great base for commuters who want to enjoy life by the sea and still have easy access to the capital. 

One of the smallest towns in the area, Manningtree has a population of just 900. While it isn’t always the liveliest of places, it is the perfect commuter town for workers who want to balance a fast-paced city work life with a more relaxed, coastal home life. 

Manningtree station

7. Colchester

Officially Britain’s first city, Colchester is steeped in history and remains one of the most popular places to live in Essex. Outstanding schools, noteworthy attractions and historical sites all combine to ensure Colchester has something to offer to everyone. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly commuter town in Essex, a busy and bustling city landscape or access to green spaces and rural hideaways, Colchester has it all!

Planning Your Relocation to Essex

With so many commuter towns situated in Essex, it’s not surprising that the county has become one of the most sought-after places to live. While relocating to a new area can feel overwhelming, help is always at hand. From finding the perfect home to packing up and transporting your belongings, getting your relocation underway will mean you’re enjoying Essex life sooner than you think! 

Brycelands Removals and Storage have been working in Essex for over 50 years. We help people move anywhere in Essex, especially when they are moving to the county for work in London. Our full-service moves take the stress out of moving, so even if you are moving to a new area for work your relocation will go smoothly.