Spotlight on Chelmsford

Continuing our popular Spotlight series, this month we visit the beautiful Essex city of Chelmsford, a vibrant “new” city that combines historical charm with modern amenities. Whether you’re considering a move to Chelmsford or simply want to know more about what this bustling area has to offer, this article aims to provide you with everything you need to know.

An Introduction and Overview of Chelmsford

Chelmsford, located in Essex in the East of England, is a city brimming with history and culture. Officially granted city status in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, Chelmsford is one of the newer cities in the UK but has a rich history dating back to Roman times. Nestled along the River Chelmer and River Can, Chelmsford boasts a variety of notable landmarks. One such landmark is Hylands House, a stunning country house set within 574 acres of historic parkland. Chelmsford Cathedral stands as a testament to the city’s medieval heritage, while the Shire Hall in the city centre is a notable Georgian building that has been a focal point of Chelmsford since 1791.

Population and Historical Overview

According to the 2021 census, Chelmsford has a population of approximately 181,500 residents. The city’s origins can be traced back to the Roman era when it was known as Caesaromagus. Over the centuries, Chelmsford has evolved from a modest market town into a bustling city. In the medieval period, Chelmsford thrived due to its strategic location and market charter, which attracted traders and craftsmen. Today, the city is a thriving commercial hub with a diverse economy. Key industries include retail, manufacturing and technology, with many residents commuting to London for work, taking advantage of Chelmsford’s excellent transport links.

Transport Links

Chelmsford is well-connected by road, rail, and air, making it an ideal location for both residents and businesses. The city is situated just off the A12, providing direct access to London (around 30 miles southwest) and Colchester (approximately 25 miles northeast). Chelmsford railway station offers frequent services to London Liverpool Street, with a journey time of around 35 minutes. For those travelling by air, London Stansted Airport is the nearest airport, approximately 18 miles away, offering flights to various domestic and international destinations including Paris, Barcelona and Dublin. London Southend Airport is another convenient option, about 20 miles away, providing further travel opportunities.

Things to Do In and Around Chelmsford

Chelmsford offers a wealth of attractions and activities for all ages. For history enthusiasts, the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation is a must-visit, providing a scenic route for walking and boating. The city’s cultural scene is vibrant, with the Civic Theatre and the Cramphorn Theatre hosting a variety of performances ranging from plays to live music. Hylands House and Estate is a great place to explore, offering beautiful gardens and seasonal events. Sports fans can enjoy a visit to the home of Essex County Cricket Club at the Cloudfm County Ground, while Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre provides facilities for swimming, ice skating and other recreational activities.

Shopping in Chelmsford

Chelmsford is a shopper’s paradise with a mix of high street names, independent boutiques, and bustling markets. The High Chelmer and Meadows shopping centres offer a wide range of retail options, from fashion to electronics. For a more unique shopping experience, Moulsham Street is lined with independent retailers and charming shops. The Bond Street development adds a touch of luxury with high-end brands and a variety of dining options. Don’t miss the regular market days held in Chelmsford Market, where you can find everything from fresh produce to handcrafted goods.

Eating and Drinking in Chelmsford

Chelmsford boasts an impressive array of dining and drinking establishments to suit all tastes. For Italian cuisine, renowned for its authentic dishes and cosy atmosphere. If you’re craving Indian flavours, Indian Night offers a delectable menu with a modern twist. For contemporary British fare, The Lion Inn is a popular choice, combining a warm ambience with an extensive menu. Fans of Thai food should head to Zenxi for a sophisticated dining experience.

When it comes to pubs and bars, The Ale House is a favourite for its wide selection of real ales and craft beers. For a chic cocktail experience, try Bar & Beyond, which features an extensive cocktail menu and stylish décor. The Golden Fleece) is a traditional pub offering a cosy setting and hearty pub grub, perfect for a relaxed evening out.

Chelmsford Property

Chelmsford’s property market is diverse, catering to a range of preferences and budgets. According to Home.co.uk, the average sale price for a one bedroom home is around £204,972, while a three bedroom family home averages £462,991. For those seeking more space, a five-bedroom property typically costs around £821,734.

The rental market is equally varied, with the average monthly rent for a one bedroom property at approximately £1,222 per month. A three-bedroom family home averages £1,849 per month, and a larger five-bedroom property costs around £4,360 per month. With its excellent amenities and connectivity, Chelmsford is an attractive location for both buyers and renters.

If you’re considering making Chelmsford your new home, our expert team at Northwood is here to help. With in-depth knowledge of the local property market and a commitment to providing outstanding customer service, we can assist you in finding the perfect home. Contact us today to start your journey towards owning or renting in one of the UK’s most vibrant cities.