THREE areas of north Essex have been named among the best places to live in England for 2024, according to Muddy Stilettos.

The women's lifestyle website creates a list of the 'best places to live' every year, and it has expanded its number of entrants from 250 to 260 for this year.

It draws upon its insight into the 28 most sought-after counties in England, guiding potential buyers to the local hot spots and up-and-coming areas.

Muddy Stilettos featured ten Essex areas in this year’s list, including Colchester, Wivenhoe, and Frinton in the north of the county.

Gazette: County - ten areas of Essex were praised by Muddy StilettosCounty - ten areas of Essex were praised by Muddy Stilettos (Image: Essex Police)

In a statement on their social media channels, they shared: "Come on in! We're thrilled to launch our brand new Best Places To Live 2024 in association with @struttandparker.

"We’ve shortlisted 260 gorgeous villages, towns and cities across our 28 ‘Muddy’ counties and beyond using our insider local knowledge."

The full list of the 260 places can be found at the Muddy Stilettos website, and here's why Colchester, Wivenhoe, and Frinton were featured.

Colchester included on Muddy Stilettos best places to live in Essex

Muddy Stilettos described Colchester as being a historic city which "has many charms" including "great amenities" and "outstanding education".

They wrote: "Sitting on the edge of Constable Country, Colchester is within easy reach of London, as well as the coast and lots of gorgeous villages.

"This historic city has many charms, especially for families who want it all (and why wouldn’t you?).

"There’s outstanding education and great amenities, plus cobbled streets adorned with period houses and a bustling high street."

Colchester's independent shops and eateries were also commended, including Red Lion Books and Church Street Tavern.

Elsewhere, its attractions were seen as a high point, with Colchester Zoo among the obvious mentions.

Gazette: Attraction - Muddy Stilettos said Colchester Zoo is one of the city's best featuresAttraction - Muddy Stilettos said Colchester Zoo is one of the city's best features (Image: Tom Smith)

In terms of the city's best-kept secret, Muddy Stilettos shared: "Love a literary connection? Nursery rhyme Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star was written by Jane Taylor, aged 23, in 1806 in her attic, which still exists in Stockwell Street, Colchester."

Frinton’s ‘quintessential charm’ praised by Muddy Stilettos

Muddy Stilettos described Frinton as a “pretty coastal resort” offering “butterscotch sands” and a “sweeping esplanade”.

They wrote: “Hugging the north Essex coastline, it first became popular for vaycaying Londoners in the 1920s, when its High Street was dubbed the ‘Bond Street of East Anglia’.

“These days you can expect to find a hub of independent boutiques, bistros and bars a short stroll from the shore, plus a thriving arts and culture scene.”

Many Frinton-based businesses were commended, including Pier One for its “generous portion of fish and chips” and Avenue Bistro in “trendy Connaught Avenue”.

Gazette: Award-winning - Avenue Bistro recently won the Gazette's Your Favourite Restaurant Award 2023Award-winning - Avenue Bistro recently won the Gazette's Your Favourite Restaurant Award 2023 (Image: Gazette)

Frinton Summer Theatre and nearby Walton Pier were also praised.

Muddy Stilettos said Frinton’s best kept secret is that ice cream sellers aren’t allowed along its beach. “Keeping it classy, and all that,” they wrote.

Muddy Stilettos ranks Wivenhoe as one of Essex’s best places to live in 2024

According to Muddy Stilettos, Wivenhoe has become a “covetable country bolthole”.

They wrote: “Throw in the fact that Constable Country (Dedham Vale) and Colchester’s zoo, castle and Fenwick department store are practically on your doorstep and you start to see the appeal.”

The lifestyle website praised independent businesses including Wivenhoe Bookshop and Maison Mollie.

Wivenhoe was also praised for its proximity to Colchester and the city’s abundance of attractions, while nearby Brightlingsea Lido also got a mention.

Gazette: Praised - Brightlingsea LidoPraised - Brightlingsea Lido (Image: Newsquest)

What were the ten best places to live in Essex?

  • Stock
  • Wivenhoe
  • Chelmsford
  • Saffron Walden
  • Thaxted
  • Leigh
  • Brentwood
  • Great Dunmow
  • Frinton
  • Colchester

Speaking about Essex overall, Muddy Stilettos wrote: "Hugging 350 miles of blonde-beach coastline, Essex is home to a whopping 87 nature reserves, a buzzy cafe culture and ruins rich in Roman history (Colchester is, after all, Britain's oldest recorded town).

"Short train hops into the capital are convenient, but you'll soon relish life beyond London: swish spas, gourmet gastros and a labyrinth of salt marshes to kayak through on a sun-dappled morning come as standard here."