Essex has seen eight places in the county named among the best places to live in England, according to Muddy Stilettos.

The woman's lifestyle website creates a list of the 'best places to live' every year, and it has expanded its number of entrants from 200 to 250 on this occasion.

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.

Hero Brown, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Muddy Stilettos, said: “When people decide to move, they’re searching for more than just a house - they want a home, a lifestyle that works for them and their family, and if they’re strategic, a long-term investment too.

"Our 2023 Top 250 Best Places to Live guide will give them that extra reassurance they need to make their search easier in these difficult economic times."

Essex's 8 Best Places to Live 2023


Thaxted was described by Muddy Stilettos as an "under-the-radar Essex gem", with praise for its "picturesque surroundings", medieval architecture and thatched cottages.


Muddy Stilettos recommend Wivenhoe for its waterfront living, its quiet charm and great places to eat, such as The Olive Branch.

Mersea Island

Mersea Island is described as "scenic" by Muddy Stilettos due to its landscape and pastel beach huts.

It was also recommended for being one of the best places to go for seafood in the county.


The setting for Stock is something that made it stick out for Muddy Stilettos, with its red brick windmill and nearby countryside being plus points.

A commendation came in for its transport links, "gorgeous gastro pubs" and nearby schools.


Gazette: Chelmsford made it onto the best places to live list Chelmsford made it onto the best places to live list (Image: Newsquest)

Essex's county town made it onto the best places list, with its "big-name shops, excellent transport links, hip bars and restaurants" all being points of praise.


The small town of Manningtree "packs a picturesque punch" according to Muddy Stilettos and was praised for the quiet living you can do there.

Its "independent delis and traditional pubs" were also selling points.


"Industrial-style coffee houses, boutique bars and a sandy shoreline" are some of the points of praise Muddy Stilettos gave Leigh-on-Sea, and its proximity to Southend was also noted.

Saffron Walden

Saffron Walden was praised for "dripping in history" as well as its traditional pubs and "boutique fashion finds".

See the full Essex breakdown at the Muddy Stilettos website here.