What do you think of when someone says they are going to Essex? Come on, be honest. You don’t really picture beautiful countryside and picturesque villages do you? Rather than dashing farmer-types in flat caps and barber jackets, like the handsome fella pictured at the end of this post, you all think of sportscar-driving loadsamoney guys and stiletto-wearing orange-skinned girls. Don’t you? The county has a really bad reputation for being a bit ……. naff. Is it as bad as you all think? Not a chance. Essex is completely underrated and here’s why.
Where is Essex?
England has 48 ceremonial counties and Essex is one of those located in the south east of the country between London and the North Sea. It is one of the Home Counties located between Suffolk and Cambridgeshire in the north, Hertfordshire in the west, and Kent to the south.
Although Colchester was once the capital city of Roman Britain the name Essex wasn’t used until Anglo-Saxon times around 527AD when as the eastern kingdom of the Saxons it was known as Eastseaxe(“East Saxons”).
Why does Essex have such a bad reputation?
It’s mostly down to TV and the stereotypical characters shown in so many popular television programmes. Just think of the shows that are based in the county. You don’t get ones showing stunning views or lovely little country villages do you? Generally they are set in depressing housing estates featuring equally depressing characters.
Think of these shows:
What chance has Essex got with the people portrayed in those programmes? No hope at all.
Little known Essex facts
- Colchester is Britains oldest recorded town and was the first capital city
- Second longest county coastline in Britain at 350 miles
- More speed cameras per mile of road than anywhere else in the world
- Essex has more islands (35) than any other English county
- Manningtree is the UK’s smallest town whilst Tiptree is it’s largest village
- Essex is the UK’s wealthiest county and would qualify as the worlds 53rd largest economy if it was a country
So what does everyone think of Essex?
In the UK everybody sees the county of Essex as chav-central, where a mix of Love Island and TOWIE non-celebrities live in mock tudor mansions and drive Chelsea tractors around. Hair extensions, fake tans and white stilletos appear to be the standard dress and the county is often held up as some sort of joke place to live.
There may of course be some truth to these descriptions but surely every county has it’s dodgier areas and to label the whole of Essex this way is absolutely ridiculous. Some of Englands most beautiful countryside and picturesque villages are found here amidst a rural landscape that many people would be surprised at.
So it’s not fake tans, stilettos, and bad behaviour at all. It’s one of Englands most beautiful counties.
What Essex is really like ………
We’ve found the county to be full of charming villages and twisty-turny country lanes, with rolling hills and green fields at every turn.
In fact, we’ve spent many happy weeks housesitting and travelling around this beautiful county meeting friendly people and visiting lovely little towns and villages. If you don’t believe me just read a few of our recent Essex posts;
- Return to the Colne Valley in Essex
- Exploring the Flitch Way
- The Witchfinder General of Mistley
- Highlights of Rural Essex and Suffolk
So let’s not hear another word about how ‘naff‘ this place is and let’s just appreciate it’s typical Englishness. It’s a beautiful part of the world that more people should visit and explore. We have been amazed at the sheer number of quaint villages and interesting towns that we have been able to see on our housesitting stays.
If you get the chance, come up and see some of Essex. You won’t regret it.
04/02 – 08/02/2020