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The Times’ Best Places To Live: ‘Proper Essex town’ named as one of the best places to live in England

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An Essex town has been named as one of the best places to live throughout the whole of the country.

Epping, a market town in the west of Essex has been named as one of the best places to live in 2021, according to The Times.

With glorious countryside and an idyllic location, it’s no wonder why the town has been named as one of the best.

Read more: The latest news from Epping Forest

The main Saxon settlement was probably in the north of the parish, which may be inferred from the meaning of the name Epping – ‘the upland dwellers’, according to British History.

Of course, Epping Forest is one of the reasons why the town is incredibly popular, with its expanse of ancient beech, birch and oak trees.

Covering just under 6,000 acres, it’s London’s largest open space, and is big enough to absorb additional pandemic crowds, The Times says.

The forest is perfect for a serene walk, with deer, ponds, fishing lakes, bogs, marshes, heaths and so much more, you could visit every day for a year and not see the same thing twice.

Epping Forest

The forest also helps Epping to keep a significant distance from the suburban sprawl to the south, making it clear that this remains a “proper Essex town” rather than just a Tube terminus.

Despite being surrounded by beautiful views and countryside, Epping is only 17 miles to the northeast of central London, making it for the perfect commuter town without the hustle and bustle of city life.

The town is also surrounded by good road links, with the M25 and M11 right on the doorstep.

It also has a station at the end of London Underground’s Central Line into Liverpool Street.

The average house price in Epping in the year up to November 2020 was £573,844, and there’s plenty of choice with a variety of different house styles.

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The town has a number of historic Grade I and II and Grade III listed buildings, as well as more contemporary and modern homes on the market.

A number of the listed buildings, most dating from the 18th century, line both sides of the High Street, although many were substantially altered internally during the 19th century.

Some of the oldest buildings in the town are at each end of the Conservation Area, such as Beulah Lodge in Lindsey Street, dating back to the 17th century, and a group of 17th and early 18th century cottages numbered 98–110 on High Street.

Its primary schools have all been rated “good” by Ofsted and there is also one secondary school.

Epping also has an abundance of history, with its own weekly market every single Monday, which dates back to 1253, where King Henry III conveyed the right to hold a weekly market in Epping Street.

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It helped to establish the town as a centre of trade and has continued to the present day.

Additionally, at Copped Hall, a mid-18th-century English country house in Epping, Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream was first performed, according to Visit Essex.

Copped Hall is visible from the M25 motorway between junctions 26 and 27.

Epping also ranked as the second-best place to live, according to property finders, Garrington’s, list of “the 18 best small towns in England to live in”.

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