Living in Chelmsford – 13 Reasons Why It’s a Great Place to Live
4th December 2023

Living in Chelmsford – 13 Reasons Why It’s a Great Place to Live

Are you thinking of living in Chelmsford?

Carrying the weight of an entire region on its shoulders as Essex’s only city, Chelmsford has a great deal to offer.

Chelmsford has long attracted a host of different families and residents.

Being one of the home counties, Essex has always been a popular area with commuters.

This demand has certainly driven interest in moving to Chelmsford and has accelerated the success of the city.

Its popularity alone could be enough of an indicator that Chelmsford is a great place to reside.

Since its promotion to city status in 2012, Chelmsford has thrived, excelling in its new role as the chief representative of Essex.

Finding the perfect balance of urban city living and a rural lifestyle, there are various reasons why Chelmsford is a nice place to live.

Continue reading to find out the many reasons why living in Chelmsford is great for you.

Who knows before long you may be calling the area home!

Affordable Property

One of the only negative impacts of having such a fantastic infrastructure and persistent growth is housing costs.

The average cost of property in Chelmsford is sitting at £395,924.

Whilst still above the national average, prices in Chelmsford are significantly lower than in the capital.

London house prices, currently average at £731,182.

This means the average property in Chelmsford is far more affordable!

A number of new home construction projects have already been finished in Chelmsford, while others are well underway.

A brand-new community on the outskirts of the city called Beaulieu has already seen a start in family relocation.

When it is finished in 2028, 3,600 new residences will be delivered.

It will have a station, a number of parks, stores, and former royal hunting grounds.

Writtle, Springfield, and Broomfield are some of the most well-known neighbourhoods near Chelmsford.

All of these offer a lifestyle more akin to a hamlet, providing a welcome change from city living.

There is truly something for everyone given the variety of properties that are offered in and around the city, including the 8,500 new constructions that are planned.

City Status

Chelmsford UK Map
Chelmsford UK Map. Image credit: Depositphotos

Chelmsford has been recognised as a city since the jubilee in 2012.

This is not the first time in the city’s history that this location has seen a promotion in importance.

Chelmsford was once regarded as England’s capital in the 14th century.

Although it only lasted a week, this odd historical occurrence adds an intriguing dimension to Chelmsford’s past.

Although this promotion to city rank has no direct benefits, there are undoubtedly side benefits as well as certain bragging rights.

The Chelmsford City Council made significant investments in the city during the 2012 bid.

Several of the improvements that were made possible by these expenditures continue to this day.

The city was deemed impressive enough to be given city status, proving the council’s plans for urban renewal were successful.

An Award Winning Location

Chelmsford has been historically popular amongst critics.

In 2008 the area was ranked as the 8th best place to live by Channel 4’s prime-time property programme Location, Location, Location.

The popular television show certainly highlighted why moving to Chelmsford is a great idea, with the popularity of the area skyrocketing ever since.

The city took top spot in the East, in the 2018 Sunday Times best places to live guide.

Three Essex regions had also been named among the best areas to live in the East, with Chelmsford also seeing off competition from popular areas such as Chesterton in Cambridge as well as Norwich.

Despite not achieving the top spot, Chelmsford still ranked amongst the top 10 places to live, showing its continued success in representing Essex as its only city.

Excellent Transport Links

Chelmsford station
Chelmsford station. Image credit: Wikipedia

While determining whether Chelmsford is a desirable area to live, two key things should be considered.

Location and connections.

The M25, which connects the area with many home counties and Greater London, is only a 15-minute drive away.

An easy and quick day at the beach is made possible by the neighbouring A12, which also links the city to London and the east coast.

The railway is a much more popular choice for city employees.

Chelmsford stands out in this regard because it offers an incredible commute time of just 34 minutes to London Liverpool Street station.

We all adore the “reliable” Great British Railways and Greater Anglia occasionally experiences delays, so always check before you travel.

Chelmsford, however, is undoubtedly at the top of the list for commuters wishing to live in Essex because of its excellent service.

After becoming the lone city in Essex, Chelmsford’s station has grown to be one of the busiest in the entire eastern region.

The station, which underwent renovations not long after becoming a city in 2012, offers essential services to all locals.

It’s “all aboard” for Chelmsford’s magnificent station with more refurbishment plans in the works.

Continued Investment in the Area

John Lewis Chelmsford
John Lewis Chelmsford. Image credit: Depositphotos

The pro-active approach taken by Chelmsford council both before and after becoming a city is certainly a driving force behind its prosperity.

With continued investment in key sectors, there is a strong, clear-cut plan being implemented.

A prime example of this is found in the increased popularity and usage of Chelmsford station.

This has not gone unnoticed, with the proactive local council developing plans for a large portion of the £318 million investment budget being allocated to rejuvenating the station.

Positive action like this will certainly only improve the city’s transport links.

Further examples of this continued investment can be found at Bond Street.

The popular shopping region has also had a huge influx of investment, certainly adding to the appeal of Chelmsford as a retail haven.

The pinnacle of this redevelopment project is certainly the new flagship John Lewis store, described by Chelmsford’s economic and growth manager Stuart Graham as ‘a major jewel in the Chelmsford retail crown’.

The arrival of John Lewis, as well as the new Everyman Cinema, has escalated retail shopping in the area, which is now competing with the nearby Lakeside.

Chelmsford council’s forward-thinking approach is certainly shaping the future of the city, with all the indicators shows continued success for Essex’s city.

Excellent Education Provisions

Chelmsford County High School
Chelmsford County High School. Image credit: Wikipedia


Desirable transport links have attracted many commuters and subsequently their families.

The single most important factor to consider when moving with your family, schools alone can determine where your next home is.

Chelmsford is highly regarded for its educational institutions.

With two schools, Chelmsford County High School for Girls and King Edward VI Grammar School both place in the top 10 for the county and top 50 nationwide.

Both schools placed in the top 25 in this year’s Sunday Times Parent Power guide.

There are currently 37 primary and 11 secondary schools within Chelmsford, with exceptional primaries including; Beehive Lane Community Primary School, Perryfields Junior School and Chancellor Park Primary School, all rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Other notable secondary schools include Sandon and the Boswells, both rated good by Ofsted.

With such a range of exceptional education institutions within Chelmsford, it is understandable why the city is as popular as it is for families.

A Safe Space

As Essex’s only city, Chelmsford is certainly a busy place to live.

As you may expect when moving to any city, there is some crime in the area.

However, Chelmsford is generally regarded as a safe city to live in.

The total number of “violent crimes” is 24.9k.

This number decreased by 3.9% when compared year-over-year in the period of February 2022 – January 2023.

Areas such as Moulsham, Melbourne and Springfield have slightly higher crime rates, with most of the recorded crimes being either violent or anti-social incidents.

However, the majority of areas in Chelmsford and the surrounding towns are safe places to live.

A Pioneering City

Known historically as the home and birthplace of radio, Chelmsford has a tradition of being a pioneer.

Nothing much has changed, as the city still strives for greatness.

As part of the town’s application to become a city, Chelmsford promised an astounding 8,500 new homes, 15,000 new jobs and 210,000 square metres of retail and business space by 2021.

Now only one year away from this deadline, the city has exceeded expectations, with further development now the primary focus.

As part of the modernisation of the town, Chelmsford is home to both e2v and BAE Systems, each leading innovators in the technology field, with developments routing from their respective Chelmsford headquarters.

Best Places to Eat in Chelmsford

Dinning out in one of Chelmsford’s many restaurants offers a range of culinary experiences!

From authentic Italian cuisine to traditional British pub fare, restaurants in the city cater to all tastes.

Below are a few of the top places to consider dining at.

Vita Bella is an Italian restaurant known for its traditional dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

It provides a wide range of hot and cold starters and entrees, suitable for both larger groups or an intimate date night​.

For a cost pub, check out Galvin Green Man!

This charming pub features an exposed beam ceiling and offers traditional British pub food. It’s known for specialities like Scotch eggs with pickled walnuts as well as a tasty beef burger topped with smoked cheddar and crispy bacon​​!

Olio Italian Restaurant, a modern, family-run restaurant with a classic menu and a wonderful ambience, is a top pick for those looking for a hearty Italian meal!

You may also want to check out the Pig & Whistle Restaurant.

This stylish and cosy restaurant, offers a diverse menu, cocktails, wine, and spirits.

It serves an affordable set brunch/lunch menu and includes plenty of vegetarian and vegan options!

For more of the top restaurants in Chelmsford, check out TripAdvisor

A History Lovers Heaven

Hylands House
Hylands House. Image credit: Depositphotos

With so much development taking place in Chelmsford, it would be easy to think that it is devoid of any character.

Quite the contrary, the city has an abundance of character, reflected in the plethora of things to do.

Those who prefer a more refined outdoors experience have the option to visit the beautiful Hylands Park, and the Hyde Hall Gardens.

History enthusiasts aren’t neglected either.

The city has a number of historic buildings, including the second-smallest Cathedral in England.

There are also various museums to visit, such as Chelmsford museum (which has just had a multimillion-pound extension), the Essex Police Museum and Sandford Mill Museum.

Who knows, you may even bump into one of the many Towie stars who frequent the city!

Green Space Galore

River Can, Chelmsford
River Can, Chelmsford. Image credit: Wikipedia

For lovers of the great outdoors, Chelmsford is home to over 20 parks.

Ideal for summer picnics and autumn strolls, you’re never too far away from a green space.

There are some stunning strolls along the River Can and River Chelmer towards Sandford Mill.

With various historic landmarks including the impressive 18-arch Victorian railway crossing which spans the River Can.

For more fantastic ideas and amazing scenic walks in the area you can visit the Essex Walks website here.

Fun for All the Family

Epping Forest Walking Trail, Essex
Epping Forest Walking Trail, Essex. Image credit: Depositphotos

Chelmsford offers a wide range of possibilities for family outings.

The Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, the Chelmsford Miniature Railway, bowling, and the brand-new Jump Street trampoline park are among the local attractions.

Every member of the family is guaranteed to have fun participating in one of the many activities offered by the Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre, including ice skating, watching ice hockey, and spending time in the kids’ soft play area.

Also, you’ll be able to discover more of Essex’s excellent amenities!

Epping Forest is an excellent spot for all the family.

For even more ideas for fun activities and days out with the kids, click here.

With such a variety of different outings and activities on offer, there’s never a dull moment in Chelmsford.

Healthcare Provision in Chelmsford

Living in Chelmsford offers locals diverse and accessible healthcare options.

There are several key facilities and services which enhance the medical landscape of the city.

A new NHS health centre is set to open in the northeast part of the city, promising to improve accessibility to healthcare for residents living in the Beaulieu district.

This brand-new facility will be home to vital GP-led services which will be provided by a range of healthcare professionals including advanced nurse practitioners.

Work has started on the centre, with plans for opening in late 2024 in place.

Locals also have access to Broomfield Hospital.

The hospital offers plenty of services for residents including A&E, emergency medicine and surgery, elective surgery, maternity and paediatric services.

It is also home to the renowned St Andrew’s Burns and Plastics Centre.

Clearly, Chelsmford has some excellent healthcare provisions!

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Looking to Start Living in Chelmsford?

Chelmsford has certainly emerged as one of the most desirable places to live in the East of the UK, as the city really offers its residents the full package.

And with London only a stone’s throw away, living in Chelmsford is a prime location for those looking to take a break from capital city living, whilst not losing all sense of civilisation.

GoodMove Moving & Storage will make moving to Chelmsford an easy and stress-less task for you.

We take great pride in ensuring everything runs smoothly and seamlessly, helping you to settle in your new home right away.

As such, in addition to our competitively priced removals package, we can also offer additional services such as temporary or long-term storage facilities should you require them.

We cover all areas of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk and our friendly estimators can call around at a time convenient to you and strategically plan your move to perfection.

To find out more about how we could get your dream move to Chelmsford or any other location underway don’t hesitate to call us on the number listed above.

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or click on our live bot in the bottom right and a member of our customer services team will be in touch shortly.