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Living in Essex

You are an expatriate living in Essex, or you used to  work and live in Essex.

Share your expat experience!

How would you describe life in Essex?

Has it been complicated to settle down, to find a job, and an accomodation? 

Is it complicated to make friends in Essex?

What would you recommend to people who would like to live in Essex?

Thanks in advance for your participation

I'm moving from Australia to Essex within the next 2 or 3 months.  Would love to hear from anyone either living there or who has lived there that can share information about Essex. 

thanks

We moved from South Africa to Essex 3 1/2 years ago and I do not enjoy living in Essex at all.

We previously lived in Milton Keynes (which we really enjoyed) before returning to SA for a year for the birth of our first child. When we decided to return to England my husband's first job offer was in Essex. We live in a village just outside Colchester. I found the people not welcoming at all. As nearly everybody has grown up here in the village and married a local and have all their family living around the corner I get the impression they not interested in mixing with outsiders. I have been taking my kids to all the local playgroups fot 3 1/2 years and no one ever speaks to me even though I try everytime to make small talk to somebody.
You get judged by the make of car you drive, whether your husband work in London or not.
Unfortunately due to the current disaster in the house market we cant get out of Essex because we cant get our house sold.

So, I personally hate living in Essex and cant wait for the day to move out of this place.

Thank's for your response and I'm sorry things have not been great for you in Essex.

Is there anyone else out there who can share their experiences of living in Essex??????  I'm in my mid 30's and will be arriving at the end of Sept.  All responses welcome!!

Hi kif

Oh I feel terrible for sheep2000--not all of Essex is like this!  I live on the North Western side of Essex, near Great Dunmow and I have had the opposite experience. My daughter goes to a private school and there are a lot of shallow people who judge a person by what they can buy, but there are also a lot of 'regular' people as well!  And apart from the school, my neighbours are lovely and I have some great British and expat friends of several nationalities--including one aussie.  She's been here for 19 years like me, and although she still prefers Australia (the weather is better, of course), I know she enjoys essex. We both share a little laugh at the 'stereotypical' english, but those are usually the older generations and most of the people we know our age are really friendly, helpful and interested in our expat lives.  Good luck with your move!  If you'd like any more info, I'm at www.michelloui.blogspot.com

Hi Michelloui,
thanks so much for your post, I was desperately hoping something positive would come up.  I will be based in Colchester and really hope I'll love it. I'm 38, so would be great to be able to meet people of similar age etc.  Again thanks for ur reply.

Keep in touch about your move!  Will you be working or will you be moving with a partner who works? Do you have children of school age? I went to university in Colchester so I am familiar with the area but I really know a lot more about the other side of Essex!  There are a lot of expats in Essex, I think because there are a lot of Foreign Service and international companies (ie Fords) in Essex. I guess I would suggest making friends with expats first, as they will have tips for getting settled in.

Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

Michelle
http://michelloui.blogspot.com

Hi Michelle,

Well times has moved very quickly and I'll be flying out Sunday and arriving in Colchester Monday morning (early!!)  I'm 38 and relocating by myself for work.  So really hoping to make some friends early in the peace.  Will be looking for a flat asap. Any suggestions of areas to stay away from?

cheers
Kerrin

Hi Kerrin

How exciting! Im afraid I dont know Colchester well enough to suggest best areas for flats--and of course it depends on budget. Wivenhoe is supposed to be a very pretty place just outside of colchester. The university is on that side of town and while you may find cheaper flats you will also get a lot of students. If you chat with several different estate agents you will probably get a good idea. Good luck with the move!

hello, could anyone tell me what is a nice location in North/west essex to  live,must have friendly pubs close enough to train into London for work.My Oh is from Essex originally but down south of the county which for us is far to congested. I have lived in England before and loved it.Also  what is Thaxted and surrounding villages like to actually live in and is the airport traffic a problem.look forward to any replies .cheers

North and Northwest Essex are lovely places to live. Thaxted and surrounding villages (Great Dunmow, Saffron Walden, The Sampfords, etc) is a gorgeous area. Very pretty, friendly people with a nice mix of large convenience shops and small boutiques, farm shops and delis; galleries and art shows, good community education in case you're interested in any adult learning (language, art, dance, whatever). You're near Stansted, about and hour from Eurostar, about 1.5 hours from Heathrow and Gatwick, near the M11 and M25 so easy driving access to the rest of the UK and about 45 mn from London. You can live in the countryside and easily visit the city. Traffic is bad in most parts of Britain compared to Aus/NZ/USA/Canada, but its not too terrible in this area. Schools are excellent. Restaurants are pretty good. Cambridge is 40 mn away, one of the largest shopping malls in Europe is about 40 mn in the opposite direction. And Essex is the driest county in the UK! I live near Great Dunmow. Im American, but I know a handful of Aussies in the area as well. When do you move?

Hi thanks for taking the trouble to reply, it sounds exactly what we are looking for quiet but easy access to a decent size town/city. Do you find the air traffic very noisy?
We are not sure when we will be moving back as our son is in Secondary school Year 10 which is equivalent to GCSE's , we think we might see how things go whether to finish school here first.I firstly want to research different area's but keep coming back to villages near Saffron Walden.Also my Oh will try and transfer with his work if possible.It's early days but good to get the ball rolling. How long have you lived in Dunmow?

Kind Regards Leigh:)

'If' we ever have to leave our beloved home in Southern Spain (trying to be realistic with limited budget and some day not being able to work a full time job).. I have thought a lot about somewhere near to OH's kids - (Bishops Stortford) combined with my love of sailing/being near the sea.
Is there anywhere near/around Burnham on Crouch that is affordable? *I am only guessing that prices in Burnham are sky high as it is commutable to the city and soooo popular.

Thanks for any tips...

Hi Susanspain

I have some friends who live in Althorne, near Burnham, and they have a lovely house--but they bought in that area because it is less expensive compared to the rest of Essex. It is still quite pretty and there is a train connection to Liverpool street so it's not too isolated. Google the estate agents in the area for some price comparisons!

Thanks Michelloui... Will google just for interest at present. (nothing like forward planning ;)

Hi Everyone!

I just thought I'd share with you my experiences of Essex, and the UK in general.

I moved here several years ago to study engineering at university - there are not many opportunities in my home country to really make a living doing such things. I was fortunate enough to get work experience at a large company and I've never really looked back since. 

I now run my own engineering business here in Essex and things are going from strength to strength.  I could not have come this far without all the help I have received along the way, from banks, business advisors, and just friendly and helpul people I have met along the way. 

I'm now fully settled and loving life here in Essex - I hope you all are too! :D

Jack

JSparo :

Hi Everyone!

I just thought I'd share with you my experiences of Essex, and the UK in general.

I moved here several years ago to study engineering at university - there are not many opportunities in my home country to really make a living doing such things. I was fortunate enough to get work experience at a large company and I've never really looked back since. 

I now run my own engineering business here in Essex and things are going from strength to strength.  I could not have come this far without all the help I have received along the way, from banks, business advisors, and just friendly and helpul people I have met along the way. 

I'm now fully settled and loving life here in Essex - I hope you all are too! :D

Jack

Did you transfer from another university or did you enroll right in the UK? I would like to go back to complete my studies, but I imagine working + studying might be hard, especially if it is expensive :( our tuitions are very cheap comparing to the UK, I suppose.

I joined this forum as I might be becoming an 'Ex Pat' in reverse - I.e I have been living in Spain for 12 years but sadly the job situation/etc is so bad I need to re-look at possibly returning to UK...

OK - I looked at property prices around Colchester (I like the area :)but find the property prices are quite high (compared even with South Coast of UK where I am from).  I am looking to buy initially an investment property (but one for the long term too).. And thought maybe around Colchester - or even Ispwich way as I might want to rent it out (to students?) from time to time. I really do prefer a costal setting, but know that the likes of Woodley, Burnham etc are out of my reach. (Does anyone here live/has lived in Brightlingsea, Walton, Frinton Clacton etc... )

PS - I am only looking for something very modest to start with - studio, 1 bed. Pref older property and GF with garden. The only things that come up under 60K are mobile homes!!!

Any suggestions on good deals??

I am from Melbourne lived in Essex in December 2007

I am from Melbourne and live in Essex

I have lived in Saffron Walden since 2009 and am originally from Hertfordshire.  I must say people here are not as welcoming and friendly as the next county, and yes are very snobby but, if that doesn't bother you then it is a nice and very safe place to live.  My husband is South African and finds the attitudes and closed community here quite peculiar.   

I think as more people move here from outside of the area it will become more welcoming, it is just at the moment a lot of the people here have been in this area for generations. 

If anyone has any questions about the area please feel free to ask :)

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