Saffron Walden named best place to live in Essex by Muddy Stilettos

St Mary's Church with its tall spire at sunset

St Mary's Church, Saffron Walden - Credit: Will Durrant

A travel blog has named Saffron Walden the best place to live in Essex.

Muddy Stilettos readers rated the town one of the top 200 places to live in the country, with the blog praising Saffron Walden's traditional pubs, Tuesday and Saturday markets, and quick connection to London.

Saffron Walden fended off competition from runners-up Leigh-on-Sea, Burnham-on-Crouch.

Muddy Stilettos wrote: "Cosy pubs, a medieval market town and more country walks than you can shake a wellie at.

"Saffron Walden serves up a slice of the good life."


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Town mayor, councillor Richard Porch, said the town and its residents should be proud of their achievements.

He said: "I was absolutely delighted to hear that Muddy Stilettos has named Saffron Walden the best place to live in Essex.

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"I can fully understand the result of their deliberations.

"What a wonderful town and community we have here!"

The award is not the first win for Saffron Walden.

The town was one of The Sunday Times' top eight places to live in the East of England in 2021.

In 2019, Uttlesford was rated 18th best place to live in the country by Halifax bank research.

It did not make the list in 2020, but neighbouring East Hertfordshire came out on top of the bank's national quality of life rankings.

Along with praise for Saffron Walden's "boutique fashion finds", Muddy Stilettos' reviewer said Audley End House was one of their favourite English Heritage properties.

An old signpost in a picture-perfect village - Finchingfield.

Finchingfield, Braintree. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

Nearby "unspoilt" villages Finchingfield and Thaxted were named the town's "best kept secret".

"You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped straight into a scene from Mary Poppins," Muddy Stilettos' reviewer wrote.

The wooden windmill in Finchingfield against a blue sky.

Finchingfield Windmill. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

The blog's readers voted for their favourite places in 25 English counties.

In neighbouring Cambridgeshire, nearby Shelford was named the fourth-best place in the county for its village setting.

Cambridge was the named the best place to live in the county.

Clare, which is 15 miles from Saffron Walden, was named Suffolk's eighth-best place to live, with Bury St Edmunds taking top spot.

In Essex, Muddy Stilettos' eight best places to live are:

  • Saffron Walden
  • Leigh-on-Sea
  • Burnham-on-Crouch
  • Frinton-on-Sea
  • Chelmsford
  • Brentwood
  • Manningtree
  • Wivenhoe

Muddy Stilettos' website contains all 200 listings: https://muddystilettos.co.uk/best-places-to-live/

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