If you’re new to the area, then let us help you build a picture of this thriving city.
Located 30 miles northeast of London, Chelmsford has an area of 130 square miles and includes the city of Chelmsford – the only city in Essex – plus open countryside, attractive villages, and the flourishing town of South Woodham Ferrers.
Originally a Roman market town, Chelmsford then became known as the “birthplace of radio” thanks to the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company opening the first radio factory here. Steeped in history, yet brimming with modern promise, the flourishing area now consists of three main postcodes – CM1, CM2, and CM3 and has a population of around 170,000.
With regular services from Chelmsford Mainline Railway Station direct to London Liverpool Street, the city is a hub for commuters and appeals especially to those looking for a cheaper option to the Capital.
The local property market
Chelmsford has a mix of properties. Having undergone much regeneration and development in recent years, the city centre now offers apartments ranging from around £150,000 to £350,000 on average. Most desirable in the centre are the many roads of Victorian two and three bedroom terraces which sell for between £225,000 and £400,000.
Chelmsford has expanded in the past 40 years. Chelmer Village to the south-east grew up in the Seventies and Eighties, three and four-bedroom houses here sell for between £325,000 and £500,000. Chancellor Park was developed opposite in the Nineties; houses here are intended to be a little more exclusive and sell for a slight premium compared to it’s Chelmer Village neighbour.
The most exclusive sector is the new Beaulieu development to the north-east of the centre, offering a brand new neighbourhood of 3,600 homes, with new schools, shops and travel links all coming soon. This new site boarders the original Beaulieu Park development where work started after 2000. In this area, four-bedroom detached houses sell for between £500,000 and £800,000.
Council tax rates
The amount of council tax depends on four factors outlined on the council website here.
You can also search by postcode to find specific rates for the property you are interested in here.
There are direct train services from Chelmsford to London Liverpool Street, Norwich, Braintree, Ipswich, Harwich, Lowestoft, Clacton, and Peterborough. Up to six trains an hour connect Chelmsford to London Liverpool Street with a journey time of about 30 minutes.
There is a major Bus Station in Duke Street, which offers many bus services to all areas of the town and beyond, including Stansted Airport and Southend Airport. Chelmsford also has two Park & Ride services based in Sandon just off the A12 at Junction 18 and now also in Chelmer Valley to the north. It operates from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday with five bus stops around the City.
As well as the headquarters of Essex County and Chelmsford City Councils, the modern city is home to a range of national and international companies including M&G Group, Teledyne e2v Technologies and ebm-papst UK Ltd.
The continuing importance of Chelmsford as an employment centre is demonstrated by the fact that the number of commuters travelling into the city (mostly from other parts of Essex) almost exactly balances the number of workers commuting into London.
The schools in Chelmsford generally offer high academic standards and our Grammar Schools, in particular, are incredibly popular with buyers looking to relocate for schooling purposes. Here is a list of some of the educational establishments in Chelmsford:
- King Edward VI Grammar School (KEGS)
- St John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School
- Great Baddow High School
- The Boswells School
- Columbus School and College (a special needs school)
- Chelmer Valley High School
- New Hall School
- Chelmsford County High School for Girls
- The Sandon School
- Alyonushka, Chelmsford Russian School
- Writtle College, an agricultural college
- Moulsham High School and Humanities college
- Hylands School Specialist Science and Sixth Form College
- Chelmsford College
- St Peters College
- Anglia Ruskin University
For more information on how our schools are rated, take a look here.
Chelmsford has a vibrant, cosmopolitan nightlife of clubs, bars, cafés and restaurants. It has two theatres and two multi-screen cinemas.
Every August, a music Festival is held in Hylands Park, with up to 65,000 people attending each day. The 574 acre park is also home to the beautifully restored 18th century Grade 2 listed Hylands House which hosts weddings, functions and business meetings – has even been featured on television and film shoots.
Sports and leisure
Sport is top of the agenda in Chelmsford as it is home to Essex County Cricket Club which is within easy walking distance of our University. In addition, Chelmsford has a variety of private and public golf clubs and there are rugby and hockey clubs, Chelmsford City Football Club, as well as the Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre – home of the successful Chelmsford Chieftains ice hockey team. Chelmsford Athletics Club caters for every standard of athlete, from beginners to senior level and offers a full coaching programme.
Chelmsford also has a variety of private Gyms, including Virgin Active, Nuffield Health, Anytime Fitness and The Gym.
Cycling is one of the most convenient ways of getting around the town, and Chelmsford has over 30km of designated cycle routes to explore. To pick up a free cycle map, either pop into the Chelmsford Travel Information Centre at the bus station, or visit Essex County Council – Cycle Maps.
The wealth of retail outlets include a mix of essential high street brands, unique independent stores and two retail parks in walking distance of the city centre. On the High Street are two modern, medium-sizes shopping malls – High Chelmer is conveniently located between the High Street, market and the library complex. Whilst The Meadows offers yet more choice in both retail and dining and is adjacent to the city’s multi-screen cinema.
The most recent addition to Chelmsford’s town centre is the stylish Bond Street quarter opened in 2016 – boasting a large John Lewis Department Store, Foyles Bookstore, Cath Kidston and The White Company amongst others.
Chelmsford food and drink
Chelmsford has a wide selection of places to eat and drink, from trendy bars and cafes to country pubs. There are over 100 places to eat in the town centre alone, offering some of the best British and international cuisines. Chelmsford has a wide range of local specialist food producers and suppliers, including farm shops, traditional butchers and bakers.
The Gourmet Food Fair in the High Street also offers a vast selection of local and international food.
Chelmsford for children
Chelmsford has its own special festival designed especially for the under fives, “The 3foot People Festival”, with an enchanted garden, singing, dancing, puppet shows, strolling entertainers, giant sand pit and mini zoo to enchant them.
Other great places to visit with children include Marsh Farm Country Park, Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre and a ten-pin bowling alley.
To keep children active and healthy, the Council’s four sports centres run a wide range of fun and energetic term-time and holiday courses. These include dance, trampolining, ice-skating, swimming, climbing, go-karts, football, gymnastics and athletics. There is also a regular programme of workshops and activity days for children held at Hylands House and Chelmsford Museum covering everything from art and crafts to becoming a magician.
This area guide is intended to give a general overview of the area, whilst the information contained is believed to be accurate at the time of publication no responsibility is accepted for any errors or subsequent alterations.