Ashingdon is a small village some 2½ miles north of Rochford. The parish of Ashingdon includes the village of South Fambridge, which is situated on the banks of the River Crouch.
The presumed site of the Battle of Assandun in 1016, which led to the Danish King Canute ascending the English throne, the village is at least 1,000 years old. The parish church of St Andrew dates from 1020, and the village is listed in the Domesday Book.
According to the most recent Census, Ashingdon has 1222 dwellings and a population of 3,634. The village also has its own primary school, Ashingdon Primary Academy.
Benfleet is a residential town of some 19,600 in the Borough of Castle Point, which also includes Canvey Island, Thundersley and Hadleigh. With origins dating back to at least the 6th century, it was the site of a battle between Saxons and Vikings in 894. The conservation area of the “Old Town” contains a number of historic buildings including St Mary’s Church.
Benfleet railway station offers journey times to and from London Fenchurch of approximately 45 minutes. The town also has first class road connections with the M25, the county town of Chelmsford and Southend, as well as an excellent range of primary and secondary schools, including the highly-rated King John Academy.
Sport and leisure facilities include the highly regarded private members’ golf club, Boyce Hill, with an additional pay and play course at nearby Canvey Island. In addition, there is a 6 mile coastal cycle path, and many pleasant walks, including the local Bluebell Woods.
Canvey is an island in the Thames Estuary off the coast of Essex. Originally low-lying tidal marshland, the island was first reclaimed by Dutch engineers in the 17 th century.
Today, with much improved sea defences, Canvey Island comprises a vibrant community of some 39,000, with its own health centre, sports complex and swimming pool.
Hadleigh is situated between Benfleet and Leigh on Sea. It is best known for the romantic ruins of its castle, which was built over 700 years ago by the Normans, and was depicted in a painting by John Constable in 1829.
Today, the castle and the 500 acres of country park that surround it are managed by English Heritage. In 2012, this area hosted the London Olympic Mountain Biking events.
With a population of some 12.500, Hadleigh boasts a wide range of independent shops and cafes, together with two major supermarkets.
The adjoining villages of Hockley and Hawkwell together comprise a modern, well connected community with a variety of shops, restaurants and pubs. The railway station offers journey times to London Liverpool Street of approximately 50 minutes, while the highly-rated London Southend Airport – with direct flights to a wide variety of exciting European destinations, including Barcelona and Venice - is less than a ten minute drive away.
There is a choice of three good primary schools in the area, while secondary education is provided by the highly regarded Greensward Academy.
An attractive area of ancient woodland ideal for an old fashioned ramble, the 130-plus acres of Hockley Woods comprise the largest remaining area of the ancient Wild Wood, which covered virtually the whole of Essex.
Situated on the south bank of the River Crouch, Hullbridge has a population of about 7,500. The village has its own primary school and a superb riverside pub/restaurant, The Anchor, which has recently undergone a major refurbishment.
The village benefits from a frequent bus service to Southend via Rayleigh, providing a rail link to London Liverpool Street.
Rochford is a historic market town with associations with King Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. It is situated approximately 43 miles from Central London. The market is still held in the town square every Tuesday.
Rochford is served by its own railway station on the Southend-London Liverpool Street line, with journey times into the City of around 50 minutes. A second station was opened in 2011 nearby to serve the newly expanded London Southend Airport, which offers direct flights to an ever-widening variety of European destinations.
The town has its own secondary school and several primary schools. It also boasts its own private members golf club - Rochford Hundred Golf Club - which was founded in 1893.
Situated between Benfleet and Hadleigh, Thundersley has a population of around 18,500 – and according to some sources has the distinction of having the highest proportion of owner-occupied homes in Britain! The area includes a number of woods and commons, which give parts of it a pleasant semi-rural feel.
Thundersley boasts no fewer than five primary schools, three secondary schools and a further education college. It also benefits from its own sports centre and swimming pool.