An introduction to a week’s blog series about the town. Located in South Essex, 45 minutes by train to London and on the Thames Estuary, Leigh-on-Sea is an old fishing village turned rogue.
As I sit here writing this blog post, I am genuinely very excited. My enthusiasm for where I live has always been strong but since Leigh-on-Sea has just been named the ‘Happiest Place to Live in The UK’ in 2018, it’s clear I’m not the only one that feels this way. People can say what they like about the coastline we live on, Paul O’Grady can call Southend a ‘shithole’ and Helen Mirren can tell us the town she grew up in (Leigh-on-Sea) is ‘an armpit of the world’, but there’s one thing for sure and that’s that this part of the world is miles away from boring! Leigh-on-Sea has spirit, soul and a fantastic community at it’s heart. It’s not a one-trick-pony, with only a few quaint buildings and a good pub for an afternoon out, it’s a treasure trove of shops, character, eateries and some amazing views. There’s wealth and a lot of it but there’s also the normal, the different and the trendy. It’s not quite ‘Shoreditch-by-the-sea’ or ‘Chelsea-on-the-water’ but it’s got a good mix of all vibes.
(Fact – Helen Mirren used to go to my High School and I always loved her because of this, however after this comment my view of the actress dwindled somewhat – she’s clearly not Jenny from the block anymore!)
I moved to Leigh-on-Sea at the age of four with my parents and since then haven’t really strayed far to say the least. I briefly left during the years of university but even then, I knew I would never move away for good, because I love it here and according to house prices over the last 10-20 years, so does everybody else! I now live 5 minutes up the road in Southend-on-Sea (a bit grittier around the edges) but I’ve chosen Leigh for this week’s series, as if you’re a tourist, in my opinion, this is where you should come.
This is where it’s all at.
45 minutes from the City of London on the train and you start to pull into the quaint cobbles and cockle sheds of the old-town, perfect for a pint on a Summer’s day – if you can fight the crowds. Five minutes walk up the hill from the station and you’re in The Broadway – the thick of the action with endless independent shops, fantastic bars and coffee culture venues to die for.
Leigh is endlessly busy, always with atmosphere and never without style. It’s a great place for young and old; yummy mummies; TOWIE wannabes and posers all alike. In fact, living there gives you pretty high standards and I think is one of the reasons I love great towns so much. It never ceases to entertain me and this is why I am excited to launch this blog series. Over the next week, each day I’ll tell you about one more reason to visit Leigh-on-Sea. I’ll give you insider tips, reviews and details. I hope it’s useful and inspires you to visit. Please comment – I’d love feedback and for all to get involved.