If you are ready to leave the city and are looking for a more settled lifestyle without abandoning the capital’s bright lights completely, Loughton life might be for you. Many north Londoners take the plunge and move out to Loughton, just on the edge of Essex for a different lifestyle.
Loughton sits on the edge of Epping Forest, 15 miles north-east of central London. It really is at the centre of one of those “Golden Triangle” locations, which includes Chigwell and Woodford. You have all the work opportunities, nightlife and culture of London town a short ride away on the Central line, but can enjoy country walks and a more rural environment including good schools for the family in the morning.
Loughton began to thrive in the middle of the Victorian age with the arrival of the Eastern Counties Railway in 1856. Loughton has plenty of lovely period cottages that give it a real village feel. It is also closely linked to the wonderful Epping Forest. Way back in 1884, to compensate locals for the loss of the right to take or lop firewood from the forest, the City provided funds to build the town’s public hall, calling it Lopping Hall.
Loughton also has a hilly area of pretty cottages and country lanes, with fine views over London that was made famous by one of our best-selling crime fiction writers Ruth Rendell. This part of Loughton has become known as Little Cornwall. Ruth Rendell had been a pupil at Loughton County High School for Girls and coined the name Little Cornwall in her 1974 novel The Face of Trespass. Indeed the last of Rendell’s novels published in her lifetime was called The Girl Next Door, and it is set in Loughton. Not so long ago the town council unveiled a blue plaque on her modest childhood home in Millsmead Way, so you can check out Ms Rendell as you come and see if Loughton life is for you.