Essex has a pretty bad reputation. Unfortunately so called ‘celebrities’ (people who are known to people who watch a lot of TV) don’t particularly enhance the county’s reputation, and the folklore around Basildon and Southend (though at times deserved) doesn’t help. But once you get your head around the fact that place has 28000 hectar environmental sensitive coastal land, 350 miles of coast line and a pretty low population density once you escape the commuter belt around London, you start to realise that this is in essence a coastal, rural county. I live in one of its hidden beauty spots and the fact that I can just walk out of the house and pop down to the estuary is pretty darn cool.
So when I meet people from Kent, Sussex, Surrey, or the other counties bordering greater London who snigger about my proletarian choice of living, I pray to the great teapot in the sky that they haven’t decided to clutter my countryside.