The Essex market town of Brentwood is only around 20 miles from central London and within easy reach of the M25. The town enjoys good rail links to London Liverpool Street and is scheduled to become the eastern terminus of the Crossrail development, significantly cutting journey times to the capital.
As well as its market, the town is served by a traditional high street with many independent retailers and The Baytree shopping centre. Property prices tend to be on the high side, reflecting the premium placed on the town by commuters. Brentwood offers a very diverse mix of housing options, including a significant number of flats and apartments in places such as The Galleries on Pastoral Way.
The town has some charming period property, including quaint old half-timbered cottages, sturdy Victorian terraces and some fine, stone built townhouses. For period property, try the area around the Station, and the Station Lane conservation area of neighbouring Ingatestone.
Most of Brentwood's housing stock dates from after the Second World War. Beyond the town centre, you'll find plenty of more contemporary development, including modern semi-detached and detached houses. The suburbs of Hutton and Shenfield, to the north of the town centre, are good places to search.
If you're looking for the most spacious, exclusive and desirable property, head for upmarket Hutton Mount.