Stanford-le-Hope is a bit different from some of its better-known Essex neighbours as it’s surrounded by countryside, farmland, and of course the shores of the Thames. The 800-year-old church, shops, pubs and restaurants in the centre all contribute to a village feel here - a great achievement given that the state-of-the-art London Gateway Port is just down the road. So, if you want to commute into the capital, or to Tilbury and Grays, or need to use the Dartford Tunnel, this might be just the place for your new home.
This location is a good option for a daily commute into the City. If you like the idea of shopping locally, Stanford has got a good range to make the most of, and if you like the occasional dedicated shopping trip, the Lakeside Shopping Centre at West Thurrock, Grays, is not going to disappoint you. It’s one of the largest shopping centres in a single location in Europe! It’s got competition though – on the other side of the Thames at Greenhithe – where you can have a change of shopping scenery at the Bluewater Shopping Centre.
Stanford is tucked to the side of the A13, one of Essex’s major routes into London via Dagenham or for the M25. In the other direction it takes you to Basildon and towards Southend-on-Sea. Stanford Train station is on a loop line of the London, Tilbury and Southend line, with trains to London Fenchurch Street taking around an hour and to City Airport taking about an hour and a quarter. There’s a bus connection from Stanford to City Airport too, via Basildon. If you need to head north, the A130 from South Benfleet takes you up to Chelmsford and elsewhere in the county.
Going to school
There’s a wide choice of primary schools here, as well as in adjoining Corringham and at Horndon-on-the-Hill. For secondary education, your youngsters can go to St Clere’s School or the Ortu Hassenbrook Academy.
There’s an escape to the country on your doorstep. Rural Essex puts some lovely places within easy reach. Closest to home you’ve got some great examples of the foresight of balancing urban growth with the preservation of the countryside. The Essex Wildlife Trust Thameside Nature Discover Park, the Wat Tyler Centre and the Langdon Hills Country Park give you a breath of fresh air and will teach your children about conservation and the environment. If you want to combine fresh air with exercise, the area is not short of golf courses. Further afield, beyond South Woodham Ferrers, you’ll find the sailing haven along the river from Burnham on Crouch.