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Living in Chafford Hundred: The Local Area Guide

A modern settlement nestled between Grays and South Ockendon in the Borough of Thurrock, Chafford Hundred provides swift access to central London and a wealth of recently constructed housing. Many residents are drawn to Chafford Hundred for its transport links, with London Fenchurch Street a short train ride away. Others enjoy the bevy of adjacent green spaces, including the Essex Wildlife Trust-managed Chafford Gorges Nature Park. In addition to its wildlife and visitor centre, residents can take advantage of the proximity to Grays Chalk Nature Reserve.

Chafford Hundred has grown rapidly in the past few decades, with over 5,300 houses and flats constructed since 1989 alone. The housing stock is an appealing blend of private detached properties, retirement homes, and housing associations. One major draw to the area is the intu Lakeside Shopping Centre, which features an ongoing calendar of special events, an on-site lake, and a wealth of retail shops.


Chafford Hundred's population is fairly diverse, with sizeable Nigerian, Indian, and South African communities amongst the 13,500 residents who call this town home. According to 2006 figures, 90% of residents were born in England, but the remaining 10% leads to an appealing international atmosphere. The top listed occupations in Chafford Hundred include professional, associate professional, and technical positions, and many City workers make the daily commute into London each day. There's also a significant elderly population, due to the high-quality retirement homes that were constructed as part of the housing boom.


A number of young families choose to live in Chafford Hundred, and with this in mind there are four primary schools available. Primary schools include Tudor Court and Warren Primary, as well as two branches of Harris Primary Academy at Chafford Hundred and Mayflower. All four of these primary schools enjoy good reputations according to the Department of Education. In addition, the most recently recorded school league tables, showed that over 82% of Chafford Students were able to achieve a minimum of Level 4 in reading, writing, and maths by the time of their final primary school year.

At the secondary school level, Harris Academy Secondary provides ample educational opportunities for Chafford Hundred students to excel. It has recently received an award from the Department of Education rewarding its achievement in serving students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and was named one of the top 100 state schools in the country in the most recent school league tables.


A wide range of transport links is one of Chafford Hundred's strengths, whether you choose to enter the town by car, rail, or bus. The c2c-managed Chafford Hundred Lakeside Railway Station offers direct access to London Fenchurch Street, located on a branch of the London-Tilbury-Southend route. During off-peak commuting times alone, there are two trains an hour directly into central London. Although the station is located outside of London fare zones 1 to 6, as of 2010 commuters can pay by Oyster card on a pay-as-you-go basis. Bus links are also available for commuters, as First Essex, Amber Coaches, and Ensignbus service the area. The commute takes approximately one hour into London whether undertaken by rail, bus, or car.

Amenities & Shopping

In addition to the independent boutiques and convenient supermarkets scattered throughout Chafford Hundred, one of the area's prime attractions is its intu Lakeside Shopping Centre. Many visitors visit the area from London specifically for this bright, airy, and modern shopping centre, which is connected via a pedestrian footbridge from the rail station. One of the highlights is the 26-acre lake, where visitors can relax and even take diving lessons. Families are well served with a soft play area, VUE Cinema, and broad walkways ideal for pushchairs and prams. In terms of retail therapy, visitors can find everything they need for a day out with over 50 cafes and restaurants, a host of electronics and homewares shops, and plenty of places to stop and rest. There are over 250 retail shops in total, from House of Fraser to Topshop.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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