Leigh-on-Sea lies on the Essex coast beside the Thames Estuary, approx 40 miles from London. Once a tiny fishing hamlet, it grew to a fishing town of national importance between the 14th - 18th centuries. Although the industry has since declined, this heritage remains very much at the heart of the Old Town and Leigh's residents today.
Walking along the cobbles of Old Leigh, you will see fishing boats and cockle sheds at work, owned by those connected to the same fishing families of old. You will also see traditional pubs with maritime themed names and a beach from which at low tide you can see a wide expanse of mud flats and creeks extending towards the Thames. For over 40 years, the Old Town has played host to the Leigh Regatta, offering traditional fun including sailing and rowing races, tug o' war and sea shanty singers.
The Old Town also hints at creative Leigh-on-Sea with an art gallery, art venue hosting creative activities, and several artists' studios dotted around. It has hosted the Leigh Folk Festival for nearly 30 years - now recognised as the UK's biggest free folk festival!
Walking along The Broadway - the main retail and commercial area - the creativity is even more apparent as you pass independent creative shops, art galleries and venues offering classes and workshops in all disciplines. Walking down a side street, you never know when you are going to stumble across another gallery, studio or unique shop.
The Leigh Art Trail, established in 1997, is an annual showcase of local contemporary artists and designers.
With stunning estuary views and the 640 acre Two Tree nature reserve nearby, it's clear to see how the town inspires the imagination and has attracted an abundance of artists, photographers, writers and musicians.
Oh one last thing - Leigh-on-Sea was voted the Happiest Place to Live in a Rightmove Survey in both 2016 and 2018! Just saying!