RAYLEIGH mushroomed in the Thirties, and considers itself upmarket of Basildon and Wickford. The large windmill at one end of the High Street adds a gracious note, and since its refurbishment has become a local tourist attraction. A modern three-bedroom semi costs £225,000. The nearby village of Hullbridge should be valued more for the fact that it sits on the Crouch Estuary. You can walk along the sea wall to Battlesbridge, where you can enjoy one of the slivers of Essex landscape that have remained unsullied by modern pressures. It is less expensive than other areas.