SHOEBURYNESS With its sprawling council estates and industrial zones, Shoeburyness has little to offer other than cheapness. It has a beach, which is good for windsurfing, sailing and jet skiing. There are a few one-bedroom flats near the station that sell for around £115,000; a three-bedroom house can be had for around £150,000. On the Grade II listed Shoebury Garrison development a substantial family home with four bedrooms and original features may cost around £580,000. To the north it becomes a little more sedate and a good house can be bought in the £350,000 range.

Barling, nearby, offers a profound contrast with one foot still firmly planted in the past. Among the 300-year old cottages, it is also possible to buy a five-bedroom detached house for £430,000. A Grade II listed, five-bedroom farmhouse with equestrian facilities would cost at least £1.9m. Alternatively there is Great Wakering, with its church, pubs and shops. A three-bedroom mid-terrace here would cost from £165,000; a three-bedroom semi with a long rear garden around £200,000.

Good for: cheaper houses still within reach of the good schools at Southend.
London terminal: Fenchurch St
Journey time: 64 mins
Season ticket: £2820
Peak trains: 8 per hour
Off-peak trains: 4 per hour