It has been suggested by many different sources that Leigh-on-Sea is one of the best areas to live in the South-East. The area offers a vast array of boutique shops, a historic boatyard, fantastic pubs, beautiful green spaces, stunning estuary views, popular yearly festivals and a vibrant high street. As of the 2011 census Leigh has a population of 22,509 and boasts London's nearest beach, although many visitors bypass the small area of sand on their way to the excellent cockle sheds and brilliant pubs of Old Leigh.
Old Leigh is host to numerous festivals including the Leigh Art Trail, the Leigh Folk Festival and the Old Leigh Regatta. Leigh on Sea has been called "the St. Ives of the East" owing to the number of artists in the town. The annual Art Trail is a chance for local and invited international artists to showcase their works in the area's shops and cafes.
The folk festival started in June 1992 and has been held every year since, featuring local talent and nationally and internationally known artists in a series of outdoor and indoor events held over seven days. It is the largest free folk festival in the country, with more than 70 bands and 30 dance groups taking part, attracting up to 10,000 visitors. The regatta is held over one weekend in September. The number of independent cafes, bars and excellent restaurants make Leigh Broadway the place to be. Art galleries, boutique shops and designer clothes stores all vie for attention on the Broadway.
Leigh-On-Sea is also home to a number of open spaces with Belfairs Wood, Park and Nature Reserve and Two Tree Island Nature Reserve being located in the immediate area.
Leigh on Sea is served by the reliable c2c train line, operated by National Express. The line runs from Shoeburyness to London Fenchurch Street, calling at stations such as Leigh-On-Sea, Basildon and Upminster along the way. Trains operate every 15 minutes during the day however are more frequent during rush hour. The journey time can take anywhere between 45minutes to 1 hour 12 minutes depending on the amount of stops.
The area also has strong bus links to the surrounding towns. Conducted by Arriva, the bus route connects Leigh-On-Sea to Southend, Westcliff, Hadleigh, Benfleet, Pitsea and Basildon.
By car Leigh can be accessed by both the A127 and A13, with the latter running directly through the heart of town. Parking in the area can sometimes be an issue. Due to the popularity of the Broadway, finding a space in the immediate vicinity can sometimes prove tricky however the council does run local car parks.
As of 2016 the average value of a property in Leigh-On-Sea is £327,000. The area offers an array of properties from 1 bedroom flats to large family homes, the main bulk of properties in the area however being 3 and 4 bedroom character properties.
Leigh offers six primary schools and one senior school, Belfairs Academy. The area also offers an array of junior schools and nurseries. All Ofsted reports and GCSE results for schools in the local area can be found online.