As an Essex town in a Greater London borough, Romford blends both city living with Essex charm. And a £35bn investment is currently modernising the area and making it a sought-after place to live.
With the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) set to open – plus already well-connected travel links – getting to and from Romford is a piece of cake. Throw in a lively town centre with a plethora of bars and restaurants, and it's easy to see why an increasing number of renters are considering moving to the RM postcode.
But what is living in Romford really like? In this London guide, we're discovering this Essex town, from its history to all the things you can see and do.
Romford on a map
Historically a market town of Essex, today Romford is a large area in East London that falls under the London Borough of Havering. It's located around 14 miles from Charing Cross and neighbours Hornchurch, Wanstead and Dagenham.
Romford was first recorded in 1777 as Romfort, a name formed from the Old English for "rum" and "ford". The town first developed in the Middle Ages and became well known for the Romford Market, which appeared in 1247. Initially, the town was located to the south but was moved northwards to avoid regular flooding from the River Rom.
Fast-forward to the 19th century, and the first railway cropped up in Romford. This boosted the local economy and led to more people moving to the area. A further station was opened in 1892, with both combining in 1934. In 1965, Romford officially became a Greater London area.
Who lives there?
Romford has a population of around 36,000 and a median age of 38. It's particularly popular with commuters looking for more affordable house and rental prices in a neighbourhood with strong travel connections.
Renting in Romford
There are many Thirties semis in Romford, plus a selection of Victorian homes built when it became a commuter town in the mid-19th century. You will also find an increasing number of new residential developments, such as New Enterprise, an office-to-residential development.
Expect to pay around £1,000 per month for a one-bedroom home in Romford. Two-bedroom apartments achieve in the region of £1,250 per month, while three-bed-and-up houses rent from £ 1,500 per month.
Romford train station is on the Shenfield to Liverpool Street line, with trains heading into the City of London every few minutes. It will also form part of the Elizabeth Line with direct services to Bond Street, Canary Wharf and Heathrow.
Other travel options include Romford Overground station, which has trains to Upminster. From here, you can hop on the District Line tube and head into areas like Aldgate, Hammersmith and Victoria. Romford is located in travel Zone 6.
Eateries in Romford
Head to Smokey's Shack for some American-style snacks and a great atmosphere. Whether you want a quick bite or something more substantial, tuck into US classics like succulent burgers, smokey ribs and much more.
If you fancy some authentic Italian cuisine then get yourself down to Ciao Bella, a family-run restaurant where the pizzas are spun right in front of you. There's also pasta dishes and chef's specials to sample.
Braza Churrascaria Rodizio
Try some seriously good Brazilian food at Braza Churrascaria Rodizio. It's a favourite with the locals and serves up some mouth-watering grilled meats, as well as a range of salads and other Brazilian treats, buffet style.
Things to do in Romford
A futuristic shopping centre on Waterloo Road, The Brewery has a selection of shops to browse, plus a leisure centre and Vue cinema where you can watch the latest flicks. There's also a selection of restaurants, just in case you work up an appetite with all that shopping.
The market in Romford dates back to the 13th century and is held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. A trip here is the chance to find a range of gems, from clothes and toys to gadgets, sweets and home furnishings.
Havering Country Park
Discover more than 150 acres of woodland in Havering Country Park. It's one of the three parklands in Havering-atte-Bower and features various paths and bridleways linked to open grassland and densely wooded areas.
Moving to Romford
From affordable homes to excellent travel links and a buzzing town centre, there is plenty going on in Romford. If you're looking for a neighbourhood with a strong community spirit, lots of shops and restaurants and transport serving the best of the city, then it might just be time to start thinking about moving to Romford.