Harold Wood is on the border of Greater London and Essex. A suburb with tremendous transport links, it has a junction on the M25 and a station that takes local commuters to London Liverpool Street in just under 40 minutes. Yet more connections will arrive in 2019 when a new Crossrail Station opens - the development will coincide with 500 new homes on the site of the demolished Harold Wood Hospital. The station dates back to 1868.
Originally, Harold Wood was a forested region beyond the boundary of London, but when rail arrived in the 19th century, local entrepreneurs spotted an opportunity, and set up the Harold Wood Estate Company to spearhead residential development. Today, Page's Wood is all that remains of the area's rural past. It's a short walk south of the station, and a perfect place for an afternoon walk. Besides the odd local shop, the area is mostly residential - the nearby towns of Havering-atte-Bower and Hornchurch have better retail offerings.