One-time home of former England football manager, Glenn Hoddle, the town of Harlow is in the process of regeneration at the moment. Large redevelopment projects are underway across the town, mostly demolishing the rather dated concrete buildings that have dominated Harlow's centre since the 60's and replacing them with shining new edifices.
Owing to the fact that Harlow is seen as a modern, forward-looking town, many multinational pharmaceutical and technology companies - GlaxoSmithKline for example - have moved in, providing extensive local employment.
One of the most enjoyable ways to take in the best parts of Harlow is to hire a bicycle and take to the cyclepaths, which run throughout the town. From the saddle you can enjoy the town's many parks - Harlow Town Park and the ornate Mark Hall gardens next to the local museum being two of the best - or you could pedal further afield and take in the tranquil Parndon Wood nature reserve, if you seek that rural idyll.
For the big kid in all of us (or even for the kids themselves) there is Pets' Corner, which is a small, farm-style environment with a friendly atmosphere comprising a petting zoo of many unusual species.
Harlow has a number of cultural attractions to recommend it, such as the Gibberd Gallery which showcases both work by local artists and that of great masters - collections by Peter Blake and Picasso have both been exhibited here.
Sports fans and those who just like a bit of a flutter can happily satisfy their needs at the Harlow Greyhound Stadium, which offers racing three nights a week, several bars and a variety of restaurants.