Harlow is set in the heart of Essex countryside and maintains a rural atmosphere with over one third of land use devoted to parks, woodlands, ponds and open spaces. There are also eight conservation areas, including Mark Hall North, which are designated as areas of special architectural or historic interest. Harlow has also 13 scheduled ancient monuments including the nationally important Roman Temple Site, where a number of important archaeological discoveries have been made.
The first written record of Harlow was in the Domesday book of 1086 which was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror to asses the extent of the land and the resources being owned in England at the time. Early settlements from prehistoric through to Roman times add to the history of the area and today you can still find 17th and 18th century dwellings living in harmony alongside modern housing developments. The beautiful landscape of the surrounding countryside and the town's many attractive parks all combine to enhance Harlow's 'green town' reputation.
Harlow has excellent shopping facilities. The principle shopping area is The High, a thriving centre with a permanent market place and a major indoor shopping centre, the Harvey Centre which accommodates over 100 individual stores, shopping units and kiosks.