Yes it takes just over an hour, mind you it would take 45 minutes to CCHS as we live south of Chelmsford (the wrong side). The travelling is made easier as it becomes a social event travelling with the other girls.
As well as the sports DD particulary liked the textiles and arts departments, she liked the hats they had made
Also the feeling of more space, light and wider corridors compared to her primary. She just felt comfortable there.
Think it's difficult to say what type of girl suits which school. I liked CCHS as well but she preferred SHSG.....go to as many open days/evenings as you can and don't be afraid to revisit, hopefully the decision will become easier.
Best of luck......sure your DD will thrive and enjoy it wherever she goes.