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Find cottages in EssexVisit Essex

Relax, enjoy and discover this beautiful county near London. Essex is a wonderful holiday destination, offering green expanses, fascinating history and a wealth of activities for all the family. Just a short distance from one of the world's most vibrant cosmopolitan capitals, a break in Essex really does offer the best of Britain.

Essex is predominately rural with quiet country lanes, undulating countryside and pretty villages, ideal for gentle walks and country pubs. The county also has 350 miles of lovely coastline, which includes the coastal resorts of Clacton-on-Sea and Southend-on-Sea.

Southend-on-Sea is practically synonymous with the classic idea of a British seaside holiday but it also has a few surprises - not least of which is the stunning Grade II listed pier, stretching over 2 kilometres into the Thames Estuary. If you're holidaying with the family then they may also appreciate a visit to the Great Notley Discovery Centre and Park, 100 acres of farmland with cycling and walking trails and a host of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Some impressive examples of local history are available at Colchester Castle and the small but perfectly formed cathedral at Chelmsford. Colchester was the site of an important Roman settlement and Roman foundations have also been discovered at other locations such as Chelmsford and Braintree.

Less ancient history (but no less interesting) can be found at Audley End House, one of England's grandest stately houses, dating from Victorian times or Hylands House and Estate which was built in 1730.

If you'd like to explore the greener pastures of Essex then visit RHS Garden Hyde Hall or take a stroll around Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve which is near the River Thames and an important spot for wading birds. The Beth Chatto gardens are another place that could go onto your agenda; extending over six acres these gardens were created out of an area that formerly consisted of boggy ground and poor soil.

With miles of protected green belt, some seriously impressive natural landscapes, fascinating displays of history and easy-access to London, Essex has a lot to offer.

All that remains is to find your perfect self-catering accommodation; take a look at our selection of holiday cottages in Essex.

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Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
4
Pets
0
Sandy Ridge Ref: 29127

Outdoor swimming pool and hot tub

Located in a quiet road opposite the beach at Holland-on-Sea, a stay in Sandy Ridge provides the perfect setting for a traditional family seaside holiday. This detached, spacious house is well-furnished and has a sunny, west-facing garden with an outdoor private swimming pool and hot tub, and is approximately 100 yards from the pedestrian path to the sandy beach and promenade. The property has BT infinity wi-fi, and also close by is the Haven Country Park and the sailing club. The area is excellent for bird watchers, particularly for sighting migrants birds, and for walkers there are numerous footpaths. Set a comfortable, equidistant walk along glorious sandy beaches between the seaside towns of Clacton and Frinton, guests can choose between vibrant Clacton with its 19th-century pier or the more exclusive Frinton; Frinton’s beach is studded with Victorian-style beach huts and both towns have a good range of shops and restaurants. Every year the area hosts the Clacton Air Show on Thursday and Friday before August Bank Holiday, and it is also the base for the start/finish line of the Clacton Triathlon, which takes place on the first or second weekend in September. Further along the coast is Walton-on-the-Naze where you can try your hand at sea fishing on the country’s third-longest pier. Sandy Ridge is a perfect holiday location to enjoy the hidden delights of this part of the Essex coastline and countryside with quaint villages including Dedham and Flatford Mill (Constable Country), tranquil gardens, sandy beaches and excellent shopping. The county town of Colchester, with its zoo and castle, is an easy drive. Garden lovers might like to visit Beth Chatto’s famous garden. Shop, pub and restaurant ½ mile.

Ground floor: Living/dining room with wooden floor and patio doors. Second living room. Kitchen with breakfast area, patio doors and tiled floor. Separate toilet. First floor: 4 bedrooms: 2 double (6ft), 2 twin. Shower room with double shower and toilet.

Gas central heating included (£50per week October-April). Electricity, bed linen and towels included. Satellite TV. Three Freeview TVs. DVDs. Playstation 3. iPod dock. Electric cooker. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Broadband. Large lawned garden with pool patio area and furniture. Juliet balcony. Ample parking. Outdoor swimming pool (10m x 5m, depth 0.9m to 2m), open 9am to 10pm everyday May-September. Hot tub. Welcome pack. No smoking. NB: 4 steps in the swimming pool.

WAS
NOW
£816-£2222
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
10
Bedrooms
5
Pets
3

In a rural location on the edge of the ancient village of Castle Hedingham, these two detached, single-storey holiday homes, set in the owners’ 10 acres of grounds, have far-reaching views over open countryside. The accommodation is well-presented and has the added benefit of a heated indoor swimming pool - the pool is shared between the two cottages (refs W43379 and W43233) and both are allocated 3 hours of private use per day (one hour in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening - the rest of the time is shared use). There is also a large fully equipped barbecue area which can be hired. Castle Hedingham lies in the valley of the River Colne on the ancient road between Colchester (20 miles west) and Cambridge (30 miles east); it still retains many beautiful timber-framed, medieval and Tudor buildings including Hedingham Castle (a Norman castle, the ancestral seat of the Earls of Oxford). The area is ideal for walking or cycling. Nearby places of interest include the Colne Valley steam railway, Sudbury and Saffron Walden. Shop, pub and restaurant 0.5 miles.

Single step to entrance: All on ground floor: Living/dining room/kitchen. 5 bedrooms: 3 double, 2 twin. Shower room with toilet. Wet room with toilet.

Both properties: Electric heaters and electricity by meter reading. Bed linen and towels included. Cot and high chair on request. Freeview TV. DVD. Electric cooker. Microwave. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Shared landscaped 10-acre grounds with sitting-out area and furniture. Barbecue (at cost, by arrangement with owner). Ample parking. Cycle store. Shared indoor heated swimming pool (8m x 3.5m, depth 1.2m) with changing room, open 9am to 10pm all year (3 hours’ private use per day). Shared games room with pool table. Table tennis. Welcome pack. No smoking. Friday to Friday. NB: 5 steps in grounds.

WAS
NOW
£719-£1745
Shortlist
Grade 5 Star rating
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
4
Pets
2
Farthings Ref: BUA

Located in the peaceful village of Boxted in the Dedham Vale, Farthings is a single-storey holiday home with valley views from the garden. One of a pair, furnished and equipped to a very high standard, the property has added bonus of a hot tub and detached games room in the garden. Guests also have private use of the owner’s outdoor heated swimming pool (open May to end September), and large enclosed hot tub, as well as use of the owner’s extensive grounds - which have many delightful areas where guests might like to picnic. The surrounding area is a delight to explore: there are many footpaths in the village and Flatford Mill, in the heart of Constable Country is 4 miles away. Dedham village is 3 miles, where guests can hire a rowing boat on the River Stour or enjoy walking in the unspoilt countryside. Farthings is also conveniently located for golf at nearby Stoke-by-Nayland (2 miles) whilst keen gardeners may enjoy a visit to Beth Chatto’s Garden, 7 miles. Nearby Colchester, famous for being the oldest town in England, has a castle and museum set in attractive parkland that stretches down to the River Colne, a zoo and an interesting range of shops, restaurants, galleries and pubs. Colchester also has a rail link to London which takes 50 minutes, so visitors can enjoy a day in the busy capital city and then return to the peace and tranquillity of Farthings. For a day by the sea, guests can choose between the sunshine coast of Essex at Frinton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze and Clacton or the Heritage coastline of nearby Suffolk where the beaches at Felixstowe, Aldeburgh, Southwold or Walberswick can be enjoyed. Pub 2½ miles.

Living room with wood-burning stove, French doors and oak floor. Large, well-equipped kitchen with electric range (for cooking), TV and dining area with oak floor. Utility. Two double bedrooms, one with 5ft bed; each with TV, oak floor and en-suite shower room with toilet. Two twin bedrooms, each with oak floor. Fully-tiled bathroom with separate shower cubicle and toilet.

  • Wood-burning stove - initial fuel included, thereafter available locally
  • Electricity, full electric central heating (underfloor in bathrooms), bed linen and towels included
  • Travel cot
  • High chair
  • Six TVs (one Satellite)
  • Five DVDs
  • Wii
  • Stereo/CD
  • Wi-fi
  • Electric range included
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine
  • Tumble dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Enclosed lawned garden with large paved patio and furniture
  • Gas barbecue
  • Ample parking
  • Secure cycle store
  • Outdoor heated swimming pool (32ft x 16ft, depth 3ft to 6ft 6in, open May-September) with changing facilities and hot tub (in owner’s grounds, 150 yards)
  • Private hot tub
  • External games room with table tennis, pool table, table football, darts and TV/DVD
  • Ground floor facilities
  • No smoking

WAS
NOW
£794-£2454
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
3
Pets
3

In a rural location on the edge of the ancient village of Castle Hedingham, these two detached, single-storey holiday homes, set in the owners’ 10 acres of grounds, have far-reaching views over open countryside. The accommodation is well-presented and has the added benefit of a heated indoor swimming pool - the pool is shared between the two cottages (refs W43379 and W43233) and both are allocated 3 hours of private use per day (one hour in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening - the rest of the time is shared use). There is also a large fully equipped barbecue area which can be hired. Castle Hedingham lies in the valley of the River Colne on the ancient road between Colchester (20 miles west) and Cambridge (30 miles east); it still retains many beautiful timber-framed, medieval and Tudor buildings including Hedingham Castle (a Norman castle, the ancestral seat of the Earls of Oxford). The area is ideal for walking or cycling. Nearby places of interest include the Colne Valley steam railway, Sudbury and Saffron Walden. Shop, pub and restaurant 0.5 miles.

All on ground floor: Living/dining room/kitchen. Utility room. 3 bedrooms: 2 double, 1 twin with 2 additional singles. Wet room with toilet.

iPod dock. Tumble dryer. Wi-fi. Pets free of charge.

Both properties: Electric heaters and electricity by meter reading. Bed linen and towels included. Cot and high chair on request. Freeview TV. DVD. Electric cooker. Microwave. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Shared landscaped 10-acre grounds with sitting-out area and furniture. Barbecue (at cost, by arrangement with owner). Ample parking. Cycle store. Shared indoor heated swimming pool (8m x 3.5m, depth 1.2m) with changing room, open 9am to 10pm all year (3 hours’ private use per day). Shared games room with pool table. Table tennis. Welcome pack. No smoking. Friday to Friday. NB: 5 steps in grounds.

WAS
NOW
£381-£1195
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
11
Bedrooms
5
Pets
0
Butlers Farm Ref: BTA

Set at the end of a pretty country lane, this large detached Grade II listed farmhouse dating back to 1610 is perfect for a family holiday, celebration or get together with friends. Steeped in character with beams and an inglenook fireplace in the living room, it is set in 4 acres of delightful grounds with an outdoor heated swimming pool. The holiday property has fantastic views over open countryside, with an enjoyable 15-minute walk across fields to the pub but is only a few miles from the charming market town of Saffron Walden. Saffron Walden is one of England’s finest towns packed with half timbered medieval buildings and has a wide selection of shops, restaurants, galleries and a museum. Butlers Farm is ideally situated to explore Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Within easy reach is Cambridge (14 miles), famous for its colleges, museums, botanic gardens and art galleries. Visitors can try their hand at punting along the River Cam. Newmarket is 17 miles for a day at the races and Duxford Imperial War Museum is 8 miles. Other local places of interest include Audley End House, gardens and miniature railway, Mountfitchet Castle, Linton Zoo, Wimpole Hall and Anglesey Abbey. Shops 2 miles.

Large beamed living room with open fire in large inglenook fireplace and French doors. Kitchen/dining room with Aga (for cooking) and doors leading to conservatory. Utility. Separate toilet. First floor: Double bedroom with 5ft bed and en-suite bathroom with separate walk-in shower and toilet. Double bedroom with 5ft bed. Two double bedrooms, one with additional pull-out Z-bed (for +1). Twin bedroom. Bathroom with separate shower cubicle and toilet.

  • Open fire - no fuel provided
  • Electricity, bed linen and towels included
  • Full oil central heating included (January-March £300 per week)
  • Cot
  • High chair
  • TV
  • DVD
  • Stereo/CD
  • Aga included
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • 4-acre garden with terrace and furniture
  • Parking (for 5 cars)
  • Private, outdoor, heated swimming pool (40ft x 20ft, depth range 3ft-8ft) £150 per week, open end May bank hol-end August, with changing facilities
  • No smoking
  • Couples and family bookings only
  • NB: Fenced pond in garden

WAS
NOW
£1553-£2613
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