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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
2
Bedrooms
1
Pets
1
Stokers Loft Ref: BRY

Located in West Mersea just 20 yards from the sea, this delightfully converted property offers fantastic views from its upstairs living area. Stokers Loft is the ideal holiday location for sailing enthusiasts, the public hard for dinghies is just a few yards from the property. It is also conveniently situated for two renowned fish restaurants (the Company Shed and the Oyster Bar), local shops and pubs. Mersea Island is the most easterly inhabited island in the UK and is reached by crossing the Strood causeway (liable to be cut off for short periods during high/spring tides). Only 9 miles from Colchester with its famous castle and zoo, Mersea is also conveniently located for exploring Dedham Vale, Stour Valley and Constable country. A superb location for walking, bird-watching, swimming and cycling, Mersea boasts a beach of sand and shingle. A country club with golf and health club is a short drive away. Shop 75 yards, pubs 250 yards.

Double bedroom. Bathroom with over-bath shower and toilet. First floor: Beamed open-plan living room with double futon bed (for alternative sleeping only)/dining room with Velux windows, wooden floor and compact beamed galley-style kitchen.

  • Electricity, full gas central heating, bed linen and towels included
  • Sky TV
  • DVD
  • Stereo/CD
  • Microwave
  • Washer/dryer
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Wi-fi
  • No garden
  • Parking (for 1 car) 20 yards
  • Friday to Friday

WAS
NOW
£281-£618
Shortlist
Grade 0 Star rating
Sleeps
2
Bedrooms
1
Pets
1

Set in 2½-acre grounds with abundant wildlife


Enjoy a relaxing, rural holiday surrounded by 2½ acres of landscaped and natural gardens in one of these two properties which offer a fantastic location for a romantic getaway. With plenty of wildlife to spot, and beehives at the end of the garden, you can wander around the apple orchards or relax on your own private decking area, making this an ideal place for a countryside break. Converted from an old bakery and adjacent to the owners’ home, but very secluded, the cottages (refs 30314 and 30315) still boast original wooden beams, and have been decorated and finished to a very good standard. Langham is about half way between Colchester and Ipswich, close to the A12 which gives easy transport links for exploring the local area. The northern boundary of Langham is also the boundary between Essex and Suffolk. The famous Constable Country is 3 miles away with Flatford Mill and Dedham Vale, and historic Colchester is close by, famous for its cobbled streets, castle and zoo, and has a wide variety of shops, pubs and restaurants. Also within reach are Ipswich, Chelmsford, Orford, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe, or enjoy the beach at Clacton-on-Sea. Travel a bit further afield and you can explore the myriad attractions of London. Shop and pub within 1 mile, restaurant 2 miles.

All on ground floor: Living/dining room with French doors/kitchen. 1 four poster double bedroom. Bathroom with roll-top bath, shower cubicle and toilet.

Microwave.

Both properties: Gas central heating, gas, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Freeview TV. DVD. iPod dock. Gas cooker. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Wi-fi. Garden with terrace, sitting-out area and furniture. Shared 2½-acre garden and orchard. Barbecue. Parking (1 car). Welcome pack. Pet free of charge. No smoking. Friday to Friday. NB: Pond in grounds.

WAS
NOW
£235-£680
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
4
Pets
0
Lily Lodge Ref: 29724

Located opposite the beach, Lily Lodge provides the perfect setting for a traditional seaside holiday. This detached house is well-furnished and has a large, sunny, fully-paved rear courtyard as well as a lawned garden to the front. The two first floor bedrooms have French doors onto the balcony providing far reaching views out to sea. The sandy beach is directly opposite the house, also close by is the Haven Country Park and sailing club. The area is excellent for bird watchers, particularly for sighting migrant birds, and for walkers and cyclists there are numerous foot and cycle paths. Take a 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 and discerning Frinton where it’s beach is studded with Victorian style beach huts, both have a good range of shops and restaurants. Further along the coast is Walton on the Naze where you can try your hand at sea fishing on the country’s 2nd longest pier. Lily Lodge is a perfect holiday location to enjoy the hidden delights of this part of the Essex coastline and countryside. Quaint villages include Dedham and Flatford Mill (Constable Country) or visit 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. Beach 20 yards. Shop, pub and restaurant ½ mile.

Ground floor: Living room with French doors and tiled floor. Dining room with tiled floor. Kitchen with tiled floor. Conservatory. 2 bedrooms: 1 double with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath and toilet, 1 twin. Separate toilet. First floor: 2 bedrooms: 1 double with French doors, 1 twin with French doors. Bathroom with shower over bath (no toilet). Separate toilet.

Gas central heating, gas, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Two Freeview TVs. DVD. Gas hob. Electric oven. Microwave. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Front lawned garden with sitting-out area and furniture. Enclosed rear courtyard with sitting-out area and furniture. Balconies. Barbecue. Ample parking. Welcome pack. No smoking.

WAS
NOW
£500-£958
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
1
Pets
1

Nestling within 3 acres of grounds, abundant with wildlife, these holiday cottages enjoy far reaching views over rolling countryside. Fishing and boating can be enjoyed at the nearby lake. This is excellent walking and bird watching country and holiday makers will enjoy walks down to the creek. These old farm buildings have been converted, and are grouped around a courtyard, yet each retains individual privacy. The cottages with their mellow decor and quality furnishings, provide complete relaxation in this delightful corner of Essex. This area is well regarded as Essex’s best kept secret with the interesting and popular small towns of Brightlingsea, Wivenhoe, Mersea, Clacton, Frinton and Walton-on-the-Naze, all within ½ hours drive. The town of Colchester is close by, famous for its cobbled streets, castle and zoo, with a wide variety of shops, pubs and restaurants. Further afield are Ipswich, Chelmsford and Felixstowe. Many picturesque villages and Constable country are close by, with Dedham, Manningtree, Nayland, Lavenham and Long Melford to name but a few. Other local pastimes include golf and horse riding. All properties are on the ground floor and have wheelchair access. Shop 500 yards, pub 2 miles.

All on ground floor: Living room with double sofa bed/dining room/kitchen with tiled floor. 1 double bedroom with en-suite wet room and toilet.

Electricity panel heaters, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Cot. High chair. DVD. Electric cooker. Microwave. Shared laundry room with washing machine and tumble dryer. Garden with private courtyard and furniture. Shared use of 2-acre grounds. Parking (2-3 cars). No smoking. Wheelchair access.

WAS
NOW
£266-£579
Shortlist
Grade 2 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
2
Pets
0
The Showmans Wagon Ref: W42097

Very quiet and peaceful

Come and live like a fairground showman in this unique holiday accommodation, set in 150 acres of woodland and wildflower meadows with some of the most scenic countryside views in the county. This compact property has been extensively renovated and insulated throughout and provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere. There are many footpaths and lanes to explore, including the Stour Valley Path from Newmarket to the sea at Manningtree. Horse riding and cycle hire can be arranged locally. The area is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts with deer and bird watching available. Badger sightings are almost guaranteed, bring some peanuts. Shops 2.5 miles, pubs and restaurant 1 mile.

Ground floor: Living/dining room/kitchen with wooden floor. 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 bunk. Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet.

Electric central heating, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Electric cooker. microwave. Enclosed garden with furniture. Shared use of 150 acre of farmland with unfenced ponds. Barbecue. Ample parking. No smoking.

WAS
NOW
£199-£405
Shortlist
Grade 3 Star rating
Sleeps
3
Bedrooms
2
Pets
0
Coast Cottage Ref: 29215

Mersea Island is the most easterly inhabited island in the UK, located on the estuary of the rivers Blackwater and Colne, it is reached by crossing the Strood causeway (liable to be cut off for short periods during high/spring tides). Located in West Mersea next to the church and just a 250 yards from the sea, this cosy, Victorian, semi-detached cottage is the perfect place for a romantic holiday break. A superb location for walking, bird watching, swimming and cycling, Mersea boasts a sandy/shingle beach. Cudmore Grove Country Park with its adjoining beach is great for relaxing walks in its own vineyard. A country club with a health club and golf is a short drive away. Only 9 miles from the county town of Colchester, with its famous castle and zoo. Mersea is also conveniently located for exploring Dedham Vale, the Stour Valley and Constable country. Shop and restaurant 20 yards, pub 100 yards.

Ground floor: Living room. Dining room. Kitchen. First floor: 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 single. Shower room with toilet.

Electric woodburner in living room included. Gas central heating, gas, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Freeview TV. DVD. iPod dock. Gas cooker. Microwave. Washing machine. Courtyard with sitting-out area and furniture. Barbecue. Public car park 100 yards (£2.50 per day). Welcome pack. No smoking. Friday to Friday. NB: Step in garden.

WAS
NOW
£286-£662
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
6
Bedrooms
3
Pets
1
Hope House Ref: 30042


This spacious, semi-detached, delightful seaside holiday property is in a fantastic central location. Hope House is unique and has been decorated with a seaside theme in mind and boasts a smart, spacious interior for families and couples. Private parking offers ease and flexibility, and guests also have the use of an enclosed courtyard for an evening BBQ and glass of wine. An ideal holiday base with Clacton Pier just a short stroll away where you will find traditional attractions including bowling, amusements and cafe. Wander along the seafront promenade to a sandy beach, garden walk and the Pavilion Bowl with bar, restaurant and amusements. A few minutes’ walk takes you to the town centre for an array of shops, bars, restaurants, takeaways, the Princes Theatre, Westcliff Theatre, cinema, leisure centre and more. Local attractions include the Martello Tower Petting Zoo at Clacton, the famous Jaywick Martello Tower, Old Maritime Museum at Walton-on-the-Naze, crazy golf, and several firework displays on the pier throughout the year. A short drive will take you to the picturesque village of Great Bentley and then on to Colchester, said to be the oldest recorded town in Britain. The Lifehouse Spa is also a short drive away at Thorpe-Le-Soken. Beach ½ mile. Shop 300 yards, pub and restaurant 600 yards.

Ground floor: Living room with wooden floor. Dining room with laminate floor. Kitchen with laminate floor. Utility room. Shower room with toilet. First floor: 3 bedrooms: 2 double, one with wooden floor, 1 single with additional pull-out single and laminate floor. Bathroom (no toilet). Separate toilet.

Gas central heating, gas, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Travel cot. High chair. Freeview TV. DVD. MP3 connection. Gas hob. Electric oven. Microwave. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Freezer. Wi-fi. Enclosed courtyard, sitting-out area and furniture. Barbecue. Parking (2 cars). Welcome pack. Pet free of charge. No smoking. Friday to Friday.

WAS
NOW
£291-£926
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
5
Bedrooms
3
Pets
0

Nestling in a rural location on the edge of Castle Hedingham and situated on a working farm, this spacious, renovated, detached cart lodge, adjacent to the owner’s farmhouse, commands far reaching views over a valley towards Hedingham Castle. Guests have their own garden area and use of the owner’s garden and extensive grounds. Castle Hedingham lies in the valley of the River Colne on the ancient road between Colchester, 20 miles, and Cambridge, 30 miles. Places of interest include the Colne Valley Steam Railway and the market town of Sudbury, 7 miles. Shop and pub ½ mile.

Ramp to entrance. Spacious beamed open plan living/dining room with French doors, kitchen area and tiled floor. Beamed double bedroom with 5ft four-poster bed, TV and en-suite shower room with toilet. Single bedroom with additional pull-out bed (for +1) and en-suite wet room with toilet. First floor: Single bedroom.

  • Electricity, full oil underfloor central heating, bed linen and towels included
  • Two Freeview TVs
  • DVD
  • Stereo/CD
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine
  • Wi-fi
  • Small enclosed lawned garden with furniture
  • Shared use of owner’s garden and 25-acre grounds
  • Parking (for 2 cars)
  • No smoking

WAS
NOW
£324-£802
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
6
Bedrooms
2
Pets
1
Lower Granary Ref: E5441

Set on a working arable farm amidst gloriously peaceful and attractive farmland, these two delightful ground floor and first floor holiday apartments have been converted from the former granary and adjoin the owners’ home. They boast spectacular views across undulating countryside and are ideal for a relaxing break whatever the season. Both properties offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy bird watching, walking and cycling along the many farm tracks. Situated in the little hamlet of Wimbish just 3 miles from the bustling town of Saffron Walden with its quaint pubs, restaurants and shops. Ideally placed to visit the many attractions in the area, just 50 minutes by train to the centre of London for a days sightseeing, Duxford Imperial War Museum, 8 miles, Newmarket famous for its racing, the city of Cambridge with its famous Backs and universities, the pretty town of Ely with its waterside pubs and English Heritage Audley End which is a venue for many concerts are all within an easy drive. Shop and pub under 1 mile.

All on ground floor: Living room with double sofa bed/dining room/kitchen area. 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 twin. Bathroom with bath, shower cubicle and toilet. Separate toilet.

Underfloor ground source CH and elec inc (£25pw 2nd Oct-30th Apr). Enclosed garden and furniture.

Both properties: Bed linen and towels inc. Freeview TV. DVD. M/wave. D/washer. Freezer. Garden with patio and furniture. Parking. No smoking.

WAS
NOW
£337-£704
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 4 Star rating
Sleeps
7
Bedrooms
4
Pets
0
Estuary View Ref: E5409


A real gem, this delightful holiday property is set on a hill overlooking the river estuary; its decked balcony makes a perfect spot for relaxing and enjoying sunsets over the river, while the stylish interior offers a high standard of comfort, perfect for a family holiday whatever the season. Only 45 minutes from London by train (0.5 miles from station) and just yards from the old town of Leigh with its cobbled streets, traditional pubs, museums, restaurants serving local seafood and a man made beach. For the more adventurous, a good walk takes you into nearby Southend-on-Sea which offers family fun and an abundance of shops, restaurants and of course its famous pier. Shop and pub 100 yards.

18 steps down to entrance. Lower ground floor: Utility area. Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet. Ground floor: Living/dining room/kitchen area with wooden floor. First floor: 3 bedrooms: 2 double, 1 single. Bathroom with roll-top bath, shower cubicle and toilet. Steep stairs to second floor: 1 double bedroom.

Gas CH inc (£25pw 2nd Oct-30th Apr). Elec, bed linen and towels inc. Five Freeview TVs. DVD. Stereo/CD. M/wave. W/machine. T/dryer. D/washer. F/freezer. Wi-fi. Enclosed garden and furniture. Decked balcony. BBQ. Parking. No smoking. Friday to Friday.

WAS
NOW
£326-£861
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
2
Bedrooms
1
Pets
2
Lavender Cottage Ref: E5298

Set in a wonderful location on the edge of Langdon Hills Country Park and Nature Reserve, ideal for cycling and walking and covering 400 acres of meadow, farmland and ancient woodland and just 40 minutes’ drive from London, this small complex of cottages each with their own seating area have been converted from original barns and are renovated to a good standard providing an ideal holiday base to relax and unwind whatever the season. The area offers many attractions, antique lovers will enjoy Battlesbridge, Colchester Castle and zoo, The Jam Museum and tea shop at Tiptree a must for afternoon tea, Southend for family fun or the quaint seaside town of Leigh-on-Sea and Maldon with its delightful harbour. Just 10 minutes away Lakeside and Bluewater offers unique shopping experiences and Mersea Island is a must to sample the locally caught shellfish at the famous restaurant. The owner offers fishing at a nearby lake foc. There is an award winning pub approximately 3 miles away. Shop and pub under 1 mile.

Ground floor: Living/dining room with beams and wooden floor. Kitchen with beams. Bathroom with roll-top bath, shower attachment and toilet. Mezzanine: 1 double bed with beams, sloping ceilings and wooden floor.

Woodburner in living room (initial fuel inc). Satellite TV.

All properties: Elec heaters, elec, bed linen and towels inc. DVD. Stereo/CD. M/wave. Patio and furniture. Parking. No smoking.

WAS
NOW
£245-£523
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FULL DETAILS £000.00