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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 0 Star rating
Sleeps
10
Bedrooms
5
Pets
2
The Moorings Ref: BWM


Overlooking the North Sea with stunning views from most rooms, this unique detached property is the perfect seaside holiday home. An extremely spacious house, it provides the ideal base for any family or group of friends. The Moorings has been restored to a very good standard enhancing its many original features. On entering the property, guests are greeted by the grand entrance hall and sweeping staircase with stained glass windows. It boasts 5 bedrooms which comfortably sleep up to 10 people, and a spacious living room which has large panoramic windows overlooking the water and an open log fire for cosy nights in. A large games room for the young (and the young at heart!) has a table tennis table, piano, Playstation 3, TV, books, board games and much more. The large dining room has French doors which open onto the patio and lead into the enclosed, lawned and courtyard garden, just perfect for a summer evening barbecue and a glass of wine from the wine cooler in the kitchen. With historic Harwich and Dovercourt on your doorstep, there is plenty to see and do. Dovercourt Bay’s award-winning beach is just across the road, and Dovercourt town centre is only 100 yards away, with a mixture of local and national stores. Along the seafront, find cafés, a boating lake, tennis courts, putting and croquet, roller skating, a small amusement arcade and a sports centre with an indoor pool. Neighbouring ‘old’ Harwich is full of history, with the Redoubt Fort and maritime museums open all year round. It is also home to the Mayflower Project, where visitors can see the building of an exact replica of the famous ship that took the pilgrims to America almost 400 years ago. From Harwich Ha’penny Pier, catch the foot ferry over to Shotley Marina or the Edwardian seaside town of Felixstowe, getting a close up view of the huge container vessels that berth at the docks. Travel a little further afield, by car, bus or train, to Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town, with its castle and internationally recognised zoo. Constable Country is on the doorstep, with fantastic walks along the River Stour, and rowing from Dedham and Flatford. Clacton-on-Sea, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze, three uniquely different seaside towns, are all within 15 miles. From Walton, take a guided, two hour trip around the ’backwaters’ to see, not only a number of different rare seabirds, but also a large colony of grey seals. Harwich Golf Club is just 2 miles away, and Clacton and Frinton each have two courses. There are a number of pubs and restaurants within walking distance. This unique property and special coastal location will be sure to create fantastic holiday memories for you, your family and your friends. Shop, pub and restaurant 50 yards.

Spacious living room with open fire and sea views. Large dining room with wooden floor and French doors to garden. Galley-style kitchen. Games room. Bathroom with toilet. First floor: Three double bedrooms, one with 5ft bed, one with balcony, one with sofa bed (for alternative sleeping only). Twin bedroom with TV. Bunk bedroom. Two shower rooms, each with toilet. All bedrooms with sea views.

  • Open fire - initial fuel included, thereafter available at cost
  • Electricity, full gas central heating, bed linen and towels included
  • Travel cot and high chair on request
  • 42" satellite TV
  • DVD
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Wi-fi
  • Small enclosed courtyard garden with patio and furniture
  • Barbecue
  • Parking (for 3 cars)
  • Cycle store
  • Games room with Playstation 3, table tennis, piano, TV and board games
  • Welcome pack
  • Pets free of charge
  • No smoking
  • Friday to Friday
  • NB: 5 steps to garden

WAS
NOW
£1012-£2258
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
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
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
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
6
Bedrooms
4
Pets
2
Sea Shell House Ref: 30472


This spacious, detached holiday home lies between lively Clacton-on-Sea, and the peaceful avenues of Holland-on-Sea, approximately 200 yards from the beach, and just a mile from Clacton Pier, with its rides, amusements, go karting and 10 pin bowling. Clacton town centre has numerous pubs, eateries, a cinema and shops. There are two fantastic theatres, hosting a variety of shows with celebrities and musicians throughout the year, and traditional pantomines at Christmas. The pier is the focal point for the annual airshow in August, and has regular firework displays on Sundays throughout the summer and autumn. It also hosts the Christmas day swim, where up to a hundred hardy souls, many in fancy dress, plunge into the sea for charity. It is well worth watching, you need to be very brave to join in! There are four golf courses within 5 miles, fishing is popular from the beaches and the pier, and there are several opportunites for bird watching nearby. You can drive, cycle or walk along the coast to nearby Frinton and Walton with their fantastic beaches and unique charm. Throughout the summer months, you can take a two hour guided boat trip around the backwaters to see many species of sea birds, and a colony of up to 100 grey seals. Further afield, visit Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town, with it’s castle and world famous zoo. Local towns such as St Osyth, Brightlingsea and Wivenhoe are all well worth a visit. Constable Country is on your doorstep, with fantastic walks along the river Stour and rowing at Dedham and Flatford. Whether you have had a fun time on the beach or exploring the local area, what better way to end the day than relaxing in the warm bubbles of the hot tub. Shop and restaurant ½ mile, pub 1 mile.

Ground floor: Living room with wooden floor. Dining room with French doors and wooden floor. Kitchen with wooden floor. First floor: 4 bedrooms: 2 double, 2 single. Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet. Separate toilet.

Gas central heating, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Travel cot. 42" satellite TV. DVD. iPod dock. Electric cooker. Microwave. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Wi-fi. Large, enclosed, lawned courtyard garden with sitting-out area and furniture. Barbecue. Parking (2 cars). Cycle store. Hot tub (from mid-december). Welcome pack. Pets free of charge. No smoking. Friday to Friday.

WAS
NOW
£351-£1001
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
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
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Grade Shortlist
FULL DETAILS £000.00