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.