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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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  • Finchingfield, near Braintree, Essex
    Finchingfield, near Braintree, Essex×

    Lake House Cottage

    Finchingfield, near Braintree, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    0
    Ref: 29883
    Key Features:
    - Wifi - Car parking on site - Pub within 1 mile - Garden / Patio - Ground Floor Facilities - Rural Location
    A characterful thatched cottage set in a quiet, rural area within almost 2 acres of land with private fishing.
    Prices from
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    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at

    Lake House Cottage is a quaint, thatched, semi-detached cottage with original beams and so much charm. Set on almost 2 acres of the owner’s grounds and surrounded by picturesque landscape, the highlight to this holiday property is the private fishing lake (use included, but bring own equipment), where you can spend a relaxing day. Enjoy lovely walks and bird watching surrounded by ducks, horses and plenty of wildlife. Visit the village of Finchingfield, reputed to be the...

  • Ardleigh Heath, near Colchester, Essex
    Ardleigh Heath, near Colchester, Essex×

    The Glass Room

    Ardleigh Heath, near Colchester, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    0
    Ref: BVW
    Key Features:
    - Wifi - Car parking on site - Garden / Patio
    Filled with attractive features and set in an Area of Natural Beauty, this holiday will delight everyone.
    Prices from
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    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at

    This delightful, holiday cottage is attached to the owner’s period property and its name refers to the stunning floor-to-ceiling window in the bedroom. It is set in an AONB in the Dedham Vale where the artist John Constable painted many of his famous scenes. Set in the owner’s grounds, with its own private area of garden, it is the ideal choice for a romantic break and is in an excellent area for walking and cycling. The nearby Roman town of Colchester has an excellent range...

  • Purleigh, near Chelmsford, Essex
    Purleigh, near Chelmsford, Essex×

    Willow Tree Barn

    Purleigh, near Chelmsford, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    0
    Ref: UKC942
    Key Features:
    - Wifi - Car parking on site - Enclosed Garden / Patio - Pub within 1 mile - Detached Property - Garden / Patio - Ground Floor Facilities - Rural Location
    The perfect village retreat, Willow Tree Barn is set adjacent to National Trust woodland, but also has easy access to London.
    Prices from
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    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at

    This quaint, detached property is located in the charming village of Purleigh. Set within the owners’ grounds, it makes a quiet country retreat with good access to London and the local town of Chelmsford. Formerly a derelict barn, it has been brought back to life and restored to a very good standard by the owners. Comprising a spacious double bedroom, shower room and open plan living area with kitchen, this property still holds its charm with wooden beams but boasts a...

  • Saffron Walden, Essex
    Saffron Walden, Essex×

    Rose Cottage

    Saffron Walden, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    1
    Ref: UKC2295
    Key Features:
    - Wifi - Enclosed Garden / Patio - Pub within 1 mile - Pets go free - Garden / Patio
    Set in a quiet residential area, this terraced cottage is a great base from which to explore the beautiful, unspoilt Essex countryside.
    Prices from
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    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at

    Rose Cottage was built in the 1850s and has been lovingly renovated by the owners to retain its period charm while offering all the modern conveniences needed for a relaxing break. Formerly a two bedroom property, the owner has converted one of the bedrooms into a large bathroom, which means that the cottage offers a lot of space for just two guests.
    Mill Lane was the former site of a mill and it is thought that the pretty row of cottages was originally built for mill workers,...

  • Elsenham, near Bishop’s Stortford, Essex
    Elsenham, near Bishop’s Stortford, Essex×

    Woodlands Cottages - Woodlands

    Elsenham, near Bishop’s Stortford, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    2
    Ref: UKC182
    Key Features:
    - Car parking on site - Enclosed Garden / Patio - Pub within 1 mile - Garden / Patio - Rural Location - Woodburning Stove
    This delightful barn conversion is nestled in the picturesque countryside, surrounded by paddock and woodlands.
    Prices from
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    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at

    Surrounded by 6 acres of paddock and woodland, these two semi-detached barn conversions offer a private bolthole, making them a perfect base for touring the area or just relaxing by the fire. Both have been restored, decorated and furnished to a good standard, Evie Rose Cottage (30833) and Woodlands (UKC182) are quaint, comfortable properties and can be booked together to sleep 4 guests.

    Located next to Woodlands is a games room with table football and a darts board for guests...

  • West Mersea, near Colchester, Essex
    West Mersea, near Colchester, Essex×

    Stokers Loft

    West Mersea, near Colchester, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    1
    Ref: BRY
    Key Features:
    - Coastal Property - Car parking on site - Pub within 1 mile - Coast within 1 mile
    This delightfully converted property offers fantastic views and is the ideal holiday location with vast sailing opportunities.
    Prices from
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    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at

    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...

  • Langham, near Colchester, Essex
    Langham, near Colchester, Essex×

    The Orchard & Old Bakery - The Old Bakery

    Langham, near Colchester, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    0
    Ref: 30315
    Key Features:
    - Wifi - Pub within 1 mile - Garden / Patio - Ground Floor Facilities - Rural Location
    Visit historic Colchester from this rural holiday base, which was once a bakery and has a characterful beamed interior.
    Prices from
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    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at

    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...

    The Orchard & Old Bakery - The Orchard
    2
    1
    1
  • Langdon Hills, near Thurrock,
    Langdon Hills, near Thurrock, ×

    Lavender Cottage

    Langdon Hills, near Thurrock,

    2
    1
    1
    2
    Ref: E5298
    Key Features:
    - Car parking on site - Pub within 1 mile - Rural Location - Woodburning Stove
    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
    Prices from
    0
    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at

    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...

    Rosemary Cottage
    2
    2
    2
    Saffron Cottage
    4
    2
    2
    Bee Cottage
    2
    1
    1
  • Langham, near Colchester, Essex
    Langham, near Colchester, Essex×

    The Orchard & Old Bakery - The Orchard

    Langham, near Colchester, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    1
    Ref: 30314
    Key Features:
    - Wifi - Enclosed Garden / Patio - Pub within 1 mile - Garden / Patio - Ground Floor Facilities - Rural Location
    Close to the Essex/Suffolk border, couples can enjoy a rural retreat that is also within reach of London.
    Prices from
    0
    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at

    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...

    The Orchard & Old Bakery - The Old Bakery
    2
    1
    1
  • Langdon Hills, near Thurrock, Essex
    Langdon Hills, near Thurrock, Essex×

    Bee Cottage

    Langdon Hills, near Thurrock, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    2
    Ref: E5574
    Key Features:
    - Car parking on site - Pub within 1 mile - Rural Location
    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
    Prices from
    0
    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at

    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...

    Lavender Cottage
    2
    1
    1
    Rosemary Cottage
    2
    2
    2
    Saffron Cottage
    4
    2
    2
  • West Mersea, near Colchester, Essex
    West Mersea, near Colchester, Essex×

    Little Lodge

    West Mersea, near Colchester, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    1
    Ref: UKC1875
    Key Features:
    - Coastal Property - Wifi - Car parking on site - Pub within 1 mile - Pets go free - Coast within 1 mile - Ground Floor Facilities
    A delightful cottage within yards of the beach, yet hidden away down a private drive, this is the perfect location for a last minute break.
    Prices from
    0
    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at


    Little Lodge is a delightful single storey property in the hidden gem of West Mersea. Situated only 200 yards from the superb coastline, and hidden along a private drive in the grounds of the owner’s home, Little Lodge is the perfect getaway spot, with contemporary open plan living space, which is spacious yet still maintains a cosy feel. West Mersea is Britain’s most easterly inhabited island and access to the island is via the causeway crossing.
    It is...

  • Purleigh, near Maldon, Essex
    Purleigh, near Maldon, Essex×

    Hillcroft

    Purleigh, near Maldon, Essex

    2
    1
    1
    0
    Ref: UKC407
    Key Features:
    - Wifi - Car parking on site - Enclosed Garden / Patio - Pub within 1 mile - Detached Property - Garden / Patio - Rural Location
    Enjoy a glass of wine, whilst spending time alone with your loved one, admiring the picturesque views of the countryside.
    Prices from
    0
    Pets included
    Pets go free

    Accommodation at


    Boasting panoramic countryside views, Hillcroft is the perfect couple’s countryside retreat. Located in the quaint village of Purleigh in Essex, guests can enjoy numerous walking routes and access to the local pubs. A short drive away is the town of Maldon, which is bustling with shops, bars and restaurants making this a great location to enjoy lunch or an evening meal. Decorated and furnished to a good standard this first floor apartment consists of one double bedroom,...

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