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Find cottages in 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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  • The Showmans Wagon

    Alphamstone, nr. Bures

    Grade
    4
    2
    0
    1
    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 and electricity included (October-April £35 per week, £15 per short break). 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.

  • The Olde Cart Lodge

    Castle Hedingham

    Grade
    5
    3
    0
    2
    Ref: BUT

    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. There is a bus service into Colchester from the bus stop in the village, about a 10-minute walk away, with one bus change en-route. 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
    • Freezer
    • Wi-fi
    • Small enclosed lawned garden with furniture
    • Shared use of owner’s garden and 25-acre grounds
    • Parking (for 2 cars)
    • No smoking

  • The Cart Lodge

    Colne Engaine, nr. Halstead

    Grade
    5
    2
    0
    1
    Ref: 29571


    Enjoy a relaxing holiday in this detached, former cart lodge, awarded with a Visit Britain Gold Award, it is set in a peaceful, rural location in the owners’ grounds, surrounded by beautiful countryside of the Colne Valley with mixed arable and livestock farmland all around. There are vast areas of woodland and stunning scenery where you can enjoy walking, cycling, bird watching and getting up close to nature with the abundance of wildlife including roe and monkjack deer, badgers, owls and other birds of prey. Within close proximity to Britain’s oldest recorded town of Colchester and ‘Constable Country’ where attractions include Colchester Castle, Colchester Zoo, Flatford Mill in the beautiful Dedham Vale, the inspiration for John Constable’s paintings, Colne Valley Railway, home to Thomas the Tank engine, Mersea Island which can be reached on foot or by road at low tide, Beth Chatto Gardens, Audley End House and Gardens, and Hyde Hall Estate. Situated on the Suffolk border you will also have the opportunity to explore further afield and visit Gainsborough’s House, Kentwell Hall, a red brick Tudor mansion with rare breed farm, the medieval village of Lavenham, Jimmy’s Farm, Sutton Hoo, Framlingham Castle, Ickworth House and the charming seaside town of Aldeburgh famous for its fish and chips, and the market town of Snape with its Maltings. Also a short distance to two golf courses. Shop, pub and restaurant 3/4 mile.

    Ground floor: Living/dining room/kitchen with beams and wooden floors. Shower room with toilet. First floor: 2 double bedrooms, (one 5ft), one with additional single (2ft 6in), both with Velux.

    Woodburner in living room (initial fuel included). Oil central heating, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Travel cot on request. High chair. Two Freeview TVs. DVD. Stereo/CD/MP3 connection. Induction hob. Electric oven. Microwave. Washing machine. Fridge/freezer. Internet connection. Private courtyard garden with decking and furniture. Barbecue. Parking (2 cars). Welcome pack. No smoking.

  • Sea Shell House

    Clacton-on-Sea

    Grade
    6
    4
    2
    1
    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. Welcome pack. No smoking.

  • Linley Farm Cottages - Pear Tree Cottage

    St Osyth

    Grade
    6
    2
    1
    2
    Ref: 17979

    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 and tiled floor. Kitchen with tiled floor. 2 bedrooms: 1 double with en-suite wet room and toilet, 1 bunk. Wet room with 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. Freezer. Patio and furniture. Shared use of communal garden and 2-acre grounds. Parking (2-3 cars). No smoking. Wheelchair access.

  • The Stable

    Steeple Bumpstead, nr. Saffron Walden

    Grade
    6
    3
    0
    1
    Ref: W43583

    This delightful semi-detached barn conversion, a former stable, has been lovingly converted to a very good standard and is set in the grounds of the owner’s inn within the pretty village of Steeple Bumpstead. The double bedrooms both have the benefit of a Freeview TV. The Stable is ideally placed to explore the many delights in the area, and is just 10 miles from the bustling town of Saffron Walden with its quaint pubs, restaurants and shops. Holidaymakers can enjoy cycling, bird watching and walking along the many tracks and country paths. The centre of London is just 50 minutes by train for a day’s sightseeing, or visit Duxford Imperial War Museum, Newmarket (famous for its racing and events) and the city of Cambridge with its famous backs and universities. The pretty town of Ely with its waterside pubs, and the magnificent English Heritage property Audley End, which is a venue for many concerts, are all within an easy drive. Shop ¼mile, pub and restaurant 20 yards.

    Ground floor: Living/dining room with tiled floor. Kitchen with wooden floor. 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 bunk. Shower room with toilet. First floor: 1 double (5ft) bedroom.

    Woodburner in living room included. Gas central heating, gas, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Travel cot. High chair. Three Freeview TVs (one 42’’, one 40’’, one 38’’). DVD. Gas hob. Electric oven. Microwave. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Large, shared garden with sitting-out area and furniture. Parking (3 cars). Cycle store. Welcome pack. No smoking.

  • Lower Granary

    Wimbish nr. Saffron Walden

    Grade
    6
    2
    1
    1
    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 central heating and electricity included (£25per week 2nd October-30th April). Washing machine. Enclosed garden and furniture.

    Both properties: Bed linen and towels included. Freeview TV. DVD. Microwave. Dishwasher. Freezer. Garden with patio and furniture. Parking. No smoking.

  • Hope House

    Clacton-on-Sea

    Grade
    6
    3
    1
    3
    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 (for child) 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. No smoking. Couples and family bookings only.

  • Linley Farm Cottages - Meadow View Cottage

    St Osyth

    Grade
    6
    2
    1
    2
    Ref: 17978

    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 and tiled floor. Kitchen with tiled floor. 2 bedrooms: 1 double with en-suite wet room and toilet, 1 bunk. Wet room with toilet.

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

  • Linley Farm Cottages - Willow Tree Cottage

    St Osyth

    Grade
    6
    2
    1
    2
    Ref: 17981

    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 and tiled floor. Kitchen with tiled floor. 2 bedrooms: 1 double with en-suite wet room and toilet, 1 bunk. Wet room with 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. Freezer. Patio and furniture. Shared use of communal gardens and 2-acre grounds. Parking (2-3 cars). No smoking. Wheelchair access.

  • The Old Calf House

    Little Baddow, nr. Chelmsford

    Grade
    6
    2
    1
    1
    Ref: 29282

    Situated in the Chelmer Valley with stunning views towards the River Chelmer, The Old Calf House is set on the owner’s 500-acre farm with footpaths and bridleways. This single-storey detached farm building is located in a beautiful, but little known part of the Essex countryside, ideal for cycling, bird watching or walking. Just a few minutes’ drive is Papermill Lock with canal and country walks, canal cruises and a tea room. Visit Maldon with a range of shops, restaurants and promenade park, the RHS garden at Hyde Hall and Marsh Farm Country Park. Shop 3 miles, pub and restaurant 2 miles.

    All on ground floor: Living room with beams and 2 single sofa beds. Dining room/kitchen with beams. 2 bedrooms: 1 double (6ft zip and link), 1 twin. Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet. Steps throughout.

    Gas central heating, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Travel cot. High chair. Freeview TV. DVD. iPod dock. Electric cooker. Microwave. Washing machine. Tumble dryer. Courtyard. Sitting-out area and furniture. Parking (3 cars). Welcome pack. Pet to be kept on lead, working farm. NB: Pond in grounds, 100 yards.

  • Conifers

    Maldon

    Grade
    6
    3
    0
    1
    Ref: 25092

    Situated in the pleasant market town of Maldon, this refurbished semi-detached holiday home offers a perfect base for touring Essex. Maldon, featured in several films and TV programmes, is famous for its sea salt, has a charming Victorian promenade park and is the home of the unique annual mud race. There is also barge sailing. Ideal for walkers and cyclists, with golf and sailing available locally. Easy access to London, Southend, Chelmsford and Colchester with its castle and zoo. Other nearby attractions include Marsh Farm, a local vineyard and a brewery. Shops 1/4 mile, pub and restaurant 3/4 mile.

    Ground floor: Living room. Dining room with French doors. Kitchen. Laminate floor throughout. First floor: 3 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 twin, 1 bunk. Bathroom with bath, shower cubicle and toilet.

    Gas central heating, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Cot. High chair. Freeview TV. DVD. Ceramic hob. Electric oven. Microwave. Washing machine. Fridge/freezer. Wi-fi (payable to BT Openzone). Lawned garden with decked sitting-out area and furniture. Parking (2 cars). No smoking.

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