Self-catering holiday accommodation and country cottages in Essex, East Anglia

Essex is probably best known as the county of the 'Essex girl'  with a proclivity for shopping and men.  Essex girl jokes were once as popular as its seaside resorts of Southend, Clacton and Walton-on-the Naze.   Because of its proximity to the City and excellent rail or road connections, Essex is in the London  commuter belt.  The A12 passes all the way through Essex, from London to Suffolk. Here, it is possible to command London salaries but to live in the pleasant surroundings of the countryside and village life.

Extending from the east side of London, Essex begins as an urban sprawl which gives way to gentle countryside and attractive villages.  The country lanes of Essex boast some of the finest homes in the country.  You will find homes of every description but mainly built of red brick; some colour washed or pargeted, others with clapboard cladding, a few with thatched roofs.  Listed buildings and thatched cottages are well-represented. 

A few country cottages in Essex are highlighted below, for the full list and choice click for:

Some great self-catering holiday accommodation in Essex

self catering holiday accommodation in Essex self-catering holiday accommodation in north Essex
Pump House Apartment with outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, sleeps 2-6
Telephone: 01277 656 579
The Granary with Finnish sauna and hot tub, sleeps 6-8
Telephone: 01206 392166

cottage in the country Thaxted Essex cottages

Spring Hall Cottage in Constable Country, Manningtree, Essex. Sleeps 2-4.


Comfortable holiday cottages accommodating up to 4 people each, in Thaxted, north Essex. Click on photo for details.


 more self-catering country cottages in Essex?

But, what does Essex have to offer the holidaymaker?

  • Excellent shopping in Essex towns and villages.  Places to visit to shop include Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock, Romford Market, Battlesbridge near Wickford for antiques. 

  • Day trips to London and Cambridge.

  • Good walks, pubs and sea food restaurants, especially around the coast and estuaries.  Burnham-on-Crouch, Maldon of Maldon sea salt fame, Tollesbury, Brightlingsea and Wivenhoe are all recommended.

  • Bluebell Woods.  There are numerous wooded areas of Essex with superb bluebell displays in May. Blakes Wood near Danbury, Hanningfield Reservoir walks, Hatfield Forest are just three of the many.  The villages of Essex are blessed with trees laden with blossom in May, and if you enjoy wandering around pretty villages with historic period buildings then May is an excellent time to visit Essex and take in the blossom.

  • Essex seaside resorts of Southend with its pier and train, fun fair, fireworks and good programme of events during the summer, Clacton, Walton on the Naze, and Frinton on Sea all promise some lighthearted family fun.

  • Sailing and watersports are to be found at numerous locations along the coast, e.g. Tollesbury, Burnham on Crouch

  • Fishing at numerous locations including the Hanningfield Reservoir, Maldon.

  • Historical Essex.  Visit Saffron Walden, Coggeshall and Thaxted  for beautiful old buildings from a bygone age.  The wealth generated from silk weaving and growing saffron in the 17th and 18th centuries contributed to the building of fine large country houses like Audley End and Mistley Towers.  The Normans and Romans left their mark on Colchester. The castle museum provides an interactive look into its past which will excite children of any age.

  • Visitor Attractions: Tropical Wings Butterfly Garden and Open Farm and Country Park in South Woodham Ferrers, East Anglian Railway Museum in Colchester.

  • Open Air Concerts during the summer, e.g. Chelmsford V2002, Maldon's  Queen's Jubilee celebrations in the park on the 1st and 2nd June (Telephone 01621 854477) and Music in the gardens of Audley End House.

  • Essex Gardens to visit.  Many large homes open their splendid gardens to the public  in aid of the Red Cross and other charities.  Tea is often served at an additional cost.  RHS Hyde Hall in Rettendon, near Wickford has a 24 acre garden with ponds and water lilies, woodland and spring bulbs.  There's a tea shop and a small plant sale area. The gardens of Audley End House in Saffron Walden were designed by Capability Brown and feature a parterre, lake, waterwheel, and circular walks. The Beth Chatto garden in Colchester is planted according to sensible principles - plant only what its suited to the soil and climate.

  • Constable Country is in the north of the county on its border with Suffolk, demarcated by the river Stour.  This is where you will find the village of Dedham and many of the locations that Constable painted. The countryside with its historic villages is truly beautiful and highly recommended to anyone visiting this part of Britain.

  • Food producers; Wilkins of Tiptree museum and tea shop, vineyards.

  • Good leisure facilities in many towns, e.g. Colchester with magnificent leisure pool, Quasar  laser games, indoor roller skating.  Basildon Festival Leisure Park for cinema, ten pin bowling, restaurants and clubs.

Additional country cottages and self-catering accommodation in Essex can be found by using the Feature Pages menu on the left.