Self-catering cottages and other accommodation in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk

The British countryside is alive with bird song.  Each part of the country attracts populations of birds of a different mix.  Nothing delights bird watchers or twitchers more than to be able to get out of bed and enjoy birds on their own doorstep and in the surrounding countryside. 

Country cottages for bird watchers or twitchers in East Anglia - England


Suffolk is home to several excellent nature reserves:

  • A National Trust heathland conservation area at Dunwich Heath and Minsmere Beach
  • Minsmere - a famous RSPB  reserve on coast where you may spot over 200 different species from the well-placed hides.  Breeding birds include: marsh harriers, bearded reedlings, bitterns, garganey, gadwall, shoveler, terns, avocets, nightjars, nightingales, kingfishers and Cetti's and Savi's warblers. Recorded visitors are: purple herons, spoonbills, spotted red-shanks, pied flycatchers, blue-throats and wrynecks, Bewick's swans.
  • Havergate Island - another RSPB site that boasts the largest colony of avocets in Britain.
  • North Warren - also RSPB, summer waderrs and white-fronted geese in the winter in the wet meadows and reed beds.
  • Trimley Marshes with wetlands, reed beds and lagoons for migrant and wintering birds.
  • Orford Ness for the largest shingle spit in Europe that attracts many breeding migrant birds. Also good for spotting rare wild flowers.
country cottage suffolk bird watching
Country cottage in Suffolk for birdwatching holidays
Sleep 2-3 at Rose Cottage

For a fantastic birdwatching holiday, Rose Cottage should be a great place to stay. This pretty country cottage is located within the peaceful rural hamlet of Sibton Green in the gorgeous Suffolk countryside and with its 2 bedrooms (one double and one single), up to 3 can be accommodated here.

With its own attractive garden, there are plenty of opportunities to birdwatch from the doorstep in the garden but also ample opportunities close by. Within easy access for day trips are a total of three nature reserves at Minsmere, Dunwich and North Warren. So with binoculars at the ready, this holiday home could be a great place for any ‘twitchers’ out there.
Contact: 01728 660242 Telephone Gary for details and booking information or click on image for details
Sleep 2-16 on edge of RSPB Minsmere Marshes
self-catering lodges for bird watching near Minsmere


If bird watching is your hobby, then a stay at Warren Lodges on the edge of the Minsmere Marshes will be a real treat for you.  These timber lodges are equipped to ensure a comfortable stay at any time of year.  

Marsh harriers, barn owls kestrels and sparrow hawks hunt regularly over the surrounding land, skylarks and nightingales can be heard in the season, and many rare and interesting birds can be seen at the nearby RSPB Minsmere reserve. Rabbits share the hollow, and deer can sometimes be seen at dawn and dusk. Theberton village has a historic thatched church, with round tower, and two thatched cottages among its varied houses.  Take a look at Warren lodges now by clicking on the image above.  Large groups of up to 16 or so, are welcome.  

Additional self-catering cottage to sleep 6 also available.

Contact: Telephone Andrew on 01728 833447
Nature reserves for bird watchers in Norfolk:
  • Cley Marshes for bitterns, garganey, avocets, black tailed godwits, beareded reedlings in the summer, and hen harriers, shore larks, snow buntings, various duck including shoveler in the winter.
  • Snettisham for overwintering wildfowl.  Many different species of wader on the salt-marsh and mud flats. Oystercatchers  can be sighted on the islands in the gravel beds.
  • Hickling Broad is the largest area of reed swamp on the Norfolk Broads. Find bearded reedlings, marsh harriers, short-eared owls, terns, warblers, water rails, kingfishers and occasionally Montagu's harriers.
  • Strumpshaw Fen with reed beds, alder and willow woods. Find sedge, grasshopper and reed warblers.
  • Ouse Washes where the Great Ouse river floods fields each winter.  It is an important site for wildfowl in the winter.   


Bird watching in Essex

Essex offers bird watchers a variety of different habitats.  There is coastal, salt marsh and fen, woodland, gravel and quarries, and meadow and heathland. The following short list offers bird watching opportunities within Essex:

  • Hanningfield Reservoir near Chelmsford, with a woodland walk and a couple of hides.  Visitor Centre and cafe for refreshments with disabled access. There are  bluebells and other wild flowers in Spring. 
  • About four miles away are the fens and salt marshes of South Woodham Ferrers around the River Crouch.  View reed bunting, meadow pipit, yellow wagtail and kingfishers.  Sparrowhawks have been spotted , teal, rock pipit and jack snipe can be found during the winter. There are miles of endangered salt-marsh all along the coast, including Chigborough Lakes, Copt Hall Marshes, in Little Wigborough, and Northey Island (Maldon) - all part of the Blackwater Estuary.
  • In between Chelmsford and South Woodham Ferrers is Danbury with its Common, Danbury Lakes and woodland walks.  Blakes Wood in nearby Little Baddow is also well worth a visit, especially for bluebells in the Spring.
  • Tollesbury Wick lies a little further north east on the coast where you will find an Essex freshwater grazing marsh. Brent geese, wigeon, lapwing and redshank graze or roost during the winter. Small breeding colony of little terns.  Reed warbler, reed bunting and meadow pipit nest in the spring. Tollesbury is a pretty village - well worth a visit. The local pubs serve good bar meals.
  • Abberton Reservoir wildfowl and Visitor Centre located six miles south-west of Colchester on the B1026.  There is a nature trail and five hides.  Telescope and guides available.
  • Fingringhoe Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre, just three miles south-east of Colchester, with nature trails and hides.
  • Thorndon Park in Brentwood has nature trials through woodland.
  • Langdon Conservation Centre for a lake, walks and woodland. Also a Museum of Plotland Life.

View other cottages for bird watchers in the menu on the left under Essex,  Suffolk, and Norfolk.


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