Luxury cottages Essex

luxury essex cottagesLuxury Essex cottages are ideally located for exploring the undiscovered gems of this county located on England’s south-eastern seaboard. While it may have a reputation as the playground of England’s capital, Essex can be a pleasantly surprising place for those who have never travelled there before. Its 350-mile coastline is renowned for its sun, sea, sand and family-friendly resorts with their award-winning beaches; away from the traditional seaside entertainment on offer in Southend, Clacton, Walton-on-the-Naze and Frinton, there are plenty of opportunities for more relaxed pursuits.

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The fascinating islands of Foulness, Osea, Mersea, Wallasea and Northey are places where time appears to have stood still. The many river estuaries here have created a vast wildlife wilderness of mudflats, creeks and saltmarsh – haunt of basking seals and wading birds – the ‘Discovery Coast’.
Much of the county’s interior is rural, dotted with picturesque villages like Thaxted, Matching Green, Finchingfield, Great Dunmow and the artists’ village of Dedham, with plenty of walking and cycling trails through the patchwork landscape. Essex boasts a host of historic buildings ranging from picturesque cottages, ancient churches and mills to grand country houses like Audley End, near Saffron Walden.
No visit to Essex would be complete without a trip to the Roman town of Colchester, which claims to be Britain’s oldest town on record. As well as the award-winning museums in the locality, there is also Colchester Zoo to explore.
Near here lies Constable Country, immortalised by the famous landscape artist. Many of the scenes captured by the great man for posterity can be visited in Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley today, remaining relatively unchanged and now protected by Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status. The 60-mile Stour Valley Path, created in 2014, leads ramblers through this stunning, quintessentially English, landscape taking in points of interest along the way.
County capital Chelmsford, designated a city in 2012, is a commuter dormitory for London and was once home to Marconi’s wireless factory. Today technology and retail are the city’s main employers.

From luxury cottages Essex, and its many hidden treasures, await discovery on a holiday or short break in the county.

Luxury Essex cottages can be a perfect base for discovering this interesting county on a holiday or short break. Here are some suggested activities for first-time visitors.

1. Go island-hopping
There are several inshore islands off the coast of Essex, many connected to the mainland by causeway. Mersea, Northey, Wallasea, and Osea islands are just some of those worthy of exploration, each with their own unique atmosphere. Uncover the history of Northey House, now in the care of the National Trust; visit the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds sanctuary on Wallasea; sip a glass of white wine from the Mersea vineyard.

2. Visit Constable Country
See the scenes which inspired the famous landscape artist John Constable in Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley. The rural landscape in these parts has changed little in the 200 years since he captured it on canvas. Now, the valley is protected by Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status and has its very own newly-created, long-distance footpath running through it.

3. Discover ‘upstairs, downstairs’
Audley End, with its magnificent art collection, claims to be one the very best stately homes in the country. A visit here is unmissable on any trip to Essex. Find out about how life was conducted above, and below, stairs in Victorian times at this fine country mansion.

4. Get green fingers
Hyde Hall near Chelmsford, is one of four properties in England run by the Royal Horticultural Society gardening charity. The gardens, once a working farm, have been transformed since 1955 and today offer a host of garden-based activities for all the family to enjoy, year-round. There is also an RHS gift and plant shop and cafe on the site. Just down the road, near Colchester, are the renowned Beth Chatto gardens featuring the famous Gravel Garden. There is a plant nursery and tea room on the site.

5. Potter on the pier
The resorts of Southend and Clacton both boast piers, the former being the longest in the world. Recently restored Southend Pier offers a host of entertainment and, of course, superb panoramic views. A train service runs to the end of the pier where there is a cafe and active lifeboat station. Clacton Pier also features a range of attractions.

6. Find yourself in Frinton
With its reputation for being a little conservative (with a small ‘c’) the genteel resort of Frinton-on-Sea is enjoying a revival, the current trend for vintage well in vogue there. Property is much sought-after here, including the town’s colourful beach huts which change hands for thousands of pounds. Up until 2000, the town had no pub; located in the main shopping street – Connaught Avenue – the Lock and Barrel put an end to this long-standing ‘drought’.

7. Sample the oysters
Oysters have been harvested around the estuaries of Essex since Roman times – and probably even before then. The shallow creeks of Mersea island are famous for this delicacy but with the rare Native Oyster under threat, steps have been taken to protect their wild populations. However, other oysters can still be farmed, harvested and enjoyed here. To sample this unique taste of the sea, try the renowned Company Shed or the West Mersea Oyster Bar, both on Mersea island.

8. Explore Tilbury Fort
From its strategic position on the Thames Estuary, Tilbury Fort has protected the nation since Tudor times. It was near this spot that Queen Elizabeth I made her famous rallying speech to troops before they faced the Spanish Armada. Now in the guardianship of English Heritage, this fort founded by Henry VIII is a popular family attraction with an on-site military museum, exhibitions, shop and cafe.

9. Enjoy the peace
Standing where the Essex marshes meet the sea, the ancient Anglo-Saxon chapel of St Peter on the Wall is the oldest church still in use in the country today. This Grade I listed building, beautiful in its simplicity, was built by St Cedd of Lindisfarne in AD 654. With its views across the Blackwater estuary, the chapel is a spiritual, peaceful place of pilgrimage for people of all, or no, faiths and can be reached on foot from the nearby village of Bradwell-on-Sea.

10. Romans revealed
Colchester claims to be Britain’s first Roman city and can trace its origins back to the 1st century BC when the fortified settlement of Camulodunum was founded by Britons. In 43AD the site was captured by the Roman invaders and over the following years developed to become capital of the province of Britannia, despite being sacked by the legendary tribal queen Boudicca, in 61AD. Today, evidence of the Roman occupation is everywhere, from the ancient city wall – Britain’s oldest – to the remains of the only Roman circus (chariot race track) ever found in this country. The museum in award-winning Colchester Castle, built on the site of the Roman Temple of Claudius, contains important artefacts dating from the period including the famous Colchester Vase and bronze statue of Mercury.

From luxury cottages Essex, its ancient culture and true character, can be explored.

Scroll down to view all our luxury cottages in Essex. Alternatively, use the search options on the left or click on the links to view details of luxury self catering cottages in popular destinations in Essex.

Eldred House, Colchester, Essex a Check availability Eldred House, Colchester, Essex
Sleeps 16 * 8 Bedroom(s) * 6 Bathroom(s)
Price guide: £25174206 per week * Ref: GCG7463
Pets allowed: Yes * Short breaks available: Yes * Star rating: Not rated

Eldred House is a glorious, Grade II listed Georgian property located on the edge of Colchester. The oldest part of this beautiful property is believed to date from the 15th century. Surrounded by 52 acres of private woodland and landscaped gardens, the grounds host an abundance of wildlife along wi...
Stokers Loft West Mersea Essex Check availability Stokers Loft, West Mersea, Essex
Sleeps 2 * 1 Bedroom(s) * 1 Bathroom(s)
Price guide: £359709 per week * Ref: GCG7464
Pets allowed: Yes * Short breaks available: No * Star rating: 4

Stokers Loft is located in West Mersea just 20 yards from the sea, this delightfully converted property offers fantastic views from its upstairs living area. Mersea Island have been described as the ‘New Brittany'. You can sample famous seafood in rustic family run restaurants such as the Company ...
The Moorings Harwicha Check availability The Moorings, Harwich, Essex
Sleeps 10 * 5 Bedroom(s) * 3 Bathroom(s)
Price guide: £8982483 per week * Ref: GCG7445
Pets allowed: No * Short breaks available: Yes * Star rating: 5

Overlooking the North Sea with stunning views from most rooms, this unique detached property is the perfect seaside holiday home. The Moorings also boasts an open fire and games room. An extremely spacious house, it provides the ideal base for any family or group of friends. The Moorings has been re...
The Cottage Lamarsh Hall Bures Essex Check availability The Cottage, Lamarsh Hall, Bures, Essex
Sleeps 2 * 1 Bedroom(s) * 1 Bathroom(s)
Price guide: £403741 per week * Ref: GCG7462
Pets allowed: No * Short breaks available: Yes * Star rating: 5

This charming cottage is set in the grounds of the owner’s 15th-century home and enjoys views over Lamarsh Church. Situated is right on the border of Suffolk and Essex, deep in the Stour Valley, this is Constable Country. Immortalised by John Constable in his paintings over 200 years ago, for som...
The Stable Saffron Walden Essex Check availability The Stable, Saffron Walden, Essex
Sleeps 6 * 3 Bedroom(s) * 1 Bathroom(s)
Price guide: £5871004 per week * Ref: GCG7461
Pets allowed: No * Short breaks available: Yes * Star rating: 4

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 Stable is ideally placed to explore the many delights in the area, and is just 10 mil...
Farthings Colchester Essex a Check availability Farthings, Dedham Vale, Essex
Sleeps 8 * 4 Bedroom(s) * 3 Bathroom(s)
Price guide: £8462563 per week * Ref: GCG7452
Pets allowed: Yes * Short breaks available: Yes * Star rating: 5

Located in the peaceful village of Boxted in the Dedham Vale, Farthings is a single-storey holiday home with valley views from the garden. One of a pair, furnished and equipped to a very high standard, the property has added bonus of a detached games room in the garden. Guests also have private use ...