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East of England cottages 5 – holiday cottages in Essex

The Essex coast is perhaps best known for its 'day out from London' seaside resorts like Southend and Clacton. These do still offer a great day by the sea, with their fine beaches and multiple amusements.

But there are quieter resorts too like genteel Frinton. And inland is some superb, quiet countryside, especially once you get into Constable Country on the borders of Suffolk, or to historic towns like Saffron Walden, close to Cambridgeshire.

A holiday cottage in Essex is the ideal base for bird-watching. You'll find a wide range of different habitats. You'll find woodland terrain at Hanningfield Reservoir near Chelmsford - an opportunity to watch birds and discover some woodland walks.

You'll also find estuary and coastal habitats. The Blackwater estuary and Stour estuary make good starting points. The Essex coast is a maze of these creeks and estuaries.

Though highly populated, Essex has its fair share of smaller, picturesque villages. For example the marked town of Thaxted, with its early 19th century windmill. And the village of Finchingfield is quaint - though beware, it's not large enough to have its own car park!

Towns and villages like Maldon (famous for salt), Tiptree (for jam), Burnham on Crouch, West Mersea and Brightlingsea feel quite out on a limb. Further north from these you'll find the Stour and Orwell estuaries (the first half, and the second wholly, in Suffolk), with their twin ports of Harwich and Felixstowe

You'll also find plenty of visitor attractions. For example, the Royal Gunpowder Mills (at Waltham Abbey, Epping) tell an interesting history. And it's set in 175 acres of natural parkland, with the largest heronry in Essex.

For walking paradise, try Epping Forest. It's a great place to explore, on foot, by bike, or even on horseback. Travel deep enough in and you'll find rural villages and inns here too.

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Read Holiday Cottages article Essex Pearls,for an in-depth look at some of the attractions of a cottage holiday in Essex.

Property image: The Granary

The Granary, Manningtree,nr Dedham
Situated in the heart of Constable country on the Essex/Suffolk border, The Granary provides an ...

from £575
Sleeps 8

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