From historic towers and sensuous spas to extraordinary Talliston House & Gardens, Essex has an incredible range of places to stay – perfect for exploring the county.

Great British Life: Roslin Beach hotelRoslin Beach hotel (Image: Roslin Beach hotel)

COAST: Explore 350 miles of Essex coastline, one of the longest of any county in England.

Situated along a picturesque stretch of blue-flag beach and popular coastline, The Roslin Beach Hotel & Retreat in Southend ( offers bespoke rooms, refined cuisine, and fabulous views. Just minutes from central Thorpe Bay, with its charming shop lined Broadway, mainline railway station and numerous parks and gardens. Alternatively visit the northernmost coastal town in Essex and stay at The Pier in Harwich ( Oozing with history and charm, this nautical haven boasts panoramic views of Harwich Harbour - the glorious sunsets over the Stour Estuary are some of the best! Wander down the cobbled streets and immerse yourself in the town’s rich maritime history before taking a seal watching boat trip to the Walton Backwaters.



Great British Life: Escape the daily grind at Teybrook Orchard in ColchesterEscape the daily grind at Teybrook Orchard in Colchester (Image: Steven Tiller)

SPA: Pick from Essex’s excellent choice of spa stays.

If you are looking for the perfect restful country retreat, with everything under one roof, then look no further. Set in rural Essex, Stoke-by-Nayland Resort ( offers you a relaxing spa experience to revitalise your body and mind, fine-dining options to suit all taste buds and contemporary-style bedrooms that guarantee a good night’s sleep. Not to mention their two championship golf courses. For something a little more unique, escape from the daily grind to Teybrook Orchard in Colchester ( Enveloped by woodland and wildlife, this tranquil venue is perfect for intimate retreats and holistic treatments. Their luxurious onsite accommodation will ensure you leave feeling well rested and rejuvenated.



Great British Life: Layer Marney TowerLayer Marney Tower (Image: Supplied)

HISTORIC: Step back in time and revel in Essex’s rich history.

Layer Marney Tower (, the tallest Tudor gatehouse in England, with over 500 years of history offers a slower pace of life in the Essex countryside. Their cosy canvas hideaways are nestled in woodland with pheasants, woodpeckers, muntjac deer and owls as your neighbours. When the sun sets, grab some marshmallows and gather around the campfire or book in for one of their popular pizza nights. During your stay, you will have free access to the Tower offering stunning views out to the coast or venture a little further with Constable country just a short drive away, Abberton Reservoir for the bird watching enthusiasts or Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town, is worth a visit for its history and its award-winning zoo.



Great British Life: Talliston House & GardensTalliston House & Gardens (Image: Talliston House & Gardens)

ALTERNATIVE: A staycation a little different from the norm.

Once an ordinary house in an ordinary street, Talliston House & Gardens ( has been named Britain's Most Extraordinary Home. Stay overnight in one of the three guestrooms, each of which have been transformed into a different time and place - perfect for anyone who yearns to escape from the mundane modern world. Unlike other B&Bs, guests have full access to the main house and are encouraged to explore - each room is infused with a rich story and set in a labyrinth design. Be transformed from The Hall of Mirrors in Italy to The Starhouse in Japan in this unique extraordinary experience! The house is set on a pleasant green in the ancient market town of Great Dunmow, perfect for exploring the northwest corner of Essex with its idyllic villages, picturesque cottages and rolling countryside.



Great British Life: Crouch RidgeCrouch Ridge (Image: Visit Essex)

FOOD & DRINK: Where every taste tells a story.

Not only the home of world-famous Mersea Oysters, Maldon Sea Salt and Tiptree Jam, Essex boasts a number of award-winning vineyards and breweries, exceptional eateries and local delights. With stunning views over the countryside Vineyards and River Crouch, Hall Farm self-catering cottages ( makes the perfect escape for any wine lover. Experience Crouch Ridge Estate’s story from vine to wine with their Vineyard Tour. Take a gentle wander through the vineyard, learning about the growing season and wine making process, before finishing with a fun tutored wine tasting session. Add on an afternoon tea or take a short taxi ride to Burnham-on-Crouch, which offers a good selection of top-class restaurants.


Great British Life: Cudmore GroveCudmore Grove (Image: Supplied)

FAMILY-FRIENDLY: Make some memories on an Essex Island.

Famous for its iconic coloured beach huts, oysters and rural coastline Mersea Island has something to offer all for ages. Whether you're beach enthusiasts or nature lovers, you'll all be in your element at Coopers Beach Holiday Park ( Try out the many water sports available on the island, go crabbing along the jetties or take a leisurely walk along the seafront, stopping for an ice cream along the way! Fossil hunting at nearby Cudmore Grove is also a firm favourite with families. Work up an appetite in the Park’s outdoor swimming pool before tucking into a tasty family meal at The Boathouse Bar & Restaurant, while enjoying spectacular sea views.


Great British Life: Willy Lott's HouseWilly Lott's House (Image: Wiki Commons)

DOG-FRIENDLY: Staycations your four-legged friends can enjoy too

Your four-legged friend will receive a warm welcome at the Talbooth House & Spa (, where their very own towel, bowl and bag of treats awaits them. Set within pretty surroundings, with only 12 rooms and an adjoining spa, it’s a great base for exploring the Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Flatford Trail, The Essex Way and the route to Stratford St Mary are popular with visitors. The pretty village of Dedham is within walking distance and home to traditional pub, The Sun Inn, and The Essex Rose tearoom which both warmly welcome dogs.


Great British Life: Family fun Family fun (Image:

SELF-CATERING: Your home from home

For the ultimate adventure, stay on a floating raft in the middle of a private lake! Fully equipped so that all you need to bring is food and drink, The Raft ( is completely unique and has been featured on TV series; George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. Chigborough Farm is a peaceful, rural oasis between Heybridge and Little Totham, making it an excellent base for exploring the historic market town of Maldon and The Blackwater Estuary and further afield into North Essex. Put your belongings in a wheelbarrow and follow the clues to reach your bed for the night. You won’t be short of things to do whilst you’re there; explore in your own private rowing boat, hire a bike, take to the water on a paddleboard, try your hand at pottery painting and make a splash in your wood-fired hot tub.