7 ideas for a staycation in Essex

Down Hall Hotel & Spa (photo: facebook.com/downhallhotel)

Down Hall Hotel & Spa (photo: facebook.com/downhallhotel) - Credit: facebook.com/downhallhotel

Travel is tricky right now, so keep things close to home with a mini-break at one of these great venues in beautiful Essex

1. Waldegraves Family Holiday Park
Want to holiday by the coast? Waldegraves Family Holiday Park is a great suggestion for caravan and camping pitches, with luxury holiday homes for hire too. Boasting a wide range of facilities and activities, there is the opportunity to explore the stunning surroundings of this tiny estuary island. It covers approximately seven miles and has an abundance of things to do, including sandy beaches, candy-coloured beach huts and delicious local food. Waldegraves Lane, West Mersea, Colchester CO5 8SE; waldegraves.co.uk

2. GreyFriars Hotel & Restaurant
Planning a relaxing weekend break? GreyFriars hotel in Colchester is an exquisite, Michelin recommended, luxury hotel with an award-winning restaurant and lounge bars — ideal for a romantic getaway. For your comfort and safety, GreyFriars has enhanced measures in place. Rest assured it is Covid-19 secure accredited by the National Tourist Organisations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
High Street, Colchester CO1 1UG; greyfriarscolchester.co.uk

3. Finchingfield Camping
Camping is going to be big this year, and there are a great choice of camping locations in the county. For example, small family-run campsite Finchingield Camping has just 10 pitches, with no more than eight people on each, so it never gets too busy, ensuring pockets of privacy for individual tents, each with its own firepit and BBQ grill. Be sure to try its wildflower and lavender walks too. Finchingfield, Howe Street CM7 4JB; finchingfieldcamping.co.uk

4. Down Hall Hotel and Spa
Down Hall Hotel and Spa is one of England’s most beautiful country houses and a perfect location for that little bit of TLC. Located in Matching Green near Bishop’s Stortford, it’s the ideal place to be off the grid for a few days. Perhaps try its luxury Eden Spa to heal the body and soothe the soul. But do take the time to wander the 110 acres of surrounding woodland, parkland and landscaped gardens. The hotel’s doors reopened on August 21. Matching Road, Hatfield Heath, Bishop’s Stortford CM22 7AS; downhall.co.uk

5. Maison Talbooth
Looking to recharge your batteries? Indulge in one of the luxury Milsom hotels in Dedham for a lovely break away. Situated in the heart of the Dedham Vale AONB the area offers plenty of lovely things to do and see, such as walking, cycling, canoeing and paddleboarding from the doorstep or riverbank. And of course, the best part of staying here is the sensational dining experiences. Make your mini-break one to remember. 
Stratford Road, Dedham, Colchester CO7 6HN; milsomhotels.com/milsoms

6. Wivenhoe House Hotel
Why travel to far-flung places when you have so many fantastic things to experience in the county we call home. Book a stay at the luxurious Wivenhoe House Hotel and do as much or as little as you like. This beautiful four-star hotel combines the romance and history of an 18th-century Grade II listed house with all the comforts for a modern traveller.
Wivenhoe Park, Park Road, Colchester CO4 3FA; wivenhoehouse.co.uk

7. Wakes Hall Lodges
Treehouses, woodland lodges, and luxury woodland cabins make up the very essence of what woodland self-catering breaks are all about in the UK. Wakes Hall Lodges offers you a self-catering break to get away from the hustle and bustle and unwind in the tranquil beauty of the Colne Valley. Surrounded by 500 acres, enjoy the privacy of your own self-catered holiday lodge, with your own outside hot tub and views of the delightful countryside.
Colchester Road, Wakes Colne, Colchester CO6 2DY; wakeslodges.co.uk