Essex staycation: sleep in this quirky refurbished train carriage

The Carriage at High Barn Heritage

The Carriage at High Barn Heritage - Credit: Sykes Holiday Cottages

The Carriage at High Barn Heritage in Greenstead Green has been crowned Best Quirky Property in the Sykes Holiday Cottages’ nationwide search to find Britain’s best holiday lets. Owner James Waters, a deputy environmental manager and antiques dealer from North Essex, bought the carriage in 2016 after spotting it storing car parts in a garden. He then transported it back to his home by crane and lorry.

Working with his father on the renovation, the pair enlisted the help of local plumbers, electricians and painters to bring the carriage into the 21st century, completing the works during lockdown while James was on furlough. Opened to holiday makers last summer, the carriage maintains many original features alongside new luxury elements. 

Properties were judged on a number of factors, including customer reviews, location and facilities on offer. Judges were also asked to consider if each property would be the first choice for holidaymakers looking for a staycation.

Graham Donoghue, CEO at Sykes Holiday Cottages said: 'These awards don’t just showcase the very best of Britain’s holiday lets, they also highlight the hard work that goes into holiday letting across the UK to make Britain’s staycation market the success it is today.
'The Carriage at High Barn Heritage was certainly a worthy winner of our Most Quirky prize. It beat off tough competition but it is clear to see that this holiday let is nothing short of first class accommodation!'

Inside the train carriage accommodation

Step inside the quirky accommodation - Credit: Sykes Holiday Cottages

James Waters, owner of The Carriage at High Barn Heritage said: 'Renovating The Carriage was a real passion project for my father and I last year. Since opening we’ve constantly received great feedback from our visitors, but an award like this really does mean a lot.
'The process was challenging at times, but it has all been completely worth it to meet guests from across the UK enjoying this special property. From train enthusiasts to couples looking for something unique, I love getting to know those who come to stay and the whole experience has been really rewarding.'

Subscribe to Essex Life magazine for more local news.