Essex Accommodation Guide

Essex is a large county in the East of England which attracts many tourists due to its mild climate and its proximity to central London, being less than an hour away by train.  Although Essex has some industrial sites in the south of the county, it remains one of England’s prettiest counties.

In this guide, we will exhibit some of Essex’s best accommodation and also explore some of the region’s finest attractions.  From spectacular stately homes and dramatic gardens to historic towns and impressive mansions and castles, Essex’s varied attraction list is like no other’s.

The name Essex is a historic reference to the kingdom of the East Saxons after a succession on invasions from groups of early Germanic peoples after the Romans left Britain.  Commonly referred to as Old Saxony or Saxonia (in Latin) the new Kingdom in England became known as Eastseaxe’ (meaning East Saxons).  The county’s coat of arms still include a row of three Saxon ‘seaxe’ knives.

The kingdom of Essex used to be much larger than it is today and included all of modern day Middlesex, most of Surrey and parts of Hertfordshire.  Modern-day Essex shares a border with Suffolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the north-west, Kent and the River Thames to the south, London to the south-west and with Hertfordshire to the west.

The large number of Estuaries found in Essex (including the River Thames Estuary) give it the longest coastline of any county in England.  Essex’s beaches which all face the North Sea are ranked as some of the safest in the UK.  Although there are some very popular and crowded sea-side resorts in summer (like Clacton and Southend), there are also many smaller coastal towns that have secluded and quiet beaches.

Some of favourite seaside spots include Walton on the Naze and Jaywick which is arguably the most picturesque beach in the whole of Essex.  With its pristine white sand, this pretty little coastal village remains one of the best ‘hidden gems’ in the whole of Essex.  If you want a more traditional English seaside experience, visit Southend, which has the longest pleasure pier in the world at 1.34 miles long.

But to spend your entire holiday on a beach in Essex would be a mistake!  To the north of the county you will find the medieval market town of Saffron Walden and an amazing mansion / country house called Audley End House and Gardens.  Incredidbly, Essex has nearly 14,000 listed or preserved buildings in Essex.  These include Colchester Castle, Hedingham Castle, the Guildhall in Thaxted and Hylands House.

Key Facts Of Essex / Tourist Information

  • County Town: Chelmsford
  • Land Area: 3,465 km2 (1,338 square miles)
  • Population: 1,489,189 (2019)
  • Population Density: 431/km2 (1,120/square miles)
  • Average Temperature: (Summer 23 °C)
  • Days Of Rain: Dry for 162 days a year

Best Attractions In Essex

Colchester: Many people don’t know that Colchester is in fact the oldest recorded town in all of Britain. Known by the Romans as Camulodunum, Colchester was already well established before the Roman invasion in 43 AD but grew significantly under their influence. Today you can visit Colchester Castle with its huge Norman keep, it contains artefacts which are over 2,000 years old. Within the castle grounds you can also visit the Hollytrees Museum which displays 3 centuries of clothing, clocks and artworks.

RHS Garden Hyde Hall: Hyde Hall is one of the finest gardens in the east of England. Gifted to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in 1993, this 360-acre site is a haven of peace and tranquillity. Hyde Hall contains a variety of different garden exhibits which feature different plants and trees from around the world. There is also a fantastic café and restaurant on site as well as a children’s play area.

Audley End House & Gardens: Audley End House is one of the largest stately homes in all of England. Built by the first Earl of Suffolk in the early 1600s, the house stands on the former site of Walden Abbey a former Benedictine monastery. Incredibly, the house which can be seen today is only about one third of its original size after much of it was demolished between 1708 and 1753. It still remains one of the most magnificent Jacobean-style houses remaining in Britain.

Best Accommodation In Essex

Maisonwyck, Canvey Island, EssexMaisonwyck (Canvey Island): Maisonwyck is a large holiday house located off the Essex coast on Canvey Island. With a focus on luxury, this incredible holiday home provides accommodation for 14 people across 6 bedrooms. There is a spacious garden with play area and also a large indoor swimming pool with hot tub!

Fisherman's Lodge, Duddenhoe End, Arkesden, EssexFisherman’s Lodge (Duddenhoe End): Located near Arkesden in Essex, this is one of our favourite holiday properties in the whole of Essex due to its doble height living area and spiral staircase. Sleeping 4 people across 2 bedrooms, this incredible wooden lodge is next to a well stocked 3 acre fishing lake.  The views from the property’s rear terrace can only be described as stunning!

Baldwin’s Hill Cottage, Loughton, Essex, LondonBaldwin’s Hill Cottage (Loughton): One of our more unusual holiday homes, this incredible cottage was once the home to the Epping Forest Keepers. Now owned by the City of London, this is a really tranquil location and the perfect place to enjoy the sights of London whilst also having Epping Forest on your doorstep.  The cottage is near to Loughton underground station, being just a short train ride away from Central London.

The Old Cart Lodge, Castle Hedingham, EssexThe Old Cart Lodge (Castle Hedingham): The Old Cart Lodge (Castle Hedingham): This wooden clad lodge in central Essex is close to the village of Castle Hedingham and its 12th century Norman castle. Sleeping 5 people across 3 bedrooms this lovely holiday cottage also has a large amount of outdoor space. It is also close to the famous Colne Valley Steam Railway.



Stay In Britain is the ultimate guide to places to stay and things to do in Great Britain. Whether you are looking for a luxury self-catering cottage, a cheap B&B for a weekend stay, a short break in a caravan park or a business-friendly hotel in the Essex area, we have everything you need. Enjoy your stay in Britain!