Essex is a wonderful place to visit. With coastal gems, peaceful countryside and adventurous escapes, there’s something for every kind of person. It’s also full of fantastic places to stay. From floating pods to a salvaged WW2 barge, here are the best places to stay in Essex.

The Trap, Colemans Farm

Want to enjoy nature in style? The Trap at Colemans Farm is an innovative and stylish cabin which has views of nature everywhere you look. With a stunning glass roof, you can lie back in the comfort of your king-sized bed and gaze at the stars. There’s also the bathtub, which is sunk down to ground level in the outside decking area, giving you wide views of the surrounding countryside. There is a kitchen and toilet which is housed in another structure on the deck, plus a BBQ if you want to up your cooking skills. On your doorstep are nature trails which lead all the way to Epping and Ongar.

Tatters Barn

Located in the beautiful countryside of Withies Green, this stunning detached barn conversion is the perfect place for a peaceful country break. Decorated and furnished to a high standard, the barn maintains the original beams. Sleeping up to four people, there are two gallery styled king-sized bedrooms, two bathrooms, a utility room, a fully furnished kitchen area and a large, open plan living space with French doors leading onto the garden. The surrounding area consists of 125 acres of farmland, providing a scenic backdrop as you stroll down the many paths around the property. Nearby, you’ll find the charming village of Coggeshall, home to almost 200 listed buildings. The town of Braintree is also not too far away, and has plenty of shops and restaurants.

Grebe’s Nest

Grebe’s Nest is a unique take on glamping. This floating pod lies on a 15 acre trout lake on Chigborough Farm. The pod can sleep two people, and comes fully furnished with a king-sized bed, lounge space and a fully-equipped kitchen. There is also a covered decked area which is perfect for relaxing or BBQing. Showers and bathrooms are shared with other guests on the campsite. The 130 acre rural getaway has plenty of facilities to enjoy, including a games room with pool and table tennis, tea rooms, a restaurant, farm shop and gift shop, pottery painting, yoga and massage treatments. For a day out, the historic town of Maldon is a short drive away. You could also hire bikes and ride along the Blackwater Estuary, hire rowing boats, or have a go at stand up paddling.

The Raft at Chigborough

Another accommodation at Chigborough Farm is The Raft. This two storey wood cabin floats at the bottom of a small lake, surrounded by woods and fields. The cabin has a double bedroom as well as a sofa bed, and can sleep up to four people. There is also a fully-equipped kitchen as well as a BBQ. Why not fish for trout straight from the deck or from the rowing boat provided? The cabin is in a secluded spot surrounded by reeds, so you can fully relax in the hot tub or put your feet up on the bean bags on the deck. Blackwater Estuary is only a short stroll away, and boasts magnificent sea views, sailing and canoeing. Take a walk along the sea wall to Heybridge Basin and enjoy a seafood meal at one of the pubs and restaurants.

Kingfishers Nest

Kingfishers Nest is a beautiful lakeside lodge in a peaceful rural setting. It’s ideal for couples, although families of up to four people can stay as there is a sofa bed. Both the bathroom and the king-sized bedroom overlook the lake, so you can admire the views either from bed or in the tub with a glass of bubbly. The kitchen is fully-equipped, and the open plan living space is the perfect spot to chill out. There’s also a cosy log burner for the colder months. The area around the property has numerous walks and cycling routes to enjoy. It’s also close to Colchester, which has plenty of exciting attractions including Colchester Zoo and Castle.

Water Lily Lodge

Another stunning lakeside lodge is Water Lily Lodge. Located amongst the woodlands of Teybrook Farm, the lodge has picturesque views of the surrounding Colne Valley. With three bedrooms, the lodge sleeps up to six people and is both family and dog friendly. The kitchen and open plan living space has floor to ceiling windows, so you can cook or relax while admiring the views over the lake. The lodge comes with private decking that extends over the waters’ edge, where you’ll find an outdoor hot tub. There is a pub and shop nearby, and Colchester is around seven miles from the lodge.

Lady of the Twizzle

This property is one of the most unique ones in Essex. Lady of the Twizzle is a salvaged WW2 barge, renovated into a luxury accommodation. Spread over 85 ft, the barge can sleep up to 14 people, with four bedrooms, a lounge and dining area, and a fully-equipped kitchen. The focal point of the property is the spacious deck, which comes complete with a six seater hot tub, deck chairs, sun loungers and stunning views across Hamford Water and Felixstowe. Moored in Titchmarsh Marina, in a tranquil AONB, there are plenty of scenic walks nearby. You’ll find many local pubs and restaurants serving fresh seafood.

Little Thatch

Only a few minutes walk from the beach, this thatched cottage is a delightful little property, situated in the thriving town of Walton-on-the-Naze. Although there is only one bedroom, the property can sleep four people with a sofa bed downstairs. You’ll find a fully-equipped kitchen, a cosy living room and an enclosed back garden with plenty of furniture. The cottage is only a short walk from the centre of town, where you’ll find everything you need, including pubs, shops and restaurants.