Guide to Self Catering in Essex

With holidays in the UK becoming ever more popular, you may be wondering are there any places that can I visit in Essex that offer self catering breaks?

With Essex being one of the driest counties in England and benefiting from prolonged spells of very warm weather during the Summer months, this helps make Essex the perfect place to head to for a holiday, especially as it’s known as The Sunshine Coast! Something to also bear in mind is that even during the cooler seasons Essex consistently tends to be milder than the rest of the UK.

Essex is easily accessible from the north or the south via the A12 and there is also great access via the railway network.


Self Catering on the Essex Coast

With over 300 miles of winding Essex coastline, Essex has some of the cleanest and widest beaches including Clacton on Sea and Frinton on Sea. These beaches are ideal for families and friends to explore.

Our Coastal Encounters Trail highlights a wonderful mix of countryside, historic towns, picturesque villages, and coastal resorts that you can visit in and around Essex. There are even some seaside piers to go to if you fancy trying your luck on the amusements, enjoying some tasty fish and chips or even get in a spot of fishing on Southend Pier.

If you would like to know more, then please see our Guide to Southend.

Explore Some of the Essex Trails

At The Tourist Trail we have put together a series of Trails to inspire you during your visit to Essex, these include Estuary Adventures and Historic Essex to name just a couple.

Coastal Encounters Trail

Estuary Adventures Trail

Historic Essex Trail

Whilst visiting Essex why not also try exploring the neighbouring county of Suffolk which may also appeal to you if you are considering a holiday in the East of the country. You can view our guide on Self Catering Holidays in Suffolk here.

Why Choose Holiday Accommodation in Essex

Self-catering holidays are special because there are so many options available to suit all budgets. You can book to stay in anything from a luxury cottage, a converted barn or apartment to a wood lodge, camping or glamping site and everything in between.

Having a swimming pool or hot tub is always a special treat whilst you are away, with hot tubs being a firm favourite during the colder months.

Having your own private accommodation versus staying in a hotel affords a lot more flexibility which is very appealing to many. You can bring your dog, your bikes and even your horse to some locations without leaving them behind! Having your own kitchen cupboard essentials means you can have a home away from home. Another benefit is if you are a single traveller there is no extra supplement for there just being one person.

The freedom self-catering holidays offer gives you more control on how you spend your holiday according to your budget.

Things To Do Whilst Visiting Essex

Tourists and holiday makers can enjoy the fresh air on the meandering coastline that runs from the Suffolk border, down past Mersea Island and is home to coastal defences such as Harwich Redoubt, Tibury Fort – take in the views and you may also spot a Thames sailing barge.

Essex has many tourist attractions to keep the family entertained such as Colchester Zoo, on location with TOWIE in Brentwood and lots of traditional seaside entertainment at Southend.

There are many stately homes and gardens to explore including Eastbury Manor House, Hylands House and Audley End House. The county is home to a number of castles such as Mountfitchet Castle, Hedingham Castle and Colchester Castle in the country’s oldest recorded town.

A self catering property in Essex also gives you the chance to get out and sample the local food and drink scene including local oysters in season and the numerous tea rooms that dot the countryside villages.

Whether you are enjoying the coast, soaking up the history or exploring stately homes and gardens, Essex’s selection of self catering accommodation properties will give you a great base from which to explore the county.

Colchester Zoo | Essex

Colchester Zoo, Maldon Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 0SL

Tiptree Tea Room at The Barns

The Barns Tea Room, Cressing Temple, Witham Road, Braintree, Essex, CM77 8PD

Princes Theatre | Clacton

Clacton Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton on Sea, Essex, CO15 1SE

What to Expect from a Self Catering Holiday

What can you expect if you have never tried to ‘self-cater’ on holiday before?

You are afforded the opportunity to try local pubs, restaurants and cafés. This is a holiday treat and a really great way to get to know a new area. However, for some holidaymakers this might not be the right option, therefore arrange to take some kitchen staples (ie the kid’s favourites) with you and plan a food shopping trip at the start of your break. You could even plan to order in a takeaway for a special treat.

Also, find out what is provided at your holiday home. It can vary greatly whether items such as towels, washing up liquid, wine glasses and tea bags are provided. So if there are items that you cannot manage without, then it is always good to go prepared, so why not make your own checklist of items to bring before you go.

Places to Stay in Essex

The Tourist Trail has a wide and varied selection of accommodations available.

Simply click Stay and search by the county in which you would like to visit. We have places located on the Essex coast for those holidaymakers that love the beach as well as many more rural village options if you want to simply escape from it all.

  • Self catering accommodation in Essex is varied – from holiday parks, rural glamping sites, country cottages and luxury accommodation, there is plenty of choice.
  • Floating cabins and converted barges are ideal for those looking for a self catering holiday by the water.
  • Glamping sites are increasingly popular and there is a great choice of luxury pods, yurts and bell tents for those looking for a more outdoors experience.

Traditional accommodation includes coastal cottages from which you can enjoy a bracing walk by the sea and visit the local pubs before retiring in front of the wood burner or fire pit.

If you are looking for luxury accommodation then you won’t be disappointed – get away from it all and enjoy a hot tub and private gardens.

There is plenty of dog friendly accommodation and dog lovers should check out our Dog Friendly Beaches in Essex guide.

Properties with a Swimming Pool

Properties by the Coast in Essex

Self Catering Accommodation Available in Essex

The Stables | Blackbrook Lodges

Blackbrook Stud Farm, Ivy Lodge Road, Great Horkesley, Colchester, Essex, CO6 4EN

Gemini Camp | Essex

Woodlands, Elsenham Hall, Elsenham, Essex, CM22 6DP

Oaksbrook Nature Retreat | Essex

Kelvedon Road, Messing, Essex , CO5 9TA

Waldegraves Holiday Park | Essex

Waldegraves Holiday Park, Waldegraves lane, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8SE


Colchester | Mersea Island | Manningtree | Brightlingsea | Clacton on Sea | Frinton on Sea | Maldon


Looking for Self Catering Accommodation in Another Area?

Why not take a look at our Guides to: Self Catering Holiday in Norfolk | Self Catering Holiday in Suffolk


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