Rural Essex for a mid-week break

Rural Essex is ideal for a mid-week break

Let’s Explore Essex’s hidden gems…

The Blackwater estuary

The Blackwater estuary is an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle. The landscape varies from beautiful estuarine views to historic maritime towns, plus beguiling mudflats and picture-perfect villages. The area is alive with wildlife with much of the River Blackwater’s shoreline home to migrating birds and waders. The area is great for ramblers and birdwatchers; a towpath along the river leads from Maldon past the canal system at the Heybridge Basin where you’ll find two cosy pubs to choose from. Heading on up the river you’ll pass Osea Leisure Park, look out for their landmark beach huts that stand on stilts! The historic village of Tollesbury follows as the Blackwater widens on its path to Mersea Island.

Whether you decide to explore the river Blackwater on boat, bike or foot you’ll soon fall in love with its unique charm.

Beth Chatto Gardens

Just a short drive from Britain’s oldest recorded town, Colchester, lies a beautifully designed and enchanting garden. Beth Chatto Gardens welcomes visitors from around the world and are open all year round. Visitors will be amazed at her world-renowned gravel garden, extensive woodland, pretty water and reservoir gardens. Beth began her work here in 1960 transforming an overgrown wasteland of brambles, gravel and boggy ditches into a thriving exotic garden.  The gardens also include an extensive nursery and is a great place to find unusual plants for your own back yard. To discover more, visit

Where to stay? If you’re looking for accommodation in the heart of the Essex countryside, Vaulty Manor offers stunning stylish rooms at affordable prices. Their courtyard rooms can accommodate two - five people and are all equipped with ensuite bathrooms and tea and coffee making facilities. Or, why not treat yourself to Vaulty Manor’s Rose Cottage which sleeps two, or take the whole family away for a short-break and relax in style? Their magnificent five-bedroom 17th century Grade II listed Manor House is beautifully decorated with standalone roll top baths, there’s also a traditional kitchen and stylish dining room and lounge to make it the perfect home from home. To book, simply visit

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