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Luxury self-catering accommodation in Essex

Thatched villages, acres upon acres of patchwork farmland and 350 miles of coastline make up this belt on the outskirts of London, dotted periodically with large country houses, pristine gardens and market towns just waiting to be explored.

Idyllic, medieval villages and rolling countryside so picturesque it inspired some of John Constable's most famous paintings make up Essex's peaceful landscape. Visitors to this county bordering northern London can walk through the scenes depicted in such works of art at National Trust property, Flatford Mill, just outside of Dedham. Here, the River Stour gently ambles under enormous weeping willows, offering a gentle walk, or cycle, for families (with pubs aplenty for pit stops along the way!)

Along the coast, cockle-sellers, pink candly floss and slot machines jangle with a nostalgic seaside atmosphere, while marshes and nature reserves attract a wealth of wildlife. For a picture-perfect day trip, it has to Mersea Island, where pastel beach huts (which can be hired for the should you wish) line the sand, while a 10 acre vineyard selling five types of white wine, along with resident oyster beds ensure there's no lacking in authentic, local flavour.

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Victorian Country Retreat

Victorian Country Retreat

Hatfield Broad Oak, Bishop´s Stortford, Essex, UK

Covered in clambering roses, this 15th century country home was made with large gatherings and good times in mind, all within an hour of central London.

Sleeps: Up to 14 guests
From: £3,350 per week, £2,475 per short break
Alternative Group Option: Up to 8 guests
Pets: Two well-behaved dogs are welcome
Features: Heated outdoor swimming pool (available April - September), pool house, tennis courts, table tennis, croquet

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