Leave behind your daily routine and explore new horizons on a romantic getaway, only minutes from London. These beautiful retreats offer privacy and peace in tucked away locations within the Essex countryside. Relax and unwind together at one of these secret escapes in Essex. #SecretEssex

Two women in a hot tub overlooking a lakeChalkney Water Meadows cabin

Escape from the daily grind at Kingfishers Nest, a secluded lakeside log cabin. Nestled in the woodland, hidden by surrounding nature, relax in your hot tub, sauna or bathtub within the bedroom, all with beautiful views of the water. The log burner is perfect for cosy nights in and the outdoor seating on deck/lawn is great for alfresco summer evenings. The ultimate restful and romantic break.

From £220pn. 1hr from London by direct train, 10 min drive from Marks Tey station.

Hedingham Castle at nightHedingham Castle

Stay in the Royal Chamber of a castle! Be one of the first guests to overnight at the top of the keep and feel like lord and lady of the manor. Rest your head in a colossal four-poster bed; the luxurious double bathtub is even hidden in a chest! And wake up to beautiful countryside views from your lofty height before tucking into breakfast without having to leave your room.

From £490pn, opens 1st March. 1hr from London by direct train, 20 min drive from Braintree station.

Grebes Nest glamping podChigborough Farm glamping

For ultimate tranquillity, stay on a floating Raft in the middle of a private lake! Cosy up next to the log burner in this cabin, read your book from the hammock, explore in your own private rowing boat and soak in your wood-fired hot tub. Go off grid with privacy and peace, plus a little adventure thrown in! From £245pn. Or chill out in The Grebes Nest, a floating pod, also with private rowing boat and underfloor heating so you’ll be toastie in winter. From £125pn. Both are accessed by floating pontoon. If you prefer land, book the cute Hobbit Cottage, surrounded by fields. From £80pn. Café, bikes to hire, paddleboarding and more available at the farm.

40 min direct train from London, 15 min drive from Hatfield Peverel train station.

The Trap glamping unitColeman’s Farm treehouse and glamping

Escape to the country; spend quality time together at one of four romantic retreats. This farm is only minutes from London. Overlooking beautiful woodland or rolling fields with complete privacy, soak under the stars in an outdoor bathtub and cosy up by the log burner. With limited signal, no wi-fi and no TV, switch off and relax. If you are looking for a little adventure thrown in, choose The Old Oak treehouse with double bathtub, or the glamping Trap with glass ceiling for a magical night’s sleep.

From £155pn. Only 15 min drive from Epping Tube Station. 

Talbooth SpaTalbooth House & Spa 

Treat yourselves to a luxury weekend away in this country retreat. With only 12 bedrooms, each named after English poets, this 4-star boutique hotel promises peace and picturesque surroundings in the heart of the Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Enjoy lazy mornings as breakfast is brought up to your room. Relax in the adjoining spa with an adults only heated outdoor pool, hot tub, and sauna. Sip on a glass of Champers as you cosy up by the log burner before being pampered with a treatment. The pretty village of Dedham is within walking distance and home to tearooms and traditional pubs. Canoes and paddle boards are available to hire to explore the beautiful countryside by riverway.

From £250pn. 50 min direct train from London, 15 min drive from Colchester North station. 

Inside the Shepherds HutHedingham Huts

Soak up the beauty of your surroundings with this shepherd hut stay in the charming North Essex countryside. Set within a small farm, wake up to views of rolling fields and enjoy all your home comforts in this cosy pad. Fully off the grid, go walking on the public footpaths or venture into the quaint village of Castle Hedingham with views of the castle en route before reaching pubs and a restaurant only 15 mins walk away. Admire stunning sunsets from your base and come dusk, cosy up by the log burner or firepit. This is the perfect place for a romantic getaway.

£105pn. 1hr from London by direct train, 20 min drive from Braintree station.

Willow BoatWillow Boat Hire 

Stay on your very own canal boat! Moored on the beautiful Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation and stationery at Hoe Mill Lock, this floating haven sleeps 3. Enjoy all your home comforts on board. Cosy up with hot water bottles and blankets on deck, and log burner inside. In summer, enjoy a BBQ on deck and beautiful sunsets. With cafes and pubs within walking distance and kayaks, canoes and bikes for hire, this makes for a lovely weekend break.

From £120pn. 40 min direct train from London, 10 min drive from Hatfield Peverel train station.

Couple in the hot tub at Malting Farm CabinsMalting Farm cabins

Escape to the country in a luxury cabin nestled between wildflower meadows, sweetcorn fields and a lazy stream. Designed to give you privacy and space, relax in your hot tub, bathtub or around the campfire. Each cabin has underfloor heating, so it’s really cosy in winter. Follow country footpaths, hire bikes to explore further afield or paddleboards to use on the farm reservoir. Sandy beaches are only 20 mins drive away. And if you are feeling lazy, pre-order food which will be waiting for you when you get back.

From £140pn, min 3-night stays. 1hr direct train from London, 20 mins drive from Colchester North station.

Glamping at Teybrook OrchardTeybrook Orchard glamping

Tucked away in the woods, The Grain Silo was once used to store grain on the farm but now provides a cosy and romantic retreat with drapes, throws and rugs making it snug. The skylight means you really will fall asleep under the stars; magical! Or choose the charming Shepherd’s Hut, sitting in the corner of the meadow with its own wood burner. Both options have a private firepit/BBQ grill and picnic table.

From £80pn. 1hr from London by direct train, 10 min drive from Marks Tey station.

Bullocks Farm barnsCooking at Bullocks Farm

Set at the edge of a working family farm, overlooking fields, hay bales and beautiful gardens, step inside one of three luxury boutique barns. If you are feeling lazy during your stay, prepared meals are available to pre-order, or whip up your favourites in the fully equipped kitchen. A pub and cafe is within walking distance across beautiful country. On your return cosy up aside the log burner.

From £150pn. 50 mins train from London, 11 min drive from Stansted Airport train station.

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