The Essex countryside is perfect for your pooch to run wild! With so many walks to choose from, loved by locals, lots of hidden gems to see on the way, and secluded safe havens to return to, enjoy quality time with your four-legged friend on a holiday in Essex #SecretEssex

Talbooth House and Spa

Talbooth House & Spa 

Your furry friend will receive a warm welcome at this country house hotel where their very own towel, bowl and bag of treats await! Set within pretty surroundings, with only 12 rooms and an adjoining spa, start the day with breakfast in bed and a morning swim. It’s a great base for exploring the Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Flatford Trail, The Essex Way and the route to Stratford St Mary past church and lock are popular with guests. The pretty village of Dedham is within walking distance and home to traditional pub, The Sun Inn, and The Essex Rose tearoom which both warmly welcome dogs. Pooch and Pamper package from £200pp. 50 min direct train from London, 15 min drive from Colchester North station.

The Hobbit Cottage, Chigborough Farm

Chigborough Farm

You don’t have to be a Lord of the Rings fan to fall in love with the cute Hobbit Cottage at Chigborough Farm. Surrounded by fields, enjoy a peaceful stay with your best pal in this quirky pad. Whilst dogs must be kept on a lead in the vicinity, be sure to book them into ‘Chigborough Unleashed’, a fenced off freedom run where they can roam and burn off some energy. They’ll quickly devour the doggy sausages available to buy at The Farm Café by Black Pig onsite. Just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Blackwater Estuary, the sea wall is great for dog walks and the river is great for sea swimming. From £80pn. 40 min direct train from London, 15 min drive from Hatfield Peverel train station.

The Wobbin

The Wobbin Farm Cottage

Sleeping up to 4 adults, 2 children, and your dog, this charming 18th century cottage boasts beautiful views of the water, and a conservatory looking out over fields. Set on a remote working farm with sheep and cattle, this rural retreat is great for dogs with secure garden, and direct access to a private woodland nature reserve (dogs must be kept on leads within). The path through the nature reserve ends in a clearing with a bench from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the estuary. There are also great walks to the sea past bird sanctuaries and famous salt marshes. Don’t miss the quirky Loft Tearooms, 12 mins walk, on your visit! A water bowl is provided, and a dog treat awaits your arrival! From £520 for 2 nights. 45 min direct train from London, 30 min drive from Witham train station.

The Hexagon

The Hexagon, a former Radar Tower

The Hexagon radar tower was built during World War II to lookout for enemy submarines. So, it is not surprising to hear it boasts marvellous views over Tollesbury marshes and Mersea Island. Surrounded by fields and nature reserves, with no neighbours, it is totally remote, protected by a large hedged and fenced meadow safe for all but the most determined dogs. This cool stay sleeps 2, with room for a travel cot, and if you have kids in tow, bring a tent for the garden from an additional £15. Pack your walking boots as the marshy wilderness, hidden creeks, bird sanctuaries and farmland are great for exploring on foot, and in the warmer months, watch the Thames Barges and yachts sail past. A water bowl is provided, and a dog treat plus English Breakfast basket awaits your arrival! From £213pn. Stays available from September 2023 onwards. 45 mins from London by direct train, 30 min drive from Witham train station.

The Nook, Coleman's Farm

Coleman’s Farm

Escape to the country, only minutes from London. Set in 3 acres of fenced farmland and overlooking beautiful woodland offering complete privacy, soak under the stars in an outdoor bathtub and cosy up by the log burner. Rekindle your sense of adventure as your bed for the night is reached by ladder! And with limited signal, no wi-fi and no TV, switch off and unwind. Join The Essex Way walking trail, or stroll to nearby pubs only a 15 minute walk away. Epping Forest is also only a 10-minute drive, a beautiful place to explore with your four-legged pal. The Nook from £155pn. Only 15 min drive from Epping Tube Station. 

Six Apples

Six Apples

This lovingly refurbished 18th century former coach house sleeps up to 8. This is a home from home with everything you need for the perfect self-catering holiday and more, boasting an outdoor heated swimming pool! The sheltered garden provides a safe space for children (and dogs) to roam, with badminton, swing set, tepee, pool inflatables and mud kitchen to keep them amused for hours. Play games by the fire, and visit the “most photographed village in England,” Finchingfield, only a 30 min walk across fields, with pubs and tearooms. From £400. 1-hour direct train from London, 15 min drive from Braintree train station.

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