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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

Four hundred year old cottage with original features and modern conveniences

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,237 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 1 - 7 nights


About the property

Cottage in West Mersea, Essex, England - Secluded position, backing onto the water with Estuary views and only minutes to the village centre

This beautiful Grade II listed cottage built in 1600 boasts all of its original features, so its jam packed with history. At the same time the decor has been updated to allow a fresh, coastal feel but retaining the coziness of a low ceiling-ed, exposed beamed cottage. If you are above 6ft 3" you will not fit into this cottage as its ceilings in the main living area are very low, but we feel it adds to its charm. The kitchen and master bedroom in contrast are later additions to the house and so have full height ceilings. This is a house that has evolved over the years and has a story to tell if only walls could talk!

With a fully equipped modern kitchen and bathrooms you will not have to suffer the inconveniences of period living but instead get a taste for the life of a fisherman that would have fished on the island hundreds of years ago, with all the modern day comforts!

The house has a large rear garden with beautiful views out towards the estuary and a small jetty where at high tide access can be gained to the water, for watersports. At the front there is a large driveway with parking for several cars.

The house is situated at the end of a long private driveway servicing just 5 houses all tucked away in the "Old City" part of the village also known as The Anchorage due to the Sailing/Yacht Clubs and Chandlers. This means that although the position is very secluded, quiet and peaceful you are never more than a few minutes walk from places to eat the lovely seafood on offer or drink in the local pubs. A few more minutes walk will take you to the centre of the village where you will find everything you need. With a top quality butchers, post office, bank, shops and supermarkets, it means that once you have arrived, you'll never need to leave the Island again till its time to go home!

Mersea Island is rapidly growing a reputation as a "foody haven", and just a few moments walk from Crabtree Cottage you will find the famous Company Shed. From this small "shed" by the waters edge you can eat freshly caught seafood moments out of the water. People trek from London to this unpretentious eatery each weekend to experience the fresh seafood on offer, its reputation is spreading so wide. There are plenty of other high quality, again unpretentious venues to eat the local seafood or other foody delights on offer, all accessed just a few minutes walk directly from the house. No need to take the car, just walk and have as many drinks as you like! Maybe sample each of the Mersea Island Breweries beers or Mersea Vineyard wines!

More Details

Vanessa Roots
Member since: 2014
Premier Partner

This partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks English
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
22 June, 2018

About Vanessa Roots

We are a forty something couple who have a passion for property and interiors. Most of our time is spent researching, designing and making either furniture for our properties or designing their interiors.

We spend a lot of time doing hand on jobs ourselves, its not often you won't find us with a paintbrush or sander in our hands, its what we do to relax, we do enjoy it so much.

We love creating relaxing, calming, beautiful spaces to spend time in. The trouble is we never sit still long enough in any of them to make full use of them. Instead we have decided to share the homes on Owners Direct with you, so you can enjoy these spaces aswell.

We really hope you enjoy spending time in them as much as we did creating them!

Please be sure to check out our other property, a beautiful stone Masters House in rural Brittany, France just 20 minutes from the beautiful Crozon Peninsular with its amazing beaches;

Vanessa Roots purchased this cottage in 2011

Why Vanessa Roots chose Borough of Colchester

We were brought up in rural Essex, so having lived in London for work for a few years we soon found ourselves missing the Essex coastline. We decided to look for a weekend home to escape from London and to spend more time with our friends and family. So the search began..

Having looked at other outlying villages in our part of Essex, we soon found that Mersea Island was the place for us. Although growing up only a stones throw from Mersea, we never fully appreciated it growing up. So when we found Crabtree Cottage in its amazing location, we soon realised we'd found a real gem in both this cottage and in Mersea Island. It really has its own charm.

Mersea Island is a special and unique place that enchants you from your very first visit, you'll want to return time and time again.

What makes this cottage unique

The many benefits of Crabtree Cottage include its secluded position down a long private driveway hidden from view. Even life-long Islanders have never heard of our location until they visit; we are so hidden away. However despite its secluded spot, the cottage is only a moments walk from the Anchorage part of the village, where the many Sailing Clubs, Pubs and Restaurants allow you to enjoy the coastal life!

Venture out from the bottom of the garden and you can walk along the sea wall all the way round the Island should you so wish! Or just a few minutes round the corner is West Mersea's Monkey Beach.

Just a 10 minute walk to the village centre allows access to all the amenities you could want. Once you've arrived no need to use the car, just leave it at home on the driveway! Perfect

Guestbook comments from the owner

Hi Vanessa,

Sam and I just wanted to say a massive thank you for letting us stay at your lovely home this weekend. We had such a lovely time, and have had many people saying how beautiful it is when I've shown them photos.

We went to the Coast Inn Friday night on your recommendation and it was lovely! The food was great and the staff were really friendly.

We also walked into the village yesterday and popped into a few shops and a cafe which was great. We really had a lovely time, the perfect valentines weekend! I have to say I've already raved about the cottage to various friends and family and how lovely you were as hosts.

We had such a great weekend and wanted to just say a massive thank you for everything, especially being your first visitors!


Hi Vanessa,

It is a really wonderful place , we had a lovely time and I will leave a glowing review on Owners direct.

All the best


Hi Vanessa

We really did have a lovely time at the cottage, thank you again for letting us stay. Your cottage is perfect and we it was our first time on Mersea Island and we really enjoyed it there, the girls loved the beach. I think it would be good to come back in summer and make the most of your deck and garden as it was a bit too cold to eat outside in the evenings!


Hi Vanessa

I’ve just completed the review. I selfishly don’t want you to get too popular so that I can book it again !

The French property also looks very very appealing. If only we had more holidays each year.

Thanks again!

Jan 2015
  • 1 of 1


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Borough of Colchester in Essex

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 1237 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 16:00
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Max. adults: 6
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • beach
  • near the sea
  • rural
  • village
  • waterfront
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom - Toilet , Bath (no shower)
    Shower Room - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
  • One family bathroom includes a bath, basin and toilet. An en-suite shower room and separate toilet to master bedroom on ground floor. Cleaning / Towels / Bed Linens: We ask that you bring your own bed linen and towels please.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom Two - 1 Double Bed , Restricted head height in this room
    Bedroom Three - 1 Double Bed , Restricted head height in this room
    Master bedroom - 1 Large Double Bed , Shower Room and toilet with basin off this room
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 6 in three bedrooms Notes on bedrooms: One ground floor Kingsize bedroom includes an en-suite shower room and separate toilet. French doors open on to the garden and has Blackwater Estuary views. Two very pretty double bedrooms upstairs. (Please note restricted head room and access to the upper floor is via a tight staircase). (Please also note one bedroom leads off the other.) Cleaning / Towels / Bed Linens: We ask that you bring your own bed linen and towels please.
  • Books
  • Games
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden
  • Barbecue ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • 1 bicycles
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • horse riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing
Crabtree Cottage is our second home, we use it as our escape from London on weekends. But we decided its such a special place we should share it when we are not there, its a shame to have it sit empty! Whilst we have decorated it to our taste, we have tried to leave as many of the original features in tact as we can, to retain its history. As such we feel its not had its heart ripped out; instead sympathetically restored to make a cosy, comfy cottage which is a pleasure to spend some quality time in whilst on the Island. Expect characterful quirks, cozy evenings by the wood burner, or star gazing on the rear deck with easy access to all the Island's amenities and most of all an enjoyable stay on Mersea Island! Outside: There is a large private rear garden with a large deck area, with a BBQ and table and chairs for alfresco meals. In the summer we eat most of our meals out on the deck. From the garden are stunning views of the Blackwater Estuary. You can hear many types of sea birds day and night, and the tinkling of the Sail Boat's halliards during windy times, all wonderful coastal sounds right from the back garden! At the front of the property is a large driveway with parking for several cars. Cleaning / Towels / Bed Linens: We ask that you bring your own bed linens and towels, but we do provide bedding. A full set of duvets for all weathers is available, along with pillows. We provide tea towels and bath mats.


Excellent! 4.5/5 -
(51 traveller reviews)

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Four hundred year old cottage with original features and modern conveniences
average rating of 4.54902 based on 52 reviews

Cozy..Idyllic..the heart of british seaside.

  • 5 of 5

Loved this beautiful cottage. Such escapism. Amazing views from the garden and a short walk to the seafront. 100% Coziness with open fires and rustic beams. Fantastic location. Lovely kitchen opening onto private large garden with plenty if space to play.

Two bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs, although you need to walk through one to get to other and both toilets are downstairs. This didn't cause us any problems however.

Would go back without hesitation.

  • Review Submitted: 04-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: July 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Lovely cottage

  • 5 of 5

Wonderful views and cottage!

  • Review Submitted: 12-Jun-2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Quirky, well-equipped, character cottage in a fantastic location

  • 5 of 5

Really enjoyed our stay at Crabtree Cottage. Tucked away in a blissfully peaceful location, but only 5 minutes walk to the main harbour area where there is lots to do and see. The cottage is clearly a much loved family getaway - sitting out on the West facing deck in the evenings with a beautiful view of sea, sky and marshes is heavenly. We know Mersea well and this has to be one of the best locations and most delightful cottages on the island.

  • Review Submitted: 03-Jun-2018
  • Date of Stay: May 2018
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: High praise indeed!! We do think of it as the best location on the Island and we like to think its the best cottage too, so it is so great to hear others feel the same. It gives us great pleasure to share our home with people who clearly enjoy it as much as we do!
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  • 4 of 5

A charming little house. Everything worked. Beautiful view from the back, over the estuary and very close to the waterfront with all facilities and very friendly natives

  • Review Submitted: 17-May-2018
  • Date of Stay: May 2018
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Beautiful, quaint, great views, close to the sea. Wonderful

  • 5 of 5

Lovely place to stay. It had everything we needed. Vanessa is a great host. I would definitely go back

  • Review Submitted: 07-Apr-2018
  • Date of Stay: April 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so pleased to hear of people enjoying the cottage just as much as we do, it makes the sacrifice of not being there ourselves, all the more worthwhile. When we began renting the cottage we envisaged only having a few enquiries and so it only being rented occasionally when we were not there ourselves. Little did we know just how popular it would become. Now we either have to let people down and refuse booking enquiries or just not visit the cottage ourselves very often. Its a tough decision! So having found that we struggle to refuse booking enquiries we no longer visit anywhere near as often as we once did, the only real saving grace being when we hear from our guests just how much they have enjoyed our home. Sally-Anne was a great guest, who was very grateful and we would welcome her and other lovely people like her family back at the cottage anytime.
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Easter family break

  • 4 of 5

Lovely cottage for our family Easter break. Our youngest was 7 months and the eldest 84 years. We didn't realise the main bathroom was downstairs and so the stairs proved a little awkward at night for my mum the 84 year old but she managed them ok. Mersea Island is great for families Cudmore park was a winner for all of us and the Company shed seafood was brilliant.

  • Review Submitted: 03-Apr-2018
  • Date of Stay: March 2018
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Many thanks for your review Nina. There is a bedroom on the ground floor, along with an en-suite shower room and separate toilet, so I am surprised the eldest member of your family didn't use this room, so she didn't have to use the stairs. It is clearly stated in the listing that the stairs are awkward, given the age of the house. We have had many families who bring along their elderly relatives, and we always recommend they use the downstairs bedroom making it easier for them to access both the bedroom and the bathrooms.
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Colchester Castle
The Company Shed
Colchester Zoo
Lady Grace Boat Trips
The Coast Inn
West Mersea Oyster Bar
Mehalah's at Oysters & Ale
Coastal Coffee West Mersea
Mersea Vineyard Ltd
Nearest Airport
37 Miles
Nearest Barpub
0.3 Miles
The Coast Inn at Mersea
Nearest Ferry
26 Miles
Nearest Golf
8 Miles
Five Lakes Country Club
Nearest Train
9 Miles
Nearest Motorway
16 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
0.2 Miles
The Company Shed
Nearest Beach
0.1 Miles
West Mersea
Car: not necessary

Special interest holidays:

West Mersea is a sailing community with its two Sailing/Yacht clubs at its heart. Crabtree cottage is situated in the Anchorage area of Mersea, the heart of the sailing community. You will find all amenities for this sport within moments of the cottage. This is an ideal spot for a sailing holiday or simply a base for visiting West Mersea's famous Regatta week in August.

Just over the Estuary situated at Saltcote is the RSPB Old Hall Marshes for Bird Watching. In addition at the nearby Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre is Essex Wildlife Trusts' venue for Wildfowl Watching.


The Estuary is visible at the bottom of the garden where you can take walks along the sea wall, all the way round the Island if you are feeling energetic! Both East & West Mersea boast beaches. West Mersea's Monkey Beach is only a few minutes walk from the cottage along the waters edge, past the pubs and eateries and a 5 minute drive to Cudmore Grove provides access to the beaches of East Mersea with its mini cliffs.


West Mersea is situated just 10 miles from Colchester.

Access to the A12 is either via Colchester or alternatively via Braxted Park which can be reached in 20 minutes. From there it is 45 minutes to the M25.

Mainline railways can be accessed at nearby Colchester, Kelvedon or Witham with trains to London, Norwich and further afield.

The nearest airport is Stanstead situated 35 miles away.


Colchester is 10 miles away and is Britain's Oldest Recorded Town, which boasts a Norman Castle and Roman Wall among many other architecturally important sites.

Tiptree is just 11 miles away. With its world famous Jam Factory, this village is steeped in history with the Wlikins Family producing jams and preserves from this site for well over 100 years. Visit the Jam Factory Tea Rooms for lovely cream teas.

Vist Dedham only 16 miles away; the scenery depicted in Constables famous paintings.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday cottage in Borough of Colchester, East of England

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
High Season
30 Apr 2018 - 19 Aug 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Regatta Rates
20 Aug 2018 - 2 Sep 2018
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
High Season
3 Sep 2018 - 30 Sep 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Mid Season
1 Oct 2018 - 4 Nov 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Low Season
5 Nov 2018 - 19 Dec 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Christmas Period
20 Dec 2018 - 6 Jan 2019
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights

Additional pricing information

Refundable Damage Deposit £200
Pet Fee £50

Booking Notes:
Booking Fee of 25% required upon making a reservation.

Balance payment required 60 days before arrival.

Security/Breakages Deposit of £200 required. Fully refundable - subject to no damages being incurred during your stay.

Changeover Day:

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Ask Owner a Question

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