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Four hundred year old cottage with original features and modern conveniences

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,237 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 - 6 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
Speaks: english
Calendar last updated:
October 14, 2017

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 Essex

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


Borough of Colchester Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1237 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Beach
  • Near The Ocean
  • 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
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom - toilet , tub
    Shower Room - toilet , shower
  • 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 , Restricted head height in this room
    Bedroom Three - 1 double , Restricted head height in this room
    Master bedroom - 1 queen , 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
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • 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! 4.6/5 -
(41 traveler reviews)

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Four hundred year old cottage with original features and modern conveniences
average rating of 4.634146 based on 42 reviews

Charming, quirky cottage in a quiet spot

  • 5 of 5

My family had a lovely time at Vanessa's cottage. The situation in West Mersea was perfect for us, as we could easily walk into the village and to the beach. The house itself is full of delightful old details. The kids loved the funny little staircase to the upper bedrooms (though anyone who may need to visit the toilets at night should sleep downstairs). We found the kitchen serviceable for breakfasts and lunches, but ate most of the dinners out at local pubs and seafood places. (The cream tea at the Artcafé in the village was a highlight as well.) We appreciated the selection of children's books set on Mersea and wished for more time to finish the 1000-piece puzzle. Beds were comfortable, baths were hot, tall people acquired the knack of ducking under all the beams, and we all thoroughly enjoyed our stay!

  • Submitted: Aug 14, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: As always so pleasing to hear of another fantastic stay at our home. If we can't be there, its nice to know others appreciate it as much as we do!
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Winchester, UK

A charming cottage full of character and very comfortable too!

  • 5 of 5

Spacious, comfortable, well equipped and beautiful with lovely morning views across the water.

  • Submitted: Sep 6, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Radwinter Saffron Walden Essex

Lovely traditional cottage with great location

  • 4 of 5

We stayed in Crabtree cottage with our two granddaughters aged 10 and 12. It was the perfect location for us, close to all amenities, eateries and great for crabbing! There are lovely views of the estuary across the garden from the kitchen and one of the bedrooms - really super.

  • Submitted: Aug 23, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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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.

  • Submitted: Aug 4, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Perfect location

  • 5 of 5

Able to walk everywhere.

Plenty to keep the children busy.

Lots of places to eat both lunches and evening meals.

Cottage quaint and facilities all good.

Lovely secure back garden.

Lovely views over the creeks.

Very near to family who live in Mersea.

Wonderful park ( Cudmore Grove ) in East Mersea

  • Submitted: Aug 1, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: This is such a helpful review as it lists all the important features about our home, so thank you very much. Its great to hear of another guest who was happy with their stay.
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Perfect getaway retreat

  • 3 of 5

Crabtree cottage is ancient, quirky and very much part of the local landscape. It's location is brilliant with great views over the estuary, and a short walk down the lovely Lane to the front and places like the company shed.

We were very fortunate that our week on West Mersea coincided with a heatwave, and that meant that we were able to live outside the whole time from breakfast to balmy late evenings. Our dog, Eddie gave it a five star rating as we slept with the french doors open every night so he was able to go out and have a sniff around any time he wanted in the dog safe garden.

The downstairs bedroom was lovely, an extremely comfortable bed and a deliciously cool retreat from the very hot weather. The kitchen is well equipped and straight out onto the deck, so al fresco breakfasts were the order of the day.

So why 3 stars rather than 5? We were blessed with fantastic weather, but had it been raining and a bit miserable, we would have been disappointed with the very small TV and no DVD player. As it was, watching the news was a bit of a strain for those of us with less than fabulous eyesight! One of the chairs held a bit of a surprise, as when I sat in it I disappeared down the back of it as the seat collapsed, and at 5'1" it was a bit of a shock! We swapped the chairs about, but had there been 4 adults instead of 2 sitting in the living room would have meant someone being on the floor.

Again, it was not a problem for us at all, as we were there in July and enjoying long summer days, but none of the wall lights in the living room were working. We had two very lovely ambient lights instead, but it should really have been checked out beforehand. And the ensuite shower light and fan were also not working, so we had to shower in the gloom and with the door open.

But my biggest disappointment was the bathroom. I love a nice long relaxing bath at the end of the day, and despite all my best efforts at scrubbing, the bath had a distinctly gritty feel to it and the rusting washbasin wasn't the most pleasant of views when lying in the bath. Don't get me wrong - there was plenty of lovely hot water, but as Crabtree cottage is at the higher end of the rental range, I think a new bathroom suite is definitely in order.

  • Submitted: Jul 23, 2017
  • Stayed: Jun 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Its always lovely to hear guests have enjoyed their stays at my home. Re the comments above I would like to come back as follows:- - Crabtree Cottage was never intended as a holiday rental but as our second home. We used to visit most weekends to enable us to escape London and our busy lives. As such our priority was never to have large screen TV's, DVD players or any other technology in this home. It was intended as an escape from all these things. When we visited ourselves on a regular basis we had NO TV, which might shock some people but we loved it that way. We didn't drive from London and our home with modern technology only to replace it with another exactly the same. Had we wished to watch TV all weekend we may as well have stayed in London. With its amazing views and quiet, peaceful position, we prefer to watch the sunsets in the evening or sit in front of the fire and maybe play the piano when its cooler in the beautiful lounge. However we did realise that paying guests would expect a TV so we did place a small one in the lounge in a position that does not dominate the room. Again we do not feel our guests come to our beautiful home to watch TV as a priority. Its there mainly for the children that visit or anyone that doesn't have their own electronic device, which is how a lot of people watch TV nowadays. Which is of course an option with the broadband that we provide. - The chair in the lounge was broken by guests immediately before and it didn't come to light until the house was being prepared for the next guests. During this busy season we have had back to back bookings and with my own holiday in the middle of July it has not allowed us the time to replace the chair. This is something that will need to be addressed as soon as we can gain access after such a busy run. There are however plenty of other chairs placed all over the house, which for larger groups can be utilised in the lounge of course. - The information sheet provided to guests explains that to have the light and fan on in the bathroom you must have the lights on in the bedroom. This is a little quirky, but again I do mention often in my listing this is a very old house with some quirks! - I also mention that the house has not had everything replaced instead we have kept a lot of the original features, including the original steel bath and basin, which we feel adds to the character of the place. - I was unaware of lights not working, it will now be addressed.
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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.


Crabtree cottage has its own access to the waters edge down at the estuary at the rear of the property. This allows walks along the sea wall, directly from the back garden, 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.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $65.78
Refundable damage deposit $263.12

Booking Notes:
Booking Fee of 25% required within 5 days of making a reservation.

Balance payment required 60 days before arrival.

Security/Breakages Deposit of £200 required 60 days before arrival. Fully refundable - subject to no damages being incurred during your stay.

Changeover Day:
Normal Changeover day is Saturday for week-long stays.

Weekend or mid-week stays can be flexible, please contact for details.

Notes on prices:
Shorter stays can be arranged. Please contact us for details.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

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