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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 0 - 7 nights
Popular Features
  • Fireplace
  • Barbecue
  • Washing Machine
  • Internet
  • Parking


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


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 -
(42 traveller reviews)

71% Complete
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Four hundred year old cottage with original features and modern conveniences
average rating of 4.547619 based on 43 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!

  • Review Submitted: 14-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: August 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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0 0

You will NEVER get your deposit back

  • 1 of 5

After staying in the house, we were told that we would not be getting our deposit back. The owner first delayed returning our deposit, then, after 3 weeks, she sent an email in which she came up with some of the most outlandish reasons not to return our deposit. She claimed we blew 12 light bulbs, broke things like electrical sockets, and claimed we should have cleaned fridge, microwave and oven better than we did. She then claimed that because we left at 10:08am instead of 10am, we were late leaving.

Overall impressions:

- it smelled like it was 400 years old

- there was dog poo in the back yard

- nettles every where in the front and back gardens. They were very unkept.

- if you are over 6 feet tall, you will not be able to stand in any room except for the kitchen and the downstairs bedroom.

- The back decking was rotting away and VERY dangerous for our children

- the couches looked dirty and old

- the upstairs bedrooms had loose and uneven floor boards and some have nails pertruding. My son actually cut his leg on one of the nails.

- carpets in the downstairs bedroom smelled like mold

- the shower was extremely small, mold on the ceiling, no extract fan and it felt and looked damp and dirty

- no place to throw your rubbish. We had to take it to the recycling center ourselves.

- lights were out everywhere

- they gave us 1 key to the back door that worked 1/2 the time and as the decking in the back was rotting, entering the home at night back there felt unsafe.

If this person was reasonable and only kept some of our deposit because the cleaning lady had to spend an extra hr "cleaning" or to replace a bulb etc we would have understood but she chose instead to keep all of our money.

Good luck if you choose this house.

  • Review Submitted: 05-Nov-2017
  • Date of Stay: October 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I am not surprised about this unhelpful review given the lengthy correspondence between myself and the guests. This is simply a case of sour grapes since I was unable to refund their deposit. What has not been said in the review is the real reasons for the deposit being witheld and instead they have tried their hardest to find things to complain about so that the poor review sounds plausible. Simply look at past reviews with an overwhelming majority being 5 stars. I would also advise future guests that this guest originally booked for one week, then extended their stay to a second week. If the cottage was so awful, why did they choose to stay another week, one has to ask? I listed several reasons for the deposit being witheld, including several extra hours cleaning being needed after the complete state the house was left in after their departure. Blood stains on the sofa cushions, that had not even been attempted to be removed, a broken model boat, a visit to the house by my property manager to let them back in after they locked themselves out. And so the list goes on.... I will respond to the guests comments however: - we have a gardener that visits the property every week during the summer and obviously less often in winter. I believe the gardener was due a visit during their stay, but obviously waited until they'd left to go visit. (They originally only booked one week, but decided to stay an extra week.) - the floorboards are not loose with exposed nails upstairs but they are uneven. As I myself say in my description this is a very old house with a lot of quirks! The guest did not advise me of her son cutting his leg on a loose nail, which I feel sure she would have done before now during our numerous emails!! It seems strange she only mentions this now several weeks after her stay and now that she has chosen to write a review of the cottage! - As I said I do mention in my description about the ceiling heights, I warn people over 6 feet tall they may not like to rent this cottage! - A recycling bin is and has always provided outside. - One key to the house has always been sufficient for our guests in two and a half years of renting. - We only found out about lots of bulbs having blown when the following guests arrived the night these people left, after having stayed two weeks. In two weeks she never contacted me to say that almost none of the interior lights were working. This seems very strange to me. All was needed was bulbs replacing!
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1 0
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.

  • Review Submitted: 06-Sep-2017
  • Date of Stay: August 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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0 0
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.

  • Review Submitted: 23-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: August 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.

  • Review Submitted: 04-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: July 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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0 1

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

  • Review Submitted: 01-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: July 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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0 1


Vanessa Roots
Member since: 2014
Speaks English
Calendar last updated:
25 February, 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


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
Low Season
8 Jan 2018 - 25 Mar 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Easter Period
26 Mar 2018 - 8 Apr 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Mid Season
9 Apr 2018 - 29 Apr 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
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

Pet Fee £50
Refundable Damage Deposit £200

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.
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