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Four hundred year old cottage with original features and modern conveniences

Bedrooms 3
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 - 6 nights

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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 its own access directly down to the water's edge and 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:
18 February, 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


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(29 traveller reviews)


A very happy stay

  • 4 of 5

The property lacks nothing in the way of facilities and comfort. A well maintained period property with a charming garden and good access to estuary walks. Away from the light pollution of London, the spectacular night skies were a wonderful bonus!

  • Review Submitted: Nov 13, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Nov 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Jenny, So pleased you all (including Loopy) enjoyed your stay at our home. I am glad you noticed the dark and starry night skies, we do enjoy staring up from the deck each night before we go to bed! Vanessa
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Truly wonderful and restful stay!

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful little cottage at the end of a quiet driveway. Very peaceful with wonderful views of the estuary. If you want to escape the rat race and relax then this is the ideal place for you. Will definitely return!

  • Review Submitted: Sep 20, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I am so pleased you enjoyed your stay and you found the cottage to be very restful. It is a magical place and perfect for a break to restore your batteries. We hope to have you back again at some stage.
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Crabtree Cottage, 37 The Lane, West Mersea

  • 5 of 5

Crabtree Cottage is a characterful, well-equipped home and was ideal for our two-generation short break.

We appreciated its quiet, private situation giving easy access to the coastal footpath. Even the wet morning of our stay had its benefits, as it brought plenty of bird life into the garden. And, if it takes your fancy, its just a short stroll to experience fresh oysters and fried bread for breakfast . . .

Mersea Island is a delight if you want to holiday somewhere that hasn't become too commercialized.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 15, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay both on Mersea Island and at Crabtree Cottage. We agree, it remains a hidden gem, at least for a while, making it all the more special! Hoping to see you again some time. Many thanks Vanessa
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Location, location, location

  • 4 of 5

Beautifully situated down a private drive with stunning views across the estuary, but just a minutes walk from the quay with all it's pubs and restaurants, The Company Shed is a must visit, freshest seafood ever. 5 minutes brisk walk to the High Street with a fab deli and butchers and Tesco Local, although would recommend shopping in the Co-Op for the basics as much better stocked.

The cottage is full of character, and has some lovely quirky features which won't phase you if you are used to old properties i.e. not everything is modern and shiny, us cottage dwellers call it 'in keeping'.

Lovely decked area with adequate furniture and really efficient barbecue, where hours can be wasted watching the tide ebb and flow. Overlooks pretty garden, which is dog proof (perimeters thoroughly tested by 2 Belgian Shepherds who gave it the paws up!!)

Double French doors lead into kitchen which is very well equipped with a 'cottagey' layout (walking is required between appliances) 'in keeping'!!

Beautiful homely lounge and dining area

Delightful upstairs bedrooms await you from the very steep stairs, no problem, there's a rope to assist!! Downstairs bedroom is nice with garden views, the en-suite shower and separate toilet/wash basin are snug, but functional.

Family bathroom (downstairs) is again 'in keeping' but perfectly functional.

In summary: a very relaxing haven with everything you need. Thank you Vanessa and Jonty for sharing your home with us.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 13, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Another lovely stay at Crabtree

  • 4 of 5

Our third stay at Crabtree Cottage and, despite the dreadful halfterm weather, we still had a very relaxing and enjoyable break in this lovely home-from-home!

It was far too wet and windy for the beach, so this time we visited Colchester Castle, which held the kids' interest for a full day; spent a couple of hours at the Mersea Museum, which was full of fascinating information about local history; took a trip to the fantastic Colchester Zoo; discovered the most enormous softplay in Maldon ("the best softplay ever, mummy"); and had a marvellous cream tea at Maria's Vintage Tea Room.

Vanessa and her parents were as helpful and welcoming as always - thank you!

  • Review Submitted: Jun 7, 2016
  • Date of Stay: May 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Peace and tranquility in a beautiful setting

  • 5 of 5

We have stayed on Mersea Island a number of times in the past, and always in the "old city" area. But even though we know the area well, we had no idea your beautiful cottage existed being such a hidden away gem! Our first reason for booking Crabtree Cottage was because of the location on the island and secondly the fact that you welcome dogs. So anything above that was a bonus - and what a bonus! The cottage is of course characterful and quaint but also very comfortable. As you say it is quirky and therefore would not suit anyone who likes modern, state of the art, glass and chrome type properties. As lovely as the cottage is, we actually spent very little time inside as the weather was glorious. We therefore enjoyed sitting on the lovely rear terrace which was in the sun from early morning through to the magnificent sunset. Our Border Terrier, Jack LOVED the garden which was secure so we were able to leave him unattended without worry of escape. In addition it is completely secluded with a stunning view to the boats on the water. The cottage had everything we needed; fully equipped kitchen, hot water on demand and a very comfy bed. I would not hesitate to recommend your cottage and we hope to stay again soon.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 2, 2016
  • Date of Stay: May 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Sharon, Many thanks for your lovely review, we are so pleased you enjoyed your stay recently. You were indeed lucky with the weather, so I am pleased you got to enjoy the garden so much, and am pleased you felt that it was doggy proof. We recently carried out works to ensure that, as we recently got a puppy of our own! Having stayed very nearby on the Island previously it was good to know you felt we measured up to other accommodation you have stayed in. We hope to welcome you back again for a future visit to our hidden gem, being both the cottage and Mersea as a whole! Warm regards Vanessa
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Prices & Availability

Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Low Season
7 Jan 2017 - 31 Mar 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Mid Season
1 Apr 2017 - 9 Apr 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Easter Period
10 Apr 2017 - 21 Apr 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Mid Season
22 Apr 2017 - 5 May 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
High Season
6 May 2017 - 18 Aug 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Regatta Rates
19 Aug 2017 - 28 Aug 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
High Season
29 Aug 2017 - 22 Sep 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Mid Season
23 Sep 2017 - 27 Oct 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Low Season
28 Oct 2017 - 15 Dec 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Christmas Period
16 Dec 2017 - 5 Jan 2018
6 night minimum stay
for 6 nights

Additional pricing information

Pet Fee £50
Refundable Damage Deposit £200

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.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Available arrival


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Colchester in East of England

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 115 m²
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
  • 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 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). Cleaning / Towels / Bed Linens: We ask that you bring your own bed linen and towels please.
  • Books
  • Games
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Garden
  • Barbecue ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • 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.

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