OwnersDirect uses cookies to improve your site experience. Learn more. By continuing, you consent to our use of cookies.
OwnersDirect uses cookies to improve your site experience. Learn more. By continuing, you consent to our use of cookies.
Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled

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
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

Vanessa Roots
Member since: 2014
Speaks English
Calendar last updated:
20 July, 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


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:
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
  • 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
  • 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
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Garden
  • Barbecue ...
  • 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! 4.6/5 -
(34 traveller reviews)

Four hundred year old cottage with original features and modern conveniences
average rating of 4.647059 based on 35 reviews

Beautiful Cottage in a great spot

  • 5 of 5

Lovely home from home in a great location, within a few minutes walk of restaurants.

Thank you Vanessa!

  • Review Submitted: May 22, 2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Kayley, I'm so pleased to hear you had such a lovely stay, its always rewarding to know others have enjoyed the cottage and Island as much as we do!! Hope to see you again some time? Best regards Vanessa
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Wonderful - a gem of a cottage

  • 5 of 5

I had the pleasure of staying at Crabtree Cottage with two of my best friends last weekend. As soon as we arrived we all fell in love with this beautiful quirky cottage in a such a fantastic location. We all felt the stress of the working week just melt away as we relaxed on the decking overlooking the water. The cottage is beautifully presented and has everything you need and is only minutes away from some fantastic places to eat and drink. We loved it and highly recommend it and hope to be back to visit it again soon.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 14, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Lovely location, with beautiful view

  • 3 of 5

We had a very lovely stay, the house is in a beautiful situation with gorgeous view and stunning sunsets over the Blackwater Estuary, walking distance to beach, excellent eateries and pub . Fantastic Oysters ! The area has a lot to offer, also good for visiting Suffolk. The cottage was cute and a little quirky, lounge area and upstairs bedrooms charming . We were disappointed with the bedroom downstairs, in need of an update and the ceiling leaked on the end of our bed on our last night and was already stained from previous leaks . Needs a freshen up and painting . But Vanessa said she was going to sort the leak . Also net curtains in bedrooms so not ideal if you have children who won't go to sleep in the light evenings . The shower beside the bed works really well, basic but also needs a freshen up with mould on the ceiling . We were also disappointed that the owner no longer has access as advertised when we booked through the other garden down to the water as our daughter wanted to be able to go on her own crabbing. But Vanessa said that this access had only recently been stopped as a new owner had bought the land next door. You can walk around, but a bit of a trek if you have little ones or want to take a glass of wine or cup of tea. We would also reccomend some deckchairs to be able to sit comfortably outside with a book . Don't want to sound too negative as the cottage is very lovely apart from the downstairs bedroom area . Would reccomend to go to Crabtree Cottage on lovely Mersea Island if this gets freshened up.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 7, 2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Michelle, Many thanks for taking the time to write a review. When you contacted me about the gate at the bottom of the garden, I did explain this situation had changed only recently, and most certainly since you first booked your stay. Although we do mention the path through the field at the bottom of the garden, we did not say we owned the land all the way to the Estuary, but had access. It is unfortunate that this has now gone due to a change of ownership, but there is nothing we can do about this. The description has been changed, but it is only a few minutes walk to get down to the water via The Lane instead, so its not a huge inconvenience and I certainly wouldn't describe it as a trek. We do provide many outdoor chairs and a dining table. The dining chairs on the deck are very comfortable, with arms, and we do provide substantial cushions for them, so I feel they offer perfectly good relaxation on the deck. If we did provide additional seating, such as deck chairs, we have nowhere to leave them, as access to the shed and garage is for our own use to keep or private things out of the way. So they would be vulnerable left outside all the while. No one has even complained about a lack of seating before. It is unfortunate you were at the cottage the night of the massive storms in which we were all deluged with water. It seems that a historic leak that occurred many years ago, returned on this evening, I think due to the neighbour's creeping plants over the roof tiles, which will need removing again, but it was exceptional circumstances, and has not happened again since. We are of course having remedial work done to prevent it happening again in the next storm. My apologies if this inconvenienced you on your last morning. I'm sorry you feel the downstairs bedroom needs a freshen up, it has been a while since we had the opportunity to do any painting work on the cottage due to a constant flow of guests, as it is so popular. I will take a look on my next visit, and take any necessary action. Many thanks for bringing this to my attention. I would say though that they are not Net curtains but Voiles, as we like the light and airy feel in that room, and not dark heavy drapes shutting out all the light. We do not need heavy curtains for privacy as the house is not overlooked. It is very dark at night as Mersea is lucky to not suffer from light pollution, and we love seeing the stars from our bedroom. I hope this addresses your concerns.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Wonderful spot for a tranquil weekend away

  • 5 of 5

The cottage was easy to find with the directions supplied

The cottage is very comfortable, full of character and plenty warm enough even on a chilly evening. Having the woodburner was a treat. The kitchen is well equipped and everything we used worked perfectly.

The combi boiler means plentiful hot water and the shower worked without a hitch.

It was a real joy to sit out on the decking in the back garden and look out over the water. Such a beautiful and peaceful spot.

The Coast pub/restaurant (dog friendly) and the Company Shed restaurant are both just a short walk away and both highly recommended.

We had a great stay. Many thanks

  • Review Submitted: Mar 16, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Its always so satisfying to hear our guests have enjoyed the cottage and Island as much as we do, it makes the sacrifice worthwhile!! It is such a beautiful spot and yes either sitting on the deck, or in front of the woodburner, you wouldn't want to be anywhere else! Hope to see you again soon, Tony!
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0

Well equipped cottage with lovely views from kitchen and ground floor bedroom

  • 5 of 5

We were in Mersea for a reunion with 6 others and the cottage was ideally placed for walks etc.There were 6 of us and we were able to show people around. Local facilities were excellent - especially Art cafe and Coast restaurant.

  • Review Submitted: Mar 14, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Many thanks for the lovely review Jane, so nice to hear you really enjoyed your stay. Glad you enjoyed all that Mersea has to offer. Hope to see you again soon? Vanessa
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

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
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0


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.


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
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.