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Wonderful Winter Retreats in the Heart of Essex

Wonderful Winter Retreats in the Heart of Essex

Winter Retreats

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Here at Browning Bros, we truly believe that winter is the perfect season for a magical mid-week break in Essex. Wake up to glistening frost and stunning snow-capped hills, enjoy a spot of winter wildlife-spotting or admire the stunning stars on those crystal-clear winter nights. What could be better?!

So, pack your favourite book, snuggest winter jumper and fluffiest socks and embark upon the winter trip of a lifetime here at Browning Bros…


Walking in a Winter Wonderland

The Essex countryside is one of the UK’s hidden gems, best discovered on foot. With winter comes colder temperatures and shorter days – why not make the most of the daylight hours with a wonderful winter walk?!

  • Chalkney Wood. Walk just 10 minutes from our cosy cabins to discover our neighbouring ancient woodland, the beautiful Chalkney Wood. This wonderful woodland is rich in both history and wildlife, positively teeming with both exotic and native varieties of flora and fauna. This Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) provides the perfect base for a warming winter stroll.
  • Danbury Country Park. Discover 45 acres of glorious grade II listed parkland and gardens in the remains of the 13th Century Danbury Palace. These historic lakes, ancient woodland, formal lawned garden, wildflower meadows and Victorian rhododendrons make for an accessible yet scenic winter walk. Follow the lakeside trail down to the Ice House, or choose the woodland route to the wildflower meadow – the possibilities are truly endless!
  • Markshall Estate. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, head to Markshall to discover the 200-acre arboretum with 200+ eucalyptus trees – how’s that for a winter walk?! This heritage landscape covers a whopping 2350 acres of rural Essex countryside, with atmospheric areas of ancient woodland showcasing the unique and varied landscapes of Europe, Asia, North America and beyond.
  • Mersea Island. If wildlife spotting is your thing, we highly recommend checking out the red squirrels at Mersea Island. Despite them being an endangered species, you will find red squirrels in abundance here. Head to East Mersea for a wildlife-rich winter walk, with flocks of Brent geese and various species of wading birds galore; or venture to West Mersea for a lovely stroll along the beach, which is dog-friendly all year round.


Eat, Drink & Be Merry!

At the end of a long, tiring winter walk, there’s nothing better than holing up in a country pub by a roaring fire. Head to one of these traditional inns and enjoy a delicious local pint (or two!), whilst tucking into some hearty pub grub…

  • King’s Head, Pebmarsh. Dating back to 1450, the King’s Head is celebrated for its real ales and traditional pub grub. This Grade II listed family run pub has a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, with its traditional country bar featuring a roaring open fire in the winter months. They serve excellent food, made using local fresh ingredients wherever possible.
  • Thatcher’s Arms, Mount Bures. This gorgeous gastro pub specialises in traditional British cuisine with worldwide influenced dishes, boasting one of the finest views in North Essex. With two well stocked bars, cosy wood burning stoves, rustic oak beams and a variety of interesting and comfortable rooms, you will find quintessential British charm and character here.
  • The Old Crown, Messing. This small country pubs provides a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, serving bistro-style homecooked food and drinks. The frequently changing A La Carte menu and delicious set menu feature a large variety of delicious dishes, all cooked to order in a hearty kitchen. Cosy up by the real log fire and tuck into a tasty meal – we guarantee you won’t regret it!
  • The Chequers, Great Tey. Our local pub is perfect for a quick pint pit stop. This idyllic 16th Century Norman pub prides itself on serving good beer and good food in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. They have a range of bar games on offer including pool and darts, as well as a hearty open fire in the comfy lounge area.


Our Cosy Cabins on the Water’s Edge

Delve into a secret world and escape from everyday life at Water Lily Lodge or Kingfisher’s Nest – our beautiful lakeside cabins. Travel down a meandering country track to reach a mystic lake, hidden deep within the Colne Valley. Immerse yourself in nature, admire stunning views, explore picturesque woodland, and experience total tranquillity during your winter staycation.

Our cosy cabins are ideal for a winter break. At the end of a long day exploring the sights and sounds of rural Essex, retreat to your lakeside hideaway for warmth and relaxation. Spend your evenings playing board games, hunker down by the fire for a film night or cook up a delicious dinner for all to enjoy. The only limit is your imagination!

Water Lily Lodge is perched upon the edge of a hidden lake, boasting beautiful waterfront views. Sleeping up to 6 guests across 3 bedrooms, Water Lily is ideal for a festive family break. With a large bathroom, open plan kitchen and living area, fully equipped kitchen, and a lovely log burner, you’ll find everything you need and more. Soak in those wonderful views whilst soaking in your very own hot tub – heavenly!

Kingfisher’s Nest is our beautifully designed snug for couples. Situated on the edge of a hidden lake and surrounded by nature, you will find true peace and quiet during your stay here. Kingfisher’s Nest features a king-sized bedroom, integrated bathroom, fully equipped kitchen, open plan kitchen and living area and a rustic log burner; as well as the added luxuries of a sauna, hot tub and romantic bathtub in the bedroom.

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to book your wonderful winter break in the heart of Essex.


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