Hotels in Essex (county), United Kingdom

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Best hotels in Essex (county)

Essex Hotels

With Roman history, blooming gardens, and London as a lively neighbor, a stay here will quickly teach you why the only way is Essex. While Essex can live up to its reputation for glamor and partying if you want it to, don't be fooled into thinking it's all long lashes and late nights here. Essex is a large, diverse county, and whether you want to spend your time watching whitewashed cricketers batting on village fields, nocturnally hopping between busy bars, or simply licking dripping ice creams on sandy beaches, you’re free do exactly as you please here.

Things to see

Forget the fake tan and get a real bronzing at Southend-On-Sea's beach. Lay out a deckchair to soak up some warm summer rays, or test your nerve by looking down at the undulating waves through the gaps in the wooden slats of the town's pleasure pier - which is the world's longest. As Britain's oldest recorded town, and its first official market town, Colchester – which dates back to AD77 - is another Essex town that's keeping the record books busy. Travel back in time at the town's Castle Park, where a brick Norman Castle overlooks ponds of swirling coy carp, and the smell of freshly cut grass is ever present. Walking through the castle's rainbow-colored gardens, with the sound of ducks contentedly quacking in the background, is an introduction to Essex at its most peaceful. If you like those gardens, then you have to visit RHS Garden Hyde Hall. Inspect rare plants, like Winter Gold and Camellia, or simply sip a coffee and tuck into a slab of moist carrot cake in the café.

Hotels in Essex

Wake up by chipping golf balls through the crisp morning air at a specialist golf hotel, or do your bit for the planet by checking into an eco-hotel - where you'll sleep peacefully knowing your carbon footprint is being offset for you. High quality Essex hotels provide you with feather-soft mattresses, and pile up the pillows to guarantee you a comfortable stay. You can also enjoy soundproofed walls and blackout curtains - so remember to set your alarm if you want to avoid an unintentional lie in. If you've any spare time, spend it browsing the internet on your hotel's WiFi, watching your 32-inch television, or enjoying a relaxed drink in the bar.

Where to stay

Colchester is a real jewel in Essex's crown, with beautiful gardens, theaters, and museums on every ancient corner. The Dutch Quarter is particularly charming, thanks to its mesh of narrow streets - which are overlooked by crooked wooden houses. If the idea of waking to views of the sea's waves lapping each morning appeals, try staying in Clacton-on-Sea. Be sure to enjoy some vinegar soaked fish and chips, freshly battered by the beach, before you leave. Chelmsford is another excellent Essex accommodation option, especially if you're here for the nightlife. Warm up in the high street's lively bars, before catching a train to the neon-soaked mega clubs of London.

How to get to Essex

London Stansted Airport serves Essex, providing extensive flights to Europe and Africa. London's other airports – including Heathrow and Gatwick – are also worth considering if you can find cheaper flights, or are looking for Trans-Atlantic travel. Trains run between the center of London and Stansted Airport in 45 minutes, while a trip from Chelmsford to the Capital takes just over half an hour by rail. Train services can also whisk you between Chelmsford and Colchester in 25 minutes, making it easy to throw yourself into all this great county has to offer.

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