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Top Parks in Essex to Rent

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4.6
Perfectly placed on the Essex Sunshine Coast, Brightlingsea Holiday Park is a perfect coastal haven for you and your family.
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Visitor Rating
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3.6
Perched on the shores of Mersea Island near Colchester, Coopers Beach Holiday Park is a jewel in the crown of holiday destinations.
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Visitor Rating
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4.3
Situated close to a Blue Flag Beach, those who enjoy the seaside should pack their bucket and spade.
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3.2
Highfield Grange’s location in Clacton-on-Sea makes this the ideal place to enjoy a traditional seaside holiday.
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Visitor Rating
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3.5
If you’re wondering how Martello Beach Holiday Park got its name, you won’t have to look far.
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Visitor Rating
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4
Enviably situated very close to the beach, Mersea Island Holiday Park boasts a truly peaceful setting amidst the idyllic countryside.
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4.3
Naze Marine Holiday Park is the perfect spot for a family who love exploring the great outdoors. Situated in Walton-on-the-Naze, the park boasts a relaxed and peaceful setting.
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3.8
Seawick Holiday Park is the perfect location for fun-filled family holidays near Clacton.
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3.7
St Osyth Beach holiday park near Clacton-on-Sea – a breath of fresh, salty air on the Essex coast.

As its name suggests, St Osyth Beach enjoys an amazing beachfront location.
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Visitor Rating
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3.3

Steeple Bay

Sleeps 8
Pets 2
Discover Steeple Bay and escape to a wonderful, waterside retreat.
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4.7
The Essex Country Club is beautifully set within the grounds of an 18-hole Championship golf course.
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3.6
For action-packed seaside fun, you can’t beat a holiday at Valley Farm.
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Visitor Rating
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4.2

Warren Lodges

Sleeps 6
Hot Tub
Warren Lodges is part of our Evermore Lodge Holidays Collection, an idyllic rural retreat nestling in 325 acres of exquisite countryside and woodland within the Warren Golf and Country Club.
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4
Set in the countryside near Clacton-on-Sea, Weeley Bridge is the ideal place for a relaxing getaway and is close enough to the coast when you want to enjoy all the fun of the seaside.
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Essex Park & Sight Seeing Guide

Essex, a county where vibrant coastal fun meets serene countryside, offers an eclectic mix of activities for every family. Savour fresh seafood by the shore, or indulge in traditional fish and chips while strolling Southend Pier. Adventure-seekers can revel in outdoor pursuits at Hadleigh Park, while Colchester Zoo provides a wild encounter for animal lovers. Did you know Essex is home to the oldest recorded town in Britain, Colchester? Opting for a family break at a UK holiday park here combines the comfort of home with the excitement of new experiences, all while keeping the family together in a relaxed, activity-rich environment.

Have You Discovered UK Holiday Parks?

UK holiday parks are essentially self-contained resorts offering a variety of accommodation options, from static caravans to luxury lodges. They’re designed for families, with facilities like swimming pools, playgrounds, and entertainment programs. You can expect a community vibe, with shared amenities and often beautiful natural surroundings.

Benefits over hotels: Holiday parks offer more space and self-catering facilities, which can save you money and give you flexibility. They often provide a more relaxed atmosphere, with entertainment and activities on-site, so you don’t need to venture far for fun.

Benefits over flying abroad: No airports, no luggage limits, and no jet lag! You’ll also be supporting the UK economy and can enjoy shorter travel times, making the most of your holiday time. Plus, there’s no language barrier or currency exchange to worry about.

Why Take Your 2024 Family Holiday Park Break in Essex?

Essex is a gem for family breaks, with its blend of coastal resorts, rural landscapes, and historical towns. It’s not just about the seaside; Essex has a vibrant cultural scene, with festivals like the Chelmsford Summer Beer and Cider Festival and the Colchester Food and Drink Festival.

New this year: Look out for updated facilities at some parks, aiming to enhance your stay.

Essex’s holiday parks offer a different experience to hotels, with a focus on family-friendly, communal living and a range of on-site activities. The area’s unique draw is its diversity – from the world’s longest pleasure pier in Southend to the ancient woodlands and wildlife reserves.

If you’re visiting Essex with kids

Absolutely, Essex is a hit with the kids. There’s Adventure Island in Southend with rides for all ages, Colchester Zoo for animal encounters, and numerous beaches for classic seaside fun.

Why a holiday park in the UK can be good for kids: They’re designed with families in mind, offering safe environments, kids’ clubs, and activities that encourage making new friends.

  1. Comfortable walking shoes for exploring
  2. Swimwear for pool and beach days
  3. Sunscreen, even the UK sun can be strong
  4. Rain gear – it’s Britain, after all
  5. Entertainment for quiet evenings, like board games or a tablet
  6. First aid kit for any scrapes or stings
  7. Beach toys and buckets for sandcastle building

Pet Friendly Essex Adventures

Essex is very welcoming to four-legged friends. You’ll find plenty of pet-friendly holiday parks, and many pubs and cafes are happy to host your pet. The Black Buoy in Wivenhoe and The Pointer in Alresford are just a couple of the dog-friendly spots.

Other tips: Always check in advance if pets are allowed and be mindful of local wildlife, especially on nature trails.

Dog walking ideas in Essex

Route Distance (miles) Scenery Postcode
Hadleigh Park 3 Woodland & Meadows SS7 2PP
Mersea Island 5 Coastal Paths CO5 8PA
Thorndon Country Park 2-5 Forests & Lakes CM13 3RZ
Flitch Way 4 Railway Paths CM6 3EA
Walton-on-the-Naze 2.5 Beach & Cliffs CO14 8ES

Dining at the park, or heading out

Many holiday parks in Essex have on-site restaurants, offering convenience and family-friendly menus. The local cuisine includes fresh seafood, with Leigh-on-Sea famed for its cockles.

For a family-friendly pub, try The Peterboat in Leigh-on-Sea. Couples might enjoy the more intimate setting of The Magic Mushroom in Billericay.

Outdoor Family Adventures

Essex has several outdoor activity centres like the Essex Outdoors in Bradwell, offering sailing, kayaking, and more. Prices vary, but a family of four can expect to pay around £100 for a day of activities. Check seasonal opening times, as some are closed during winter months.

Nearby shopping

Name Type On Offer Postcode
Lakeside Shopping Centre Shopping Mall High Street Brands RM20 2ZP
Colchester’s Red Lion Yard Boutique Shops Unique Gifts CO1 1DX
Clacton Factory Outlet Outlet Shopping Discounted Goods CO15 4TL
Bond Street Chelmsford Luxury Shopping Designer Labels CM1 1GH
Leigh-on-Sea Broadway Independent Shops Artisan Products SS9 1PA

Top Parks for 2024 in Essex

Warren Lodges, Essex

Driving Distance: About 11 minutes (4.48 miles) | Sleeps: Up to 6 | Pet friendly? Yes

About this park: Warren Lodges is a serene Evermore Lodge Holidays Collection member, set within the Warren Golf and Country Club’s 325 acres of stunning countryside and woodland, home to native deer. It’s a perfect blend of rural tranquillity and convenient access to central London, less than an hour away.

For the kids – Young ones can revel in the children’s play area at Bunsay Downs, explore nature trails, or improve their swing at the golf courses with available tuition. The lodges provide ample space for family fun and relaxation.

What’s on-site? The park features an indoor heated pool, a gym, a period clubhouse, a sports bar with Sky TV, and golfing facilities including a driving range and putting green. The on-site restaurants cater to various tastes, and the spa offers a place to unwind. The swimming pools are perfect for a family dip regardless of the weather.

What’s nearby? Nearby Burnham on Crouch is a bustling yachting hub, while Chelmsford, just a 6-mile drive away, offers direct trains to London. Local attractions include sandy beaches and marinas, with costs varying per activity.

Accommodation options: Warren Lodges offers Woodland Lodges suitable for families, couples, and groups, with options for up to 6 people. Pet-friendly accommodations are available, ensuring your furry friends can join the holiday fun.


The Essex Golf and Country Club, Essex

Driving Distance: About 28 minutes (16.66 miles) | Sleeps: Up to 6 | Pet friendly? No

About this park: The Essex Golf and Country Club is a golfer’s paradise nestled within an 18-hole Championship golf course, offering a mix of relaxation and activity with its Aura Spa and extensive golfing facilities.

For the kids – While the park is more adult-focused with its golf and spa facilities, children can still enjoy the indoor pool and the surrounding countryside for outdoor exploration.

What’s on-site? On-site amenities include an indoor heated pool, spa and beauty treatments, a gym, hairdressers, bar and restaurant, tennis courts, and golfing facilities. The pool is perfect for a family swim session, and pre-bookable gym sessions ensure you can maintain your fitness routine.

What’s nearby? The park is set in a location that’s ideal for exploring the Essex countryside. Local attractions and their costs can be found nearby, offering a variety of experiences for all ages.

Accommodation options: The Essex Golf and Country Club provides contemporary luxury lodges, with some accommodating up to 6 guests. While the park is not pet-friendly, it offers a high standard of comfort and style for families and groups.


Mersea Island Holiday Park, Essex

Driving Distance: About 41 minutes (23.58 miles) | Sleeps: Up to 8 | Pet friendly? Yes

About this park: Mersea Island Holiday Park is a peaceful retreat close to the beach, offering an indoor heated pool, adventure play area, and family entertainment with views over the Blackwater Estuary.

For the kids – The park is a haven for children with its Muddy Ducks clubhouse, outdoor cinema, play area, and adventure playground, ensuring endless fun and engagement.

What’s on-site? Facilities include an indoor heated pool, Muddy Ducks clubhouse, Wi-Fi access, outdoor cinema, family entertainment, boat launching facilities, and a shop. The pool area is a highlight, providing a safe and enjoyable environment for family swimming.

What’s nearby? Nearby attractions include beach activities, local nature reserves, and traditional seaside fun at West Mersea, with costs varying for different activities.

Accommodation options: Accommodation ranges from modern luxury caravans to superior caravans, with options for up to 8 guests. Pet-friendly units are available, making it an ideal choice for larger families or groups.


Coopers Beach, Essex

Driving Distance: About 41 minutes (23.58 miles) | Sleeps: Up to 8 | Pet friendly? Yes

About this park: Coopers Beach Holiday Park is a seaside sanctuary on Mersea Island with direct beach access, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and an array of sports and dining facilities, all set against stunning estuary views.

For the kids – Children can enjoy the kids clubs, adventure playground, multi-sports court, and the excitement of the entertainment venue, making for a memorable family holiday.

What’s on-site? The park boasts both indoor and outdoor heated pools, an entertainment venue, The Boathouse Bar & Restaurant, a convenience store, and free Wi-Fi in designated areas. The pools cater to all swimming abilities and are a central feature for family leisure.

What’s nearby? Cudmore Grove Country Park and the charming seaside town of West Mersea are just a short stroll away, offering a mix of nature and traditional seaside experiences.

Accommodation options: Coopers Beach provides a range of accommodation including luxury lodges and caravans, with options for up to 8 guests. While pet-friendly options are limited, the park caters well to families and groups seeking a coastal escape.


Family Days Out In Essex

Essex is a treasure trove for families looking for a fun day out. Whether you’re staying at one of the many holiday parks in Essex or just passing through, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained. Here are six top attractions that should be on your radar.

Adventure Island

  • Opening Times: Varies seasonally, check the website for current times
  • Prices: Free entry, pay per ride or wristbands available
  • Postcode: SS1 1EE
  • Est. time required: Half to full day
  • Nearest parking: Seaway Car Park

Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea offers thrills for all ages with over 40 rides and attractions. The little ones will love the kiddie rides, while adrenaline junkies can get their fix on the roller coasters. Don’t miss the Rage roller coaster with its vertical drop. The best time to visit is off-peak to avoid queues. Save money by booking wristbands online in advance.

Phone number: 01702 443400 | Web: adventureisland.co.uk


Colchester Zoo

  • Opening Times: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
  • Prices: Adults £24.99, Children £17.99, discounts online
  • Postcode: CO3 0SL
  • Est. time required: Full day
  • Nearest parking: On-site

Colchester Zoo is home to over 260 species set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes. It’s perfect for animal lovers and families looking for an educational experience. Check out the daily displays and feeding times to make the most of your visit. The zoo’s newest addition is the ‘Lost Madagascar’ exhibit. Arrive early to beat the crowds and wear comfortable shoes – there’s a lot of ground to cover!

Phone number: 01206 331292 | Web: colchester-zoo.com


Clacton Pier

  • Opening Times: Open daily, times vary
  • Prices: Free entry, attractions individually priced
  • Postcode: CO15 1QX
  • Est. time required: 2-4 hours
  • Nearest parking: Nearby pay and display

Clacton Pier offers classic seaside fun with a modern twist. From traditional fairground rides to the latest arcade games, there’s something for everyone. The pier also features a seaquarium, ten-pin bowling, and a variety of food outlets. Visit during an event weekend for extra entertainment. To save, look out for online deals on ride tokens.

Phone number: 01255 421115 | Web: clactonpier.co.uk


Hylands House and Estate

  • Opening Times: House: select days, Park: daily dawn till dusk
  • Prices: House entry free, small fee for events
  • Postcode: CM2 8WQ
  • Est. time required: 2-3 hours
  • Nearest parking: On-site (charges may apply)

Hylands House is a stunning Grade II listed property set in 574 acres of historic landscaped parkland. It’s ideal for families who enjoy nature and history. The Adventure Playground is a hit with kids, and there are often events and workshops. Visit on a Sunday for a volunteer-led tour of the house. Remember to bring a picnic to enjoy in the vast grounds.

Phone number: 01245 605500 | Web: hylandsestate.co.uk


Epping Ongar Railway

  • Opening Times: Check website for timetable
  • Prices: Adults from £15, Children from £7
  • Postcode: CM5 9BN
  • Est. time required: 3-4 hours
  • Nearest parking: On-site at Ongar & North Weald stations

The Epping Ongar Railway is the longest heritage railway in Essex and operates steam and diesel services. Train enthusiasts and families can enjoy a nostalgic trip through the Essex countryside. Special events like the ‘Santa Specials’ and ‘Dining Trains’ offer unique experiences. For the best value, book a rover ticket to hop on and off all day.

Phone number: 01277 365200 | Web: eorailway.co.uk


Hobbledown Adventure Farm Park and Zoo

  • Opening Times: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
  • Prices: Adults £12.95, Children £14.95, online discounts available
  • Postcode: SS11 7QU
  • Est. time required: 3-5 hours
  • Nearest parking: On-site

Hobbledown Adventure Farm Park and Zoo is a fantastical day out with a unique storybook theme. Kids will love the imaginative play areas, aerial walkways, and petting zoo. The park also features birds of prey displays and an indoor play barn. Visit mid-week to avoid the weekend rush. Check their website for seasonal events that are often included in the entry fee.

Phone number: 01708 447766 | Web: hobbledown.com


Remember, when you’re planning your trip to these attractions, consider staying at one of the holiday parks in Essex for a convenient and family-friendly base. They often have additional facilities like pools and entertainment programs to keep the whole family happy after a day of exploring.

FAQs

This is our first stay on a holiday park, what will it be like?

Expect a blend of outdoor fun and home comforts. Many holiday parks in Essex, like Orchards Holiday Village or Coopers Beach, offer a mix of static caravans, lodges, and sometimes tents. You’ll find on-site amenities such as pools, play areas, and entertainment. It’s a community vibe, where kids can make friends while you relax.

What should I pack when visiting Essex?

Pack for the unpredictable British weather! Bring layers, waterproofs, and comfortable shoes for exploring. Don’t forget swimwear for the pool and beach trips. Essentials like towels and toiletries are a must, and if you’re self-catering, include some basic kitchen supplies. Holiday parks like Highfield Grange usually provide bedding, but double-check before you go.

Is Essex a good place to visit ‘off-season’?

Absolutely, Essex is a year-round destination. Off-season means fewer crowds and often cheaper rates. Attractions like Colchester Zoo or Adventure Island in Southend remain open, with indoor options for rainy days. Plus, holiday parks like Valley Farm offer indoor facilities, ensuring fun isn’t weather-dependent.

Will my hot tub be cleaned before we arrive?

Yes, if your accommodation includes a hot tub, it will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before you check in. Parks like Mersea Island Holiday Park take hygiene seriously, ensuring a spotless and safe environment for your relaxation. Always check the park’s cleaning policy for peace of mind.

Can we bring our pets to the holiday park?

Many holiday parks in Essex are pet-friendly, like Weeley Bridge, so your furry friends can join the fun. There might be additional charges or specific pet-friendly accommodations, so it’s best to confirm with the park when booking. Remember to pack for your pet too – think leads, bowls, and their favourite toy!

How do we book activities, and do they need to be booked in advance?

Booking activities can often be done online before you arrive or at the park’s reception. During peak times, it’s wise to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Parks like Steeple Bay offer a range of activities, so check their schedules and book early, especially for popular options like water sports or kids’ clubs.

What dining options are available in the holiday parks?

You’ll typically find a variety of dining options, from casual cafes to restaurants and takeaways. For example, Seawick Holiday Park has its own restaurant with a menu that caters to all family members. Most parks also have shops for groceries if you prefer to cook in your accommodation.

Are there facilities for babies and toddlers?

Yes, holiday parks in Essex are family-oriented, with facilities like baby changing rooms and highchairs. Some, like Naze Marine Holiday Park, even offer toddler-specific activities. Check if you can hire cots or if there’s a baby pool for the little ones to splash in.

What local attractions should we visit while staying in Essex?

Don’t miss out on Clacton Pier for classic seaside fun, or the historic Colchester Castle for a dose of culture. Nature lovers should explore Walton-on-the-Naze for stunning coastal walks. Each park usually has a list of recommended local attractions, tailored to all interests.

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