Best Campsites & Glamping In Essex

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The fall season is a good time for the great outdoors. The weather isn’t too hot like summer, and you’ve got a few more months till it gets too chilly to sleep outside. If you’re outdoorsy, you wouldn’t want to miss out on camping. If you prefer a bit more glamour, then regular camping won’t do it for you. So, you might want to opt for glamping instead. 

The term “glamping,” a combination of “glamorous” and “camping,” refers to a more luxurious variation of camping that offers guests resort-like services and facilities. When you go glamping, you can enjoy beautiful natural settings without giving up any of the comforts of home.  And you’ve found it if you’re seeking the finest Essex glamping locations.

The Best Campsites for Glamping in Essex

  1. Osea Leisure Park
  2. West Mersea Holiday Park
  3. Teybrook Orchard
  4. Shepherd’s Hide
  5. The Pretty Thing
  6. Lee Wick Farm
  7. Lee Valley Caravan Park
  8. Haven The Orchards Holiday Park, Clacton-On-Sea

1. Osea Leisure Park

Osea Leisure Park in Essex is mostly a private ‘holiday home’ site, although they have recently upgraded their glamping options. Osea Meadows is located directly across the street from the main park and features 13 electric hook-up plots and a wide variety of their various glamping alternatives. All tourers and RVs are welcome to reserve a pitch at this time.

Osea Leisure Park is a great location to go if it’s your first time glamping. They have a wide range of nice places to camp. However, prices and the number of beds available can vary a lot. The least expensive choice is a bell tent, which starts at £25pn. The bell tents don’t have much to them, and they have rugs and mats, but the rest is up to you.

The Malvern Pod costs £75 per night, and a fire pit is outside of the glamping pods. The pod also has a double sofa bed, a bunk bed, a TV, a refrigerator, a kettle, and a stovetop. It doesn’t take long to get to the bathroom building.

In addition to the Royal Pods, you can rent the Treehouse and Shepherds Huts for £45 per night. The Shepherds Hut has a toilet, while the Treehouse does not (with an ensuite). The largest of the three “Safari Tents” sizes can fit 14 to 16 people.

There is a small “beach” area with beach cottages on stilts that you can’t rent, a games room, playground equipment, a Tiptree tearoom (The View at Osea), a bar (The Deckhouse) with weekend entertainment, and more.

The place is also a ten-minute drive from Malson, a place with lots of fun things to do.


  • Outdoor gym
  • Restaurants
  • Free wifi
  • Decent toilet facilities
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Pet and kid-friendly
  • Miniature beach area


  • It can get rowdy and noisy
just lodges

2. West Mersea Holiday Park, Mersea Island

This Essex park on picturesque West Mersea Beach is convenient to both the town centre and the beach. It also features a wonderful blend of tranquillity, vacation spirit, and breathtaking views of the Essex coast.

Relax in peace near the Blackwater Estuary, which has been named three times as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, not far from this small park. Nature lovers will enjoy the beautiful views, which include flocks of migrating seabirds and a wide range of beautiful plants and animals.

There’s a good reason why Mersea Island is so well-known for its abundance of water sports. Sole, skate, bass, mullet, herring, and cod are just a few of the delectable fish that are constantly caught and sold at the local speciality restaurants, and fishing is another well-known pastime of the Island. The area’s delicious oysters are another highlight which everyone who visits should try.

Exploring rural Essex is also a lot of fun. The town is rich in history and home to a renowned Colchester zoo, so why not visit it? How about a stroll along the boardwalk at Clacton-on-Sea, a classic and real coastal resort? The sunshine in Essex is another reason why it’s called “The Sunshine Coast.”

Next to the well-known beach cabins and sandy beach is where you’ll find their touring pitches. These facilities are complete with all-weather hard standing, electricity, running water, and free showers.

At the newly opened restaurant and bar, The Sandbank, you can get tasty drinks and watch live music every night. You can also take advantage of the park’s convenience store and laundry facilities while staying at West Mersea. Colourful beach huts line the beach, adding a touch of fun and making an excellent background for all the great things this park offers.


  • A clean and well-kept environment
  • Proximity to a beachside
  • Friendly reception staff
  • Tranquil location
  • Easily accessible
  • Amazing view
  • Beach campsites


  • Facilities closed at random, inconvenient times
  • Shower facilities located too far away from the touring facilities
  • Pitches are quite small

3. Teybrook Orchard, Colchester

Great Tey is home to Teybrook Orchard. Yurts and Bell Tents are their most popular luxury camping accommodations. There are eight of them, and you might recognize some of the names from The Jungle Book or The Lion King! The tents and yurts each have four full-size beds and come with linens. (At some of the glamping spots on this list, guests must bring their own sleeping bags. One may use a sleeping bag if they so choose. A Shepherd’s Hut and a repurposed grain silo are also available at Teybrook Orchard. Both can sleep up to 2 guests.

Each room has a grill or fire pit and a shared kitchen with dishes and cooking tools.

The three-bedroom Water Lily Lodge and the one-bedroom Kingfishers Nest cabin are perfect for families or groups of friends looking for a little more space and privacy.


  • Brilliant staff members
  • Clean environment
  • Tents comfy and nicely furnished
  • Employees are approachable and friendly
  • Beautiful environment


  • Pitches are quite small
visit essex

4. Shepherd’s Hide, Colchester

Private and secluded, Shepherd’s Hide is a premium glamping site in Essex located on a sprawling 60-acre farm by the Colne Estuary. It’s only an hour and a half from London, yet these fully equipped huts feel like they’re worlds away from the noise and bustle of city life.

The “Wigeon” and “Teal” Shepherd’s Hide shelters are on their family farm in the countryside outside of Colchester. They are two of the most exquisite and unique self-catering shepherd huts in the world. The property is in a perfect location for bird watching and long walks. Additionally, there are a variety of tourist attractions in the area, making these cottages ideal for short breaks, romantic getaways, and extended self-catering holidays in the countryside. Thorrington Tide Mill is the only refurbished tide mill in Essex. It is on Mill Farm, a 60-acre property with a vineyard, grassland, salt marsh, tidal creeks, and inland waters.

Two shepherd’s huts, each with its own bathroom, are available at the Shepherds Hide. Guests also get a kitchen and a breakfast basket upon arrival. Log burners and, in the case of the newest hut, under-floor heating mean that they are bookable throughout the year, even in the winter. For a weekend getaway, a two-night stay starts at £240. The distance to Brightlingsea, the nearest town, is about two miles.

Shepherd’s Hide has also received many accolades and reviews from prominent magazines, including Adventure Travel Magazine, Essex Life Magazine and The Daily Telegraph. They also emerged as a regional finalist for the Rural Business Awards.


  • Clean environment
  • Comfortable design
  • Farm shop
  • Welcome hampers for guests


  • Not pet-friendly

5. The Pretty Thing

Check out the gorgeous and tranquil glamping, camping, and touring park, The Pretty Thing. This glamorous campsite is rich in fauna, excellent for bird watching throughout the day and stargazing at night. They have resident horses that enjoy a quiet retirement there, and if you’re an animal lover, you won’t want to miss seeing them.

This park is close to Colchester and the pretty coastal towns of Frinton, Walton, St. Osyth, and Clacton, so it’s a great place to relax and have fun. Enjoy the convenience of The Pretty Thing as your home base while you see all the wonders of the surrounding area.

The expansive Greens, Buttercup Meadow, and the luxurious Philomena’s Garden are all available for campers, and Philomena’s Garden is reserved for glampers only. You can relax and reminisce about the good old days of vacationing with The Pretty Thing, and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Every month of the year has something interesting to see, but August is The Pretty Thing’s busiest month due to the Clacton Airshow and the CAMRA real ale and cider festival. The Westcliff Theatre also allows us to create bespoke theatre vacations.

Saint Osyth, Clacton. The beaches at Frinton and Walton are fantastic, and they range greatly in style. It’s terrific for sightseeing and only a 10-minute drive away. There is so much to see and do that we know you will have a fantastic experience. Take our word for it, and you won’t be disappointed. The Pretty Thing provides a very warm welcome to you, your family, and your pets.




6. Lee Wick Farm

At Lee Wick Farm, campers, tourers, and caravans have access to a big, fenced field with sea views and grazing horses. Two campsites have electricity access, while the third does not.

Because this is a Caravan and Camping Club-approved site, you can count on Lee Wick Farm for the essentials.  There is access to clean water and a place to dispose of chemicals. However, neither a bathroom nor a toilet is present there.

Because of this, despite its simplicity, the campsite is really relaxing and beautiful, perfect for those who want to escape the crowds and noise of other, more popular campgrounds.

All of Lee Wick Farm’s pods and cottages can rent a private log fire hot tub for the night for an extra cost (starting at £60), along with a private bathroom and a makeshift kitchen. Many pods can comfortably accommodate a family of four, including two parents and two children (groups of more than two adults will need to reserve a second pod). There is a significant price reduction from weekend to weekday bookings. Camping and Caravan Club members are the only ones who can book ahead at Lee Wick Farm, and they’ll need your membership number to confirm your booking.

Lee Wick Farm is just a short walk from a beach and a wildlife haven, and the walk to either is pleasant. It’s a paradise for bikers and hikers, and birdwatchers will love it here.

If you drive through St. Osyth hamlet, you may fish at Lee Wick Farm’s reservoir for £10. If fishing is something you’re interested in doing during your stay, you should notify them in advance so we can make arrangements.


  • Hot tub, barbeque grill, and fire pit
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Great facilities
  • Good staff communication channels
  • Pods are well-spaced for privacy


  • You can’t check in until 3:30
  • Megapod 1 is exceptionally tiny

7. Lee Valley Caravan Park, Dobbs Weir

Dobbs Weir on the Lee is home to Lee Valley Caravan Park, which is nestled in a peaceful bend of the river and surrounded by beautiful Hertfordshire and Essex countryside.

It’s ideal for some R&R in the form of camping or glamorous camping. Everyone is welcome, and they have plenty of spacious sites for your tent, RV, or caravan. If you want to enjoy camping without the stress of pitching your tent, then maybe try a bit of glamping! They offer a wide variety of pre-erected tents, Wigwams®, vacation cabins, and, coming in 2022, Peaky Pods available at Lee Valley Caravan Park in Dobbs Weir. The various glamping alternatives provide guests with at least some of the luxuries they would find in a regular hotel.

This location is perfect for a getaway because of its convenient amenities. A well-stocked supermarket, modern bathroom and shower facilities and a children’s play area will guarantee your holiday is all you’ve dreamt of. There are also vacation rentals available on the site.

There are grocery stores, convenience stores, corner shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Great natural reserves, walking and cycling paths, white water rafting, and trips to London and Cambridge are just some of the vacation adventures you may have.

Also, free parking at the Broxbourne Riverside car park, located conveniently near the Broxbourne Train station on the London to Liverpool Street line, is included with every reservation made on the site.

Unfortunately, there are no accessible campsites in Lee Valley. All of their campsites are accessible to campers with mobility impairments, and we have a number of accessible cabins specifically designed for those guests. Staff are also on hand to give further help.


  • Wheelchair accessible cabins
  • Free wifi
  • Children’s play area
  • Very helpful staff
  • Well-spaced pitches
  • Proximity to a supermarket
  • Clean environment


  • The campsites are not wheelchair accessible year-round
  • Not much to do at the campsite
  • The wifi is frequently busy and slow

8. Haven The Orchards Holiday Park, Clacton-on-Sea

At its finest, the Orchards Holiday Village exemplifies the classic coastal charm of Essex. Everything you love about a beach vacation is here, and then more. So come play a game of golf on the 9-hole course, or try your fishing skills at one of the two lakes. Take advantage of the heated swimming pool or the outdoor pool in the summer. Slow down and rest by the water at this Essex park’s lakes and rivers.

Holiday parks are a welcome break from the stresses of everyday life and a great place to make memories with loved ones. Get away from the hustle and bustle of London or the East Midlands to this tranquil riverbank setting in no time. You can relax and enjoy the kilometres of clean, well-kept sand beaches during your trip here.

The location is ideal, as it provides easy access to the beach and is close to Clacton-on-Sea, thanks to its proximity to the River Colne. So, you may access a sea wall walk from the park and take in the scenery of the fluid streams that lead to Mersea Island.

Additionally, campers in tents, RVs, and trailer tents may use the flat, paved areas with electrical hookups (EHU) and awning space at any of the electric pitches. If you need more space, select a vacation rental with three or more bedrooms and all the conveniences of a home (including a TV, DVD player, and wheelchair ramp, if necessary). A pet-friendly caravan is available for your next camping trip.


  • Indoor and outdoor pool
  • Fishing and boating lake
  • Arcades
  • Live entertainment
  • Bike hire
  • RV pitches


  • Overcrowded
  • No net or curtain for privacy
  • The beach is subpar

Buying Guide

Camping is an experience that puts one in touch with nature. However, that doesn’t mean you must live like a savage while camping. While some campers prefer to rough it, others would rather take the smooth experience. That’s why glamping is an option. So, here are some of the invaluable criteria to consider when trying to pick out a good campsite to spend some time at.


The facilities available at a campsite should be your top priority. You don’t want to book your reservations and drive all the way to the site just to discover that the bathroom situation is atrocious. Try to find out about the bathroom situation and conditions ahead of time to avoid this kind of thing.

But the facilities don’t just stop at the essentials like the bathroom. It also helps to consider the other luxuries the campsite offers, like swimming pools, a boating or fishing lake, shops, etc.

Comfortable Bedding

If you’re glamping, your bed will be genuine, complete with a soft mattress and maybe even a goose-down topper, so you’ll know for sure. This luxurious camping need will forever change your feelings about sleeping under the stars. But if you insist on sleeping on an air mattress, there are many options, such as this.

The finest bedding is essential for a luxurious camping trip. So, all-season duvet, quilted cotton bedspread for added warmth if required, luxury pillows, high-thread-count cotton or silk bed linens for the utmost in luxury.

Customer Service

We cannot overstress the importance of a place with good customer service. Bad service from the campsite staff can go a long way to ruin your experience. Before booking any campsite, we advise you to look up the customer reviews on the location and see what they have to say about it. Customer satisfaction is a reliable way to gauge how likely you are to enjoy your time there as well. This will alert you to any flaws the site may have overlooked in its advertising.

Kid-Friendly or Adult-Only

Some campsites are family-friendly, and so they do well to accommodate children and make the environment as safe and conducive for them as possible. However, some campsites are exclusively for adults (typically adults who are specifically there to indulge in R-rated fun). It’s always best to know which kind of campsite you want and ensure you select one which matches that requirement appropriately.


Pets can be even harder to deal with than children. Hence, many places and services ban people from bringing their pets in. Similarly, some campsites (particularly the higher-end ones) will not allow you to bring your pet into the camping area. Some others may permit you but might not provide the necessary accommodations which your pet might need. If you have a pet you want to bring on your camping trip, then you should ensure to confirm that the campsite you’re going to is pet-friendly. If you’re unable to find a pet-friendly campsite, we recommend you leave them behind and hire a dogsitter or similar help to take care of your pet while you’re away.

Entertainment and Activities

Some glampsites provide various activities to serve as entertainment for their campers. Some of these things to do are fishing, barbecuing, boating, archery, horseback riding, sports, and so on. They might also have a nearby pub or shop/marketplace where you could go to unwind and have a pint of beer after a long day.

Good Foods

The quality of food can make or break any vacation experience. So, it’s always a good idea to look into the quality and variety of food available at the campsite you wish to visit. Fresh seafood caught by local fishermen, vegetables and fruits grown organically, exotic fruits, and great beef are all great things to have at a good glampsite.

Pitch Spacing

Even if they can’t see through your tent, your neighbours may still be able to hear you. Because of this, you should choose a camping spot that doesn’t have too many other campers. Having adequate spacing between pitches prevents the site from feeling congested and gives you sufficient space to maintain your privacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s most essential while choosing a campsite?

Location and accessibility are two of the most critical factors when choosing a campground. Each of us has our own idea of what a great setting might entail, and we may find everything we look for in a haven in various places. Fortunately, there are several locations in Essex to choose from. Coastal, rural, and wooded areas are the most popular places to stay when people travel. You may do a web search using the parameters you choose.

Another factor is how long you want the trip to take. Longer distances may not bother you as much if you are on a vacation that lasts many weeks. But limiting your journey time to under a few hours is best if your holiday is only a few days longer.

Lastly, the convenience of nearby roads is a must for a desirable spot. So, you should be able to get to the campground without any problems or damage to your RV.

What items shouldn’t you bring on a camping trip?

It’s not a good idea to bring anything smelly camping. Bears have a great sense of smell and can detect odours from great distances. Also, strong smells in a campground attract bugs that aren’t wanted and make it hard to do outside activities. So, avoid bringing unnecessary items like perfume on your camping trip.

Also, carrying glass bottles down a canyon is not a good idea either. Even if you’re taking an RV, your vacation will be more relaxing if you don’t carry as many fragile goods. It’s a boon to travel comfort and security. You won’t have to worry about misplacing stuff while on the go or finding shattered glass when you get to your campground.

What is wild camping?

A wild campsite is an isolated campsite situated away from other campgrounds. Rather than staying in a designated camping area, “wild campers” pitch their tents wherever they like. You might want to have a mini-adventure by spending the night outside, or you might plan a multi-day walk and camping in a national park (after making sure it’s okay to do so, of course).


The only way to feel at one with nature is to go on a vacation that puts you in the midst of it. When someone travels in this way, it will change them and have an effect that lasts long after their trip is over. 

Fabulous landscapes, kind locals, and exciting excursions await you in Essex. Camping in Essex, a county in eastern England not far from London, puts campers within driving distance of posh residences, lively coastal towns, and thrilling amusement parks. Rural North Essex is one you should definitely visit sometime. Other locations like Hyde Hall, the Royal Gunpowder Mills, and East Tilbury Village are also worth your consideration.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful and we wish you luck as you go camping in Essex.

About The Author

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James is a writer who is a self-confessed kitchenware and coffee nerd and a strong advocate of Sundays, good butter, and warm sourdough.