Spotlight on: Fen Farm Caravan Site, Essex
If Mersea is your destination, Fen Farm is a great place to stay on the quieter, less inhabited east side of the island.
Essex might not be the top county for tourism but islands always have an appeal all of their own and Mersea Island, nine miles south-east of Colchester, is the county’s largest. It may only occupy around seven square miles but there’s plenty here to keep you amused for a long weekend.
You’ll discover an open, grassy site divided into four separate fields – with names like Owl’s Retreat and Berry Field – each secluded from the next with hedges and trees. The whole site is flat – as is Mersea – and the ground seemed very well drained after a night of heavy rain.
The ablutions block is a multiple Loo of the Year winner and appears immaculately maintained, with spacious shower cubicles. Also featured are separate disabled and family rooms, along with an indoor washing-up area with washing machines, tumble driers and a freezer for ice blocks.
But the real appeal here is the rural location mated to a five-minute walk to the beach, down a foothpath behind reception. Once by the sea, you’ll find a mix of sand, pebbles and shells along the shore and the beach is dog-friendly all year round.
Similarly close to your pitch is the Dog and Pheasant pub, but we chose to head just another half-a-mile to Mehalah’s, a rustic restaurant specialising in seafood. Its laidback feel almost seems as if you’ve crossed the Channel and the grilled oysters with cheese were sublime.
A short bike ride or drive away (the access road is narrow) is Cudmore Grove Country Park – great for kids, dogs and walkers. If you want a bit more life, West Mersea isn’t far, with more pubs, shops and restaurants – The Art Café is great for coffee and cake.
Fen Farm Caravan Site
Moore Lane, East Mersea, Colchester, Essex CO5 8FE
This site review first appeared in MMM magazine, October issue, submitted by Peter Vaughan