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If you prefer the unique character and homely charm of independently-owned accommodation, you can find a wide range of affordable and deluxe independent hotels in Essex. This county is well connected to London via road rail, and has good transport links to the rest of the country via the M25 and M11.
Few attractions in Essex are more ideal for a family day out than Colchester's enormous zoo, which houses thousands of animals and is one of the most visited in Britain. From themed exhibits like Playa Patagonia and the Edge of Africa exhibits, to other child-oriented attractions like the Jungle Tumble Soft Play Complex, there's plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
Almost all independent hotels in the county provide WiFi access so you will always be able to keep in contact with family and friends and make restaurant reservations online. WiFi coverage will normally include all rooms and most public areas, and many hotels will offer this service free of charge for unlimited usage.
In the historic city of Chelmsford, this beautiful public garden has a delightful woodland walk and many more acres of stunning landscaped grounds. The estate, which has been carefully cultivated and expanded since the mid-20th century, also holds the Essex Craft and Design Show in the spring and the Hall Flower Show in the summer.
The county has several historic seaside resorts, some of the best known of which include Southend-on-Sea near the Thames Estuary, and Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze on the Tendring peninsula. Visit the medieval port of Harwich, which was an important base for the Royal Navy from the 17th to the 20th Century and is known for its well-preserved 18th and 19th century landmarks. Further south on the coast is Foulness, a large island and marshland that is renowned for its thriving bird life and families of seals.
You can find numerous independent hotels near the Essex coast, as well as a great selection of restaurants serving delicious fresh seafood and other national and international cuisines.