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Hotels in Mersea Island

Deriving its name from the Old English 'meresig' meaning 'island of the pool' and linked by a single road to the mainland, Mersea in Essex is the UK's most easterly inhabited island. Book a Mersea Island hotel with us and discover a destination enjoyed by holidaymakers as far back as Roman times.

HIstory

The Strood, the causeway that connects Mersea to the rest of Essex, was built by the Saxons and at high tide is prone to flooding, when it becomes a literal island. You'll find evidence of Roman occupation at a mound near The Strood which is thought to be a burial barrow. The chamber contained a lead casket measuring approximately 1.2m by 1.2m which is now displayed In nearby Colchester Museum.

By the seaside

There are plenty of beaches on the island, mostly a mixture of sand and pebbles, with Monkey Beach, at south-west Mersea being one of the sandiest.

With so much water around, there's plenty of opportunity for messing about in boats, whether taking a trip along the Blackwater Estuary, sailing on a yacht or even windsurfing, there's plenty of maritime activities to enjoy. And then there is the chance to watch the Regatta, which has been taking place on Mersea since 1838.

The island has long been associated with oysters which have been harvested here since Roman times. You can try your hand at crabbing or oyster fishing, and there's plenty of opportunity for sea angling too. Charter a boat from West Mersea, a popular area from which to cast off and you'll stand a good chance of catching cod, skate, whiting and much more.

The south west of the island is the most densely populated area. Elsewhere you'll find great swathes of green fields and some parks. At Cudmore Grove Country Park, in the south east, you'll find an ideal location for picnics and walks along the adjoining sandy beach, cliff top area, grassland and marshes.

Restaurants and cafés

There are some terrific eateries on the island, many of which take advantage of the local produce and harvested sea life. Mehalah's serves lobster, bass, mackerel amongst other seafood and has proved popular partly because of their pledge to offer "fresh, simple food." The Coast Inn is a riverside bar restaurant with wooden floors, leather settees and a log fire. They offer coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and evening meals. For a hearty breakfast or lunch, the Seaview Café is a favourite destination and good for a reviving fresh coffee or a Mersea Mooshake, a blended fruit smoothie, which is popular with kids. Mersea Island Vineyard is family owned and sells and serves English wines and beers brewed on the site. The vineyard is also the location of Maria's Vintage Tea Room.

Shopping in and around Mersea Island

West Mersea Island is where you'll find the greatest concentration of shops as well as cafés, restaurants and pubs. Colchester is just 10 miles away and will scratch any serious shopping itches.

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