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A cabin next to a lake
Photograph: Browning Bros

We stayed in this remote cabin in the middle of nowhere and achieved peak cosiness

If you’re lucky, you might even spot a kingfisher on the neighbouring lake

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

It’s the time of year when things start to get a bit, well, stressful again. Summer is over, days are getting shorter and the city is heaving with people rushing to and from work and school. If you’re anything like me, it’s all getting a bit much. 

This secluded wooden cabin overlooking a lake in rural Essex might just be the relief you need. Less than a one-hour train journey from London, the Kingfishers Nest on Browning Bros farm is a smartly designed getaway that feels worlds away from the bustle of city life.

With neutral wooden walls and understated (and genuinely tasteful) furnishings, the place exudes calm. It’s the type of property that makes you want to permanently wave goodbye to the city and succumb to a life of peace, quiet... and sheep (yes, that’s who you have for neighbours). The cabin sleeps two and is surprisingly roomy, while also offering a sofa bed for children or an extra guest. 

A bathtub
Photograph: The Wanderlist
Hut and hottub
Photograph: The Wanderlist
Inside the log cabin
Photograph: The Wanderlist

There’s a private hot tub and sauna (need I say more) and a stunning free-standing bath tub that fits two, perfectly positioned by the window to spot birds out on the lake. Once you’re done with all the R&R, you can whip up a meal in the fully equipped kitchen or fire up the BBQ if the weather allows. I made homemade gnocchi for the first time (surprisingly easy?) before getting stuck into one of the many books that I’ve neglected, curled up in front of the wood-burner stove. You know what that is? Peak cosiness. 

Despite enjoying a late-night sesh in the hot tub and sweating out my sins in the sauna, all of those luxuries aren’t even the best part. The best part is how the entire design of the place somehow manages to bring the outside inFloor-to-ceiling glass windows and concertina-like doors look out onto the banks of the lake, which is surrounded by untamed foliage and home to an abundance of wildlife. While I didn’t manage to spot one of the brightly coloured kingfishers, I did spot squirrels, ducks, herons and a bunch of pretty-looking creatures which my limited bird-spotting knowledge couldn’t accurately identify.

The surrounding area isn’t too shabby, either. If you’re getting the train there (head to Colchester station then get a £20 taxi to the cabin), it’s worth paying a visit to Colchester’s historic castle and lush main park, or perhaps exploring the nearby Colne Valley Steam Railway Museum or Colchester Zoo. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to just stay put, though: this is the type of place to relax, unwind and really just live slow. I hardly looked at my phone the entire time.

Browning Bros Secret Escapes, Colchester, CO6 2PP. From £200 per night. Available to book on The Wanderlist.

Read more: here are the 12 cosiest cabins and log cabins in the UK.

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