Not only is this quirky… it is THE ultimate relaxing break!  Set afloat on your very own raft (which you need to work out how to use), then drift over to your  idyllic abode!  The Raft, is located on the lakes at Chigborough Farm, Maldon in Essex and run by the lovely Sam and Paul Tallowin.


Paul spent a year building this unique retreat and his blood, sweat and tears have certainly paid off! (And Sam’s patience!!).

Inside it’s cosy and comfortable, with touches of the simple life. The Raft runs on solar, there’s a camping-style gas shower (with a view of the lake!) and high-tech loo. The kitchen has gas hobs, fridge, and a proper barbecue, but your fire pit and log store are on the bank near the tethered hot tub platform, along with a couple of bikes to borrow. Watch the abundant wildlife, stargaze through the old telescope, or pick a book and just choose where to flop: there are teak recliners, a Lloyd Loom chair and squishy bean bags that can be tugged onto the deck. From the living area with its double sofa bed, pop up a level to the mezzanine, where a second double turns into twin beds. The balcony up here has the best view.





Cooking outdoors on the Raft is a must, or head to the tea rooms run by Tiptree jams nearby; there’s a craft shop and yoga room on site too. Blackwater Estuary is in easy walking distance with sea views, sailing and canoeing. Strike out on foot for a pint at the Cricketers, or walk along the sea wall to Heybridge Basin, watch the boats, and visit the seafood shack.


Paul & Sam manage their family farm and fishery, infact, the smoked fish in your welcome pack comes from their own smokery.

On the farm there is also Rubinos Restaurant that does a very mean Sunday Roast!  They also have a fantastic wine list so you be rest assure, you will not have to cook if you don’t want to!

For up-to-date prices and further details about staying at The Raft, visit Canopy & Stars.