CAMPSITE REVIEW: Fen Farm Caravan site, East Mersea, Essex

Mersea Island is a Seafood paradise, famed for its Oysters which have been cultivated in creeks around the Island since Roman times. So a trip to Mersea would not be complete without sampling some of its local delicacies!

Fen Farm Caravan site, has been an official campsite since the 50’s, but campers have been coming here since 1923. It is very much a Caravan site, the clues in the name! Caravan sites wouldn’t be our usual choice, but this super well organised and immensely friendly place is in such a great location. If you are ok with the pre- allocated pitches and tons of caravans, you will be treated to a peach of a location, right on a (dog friendly) beach, with amazing seafood and walks on your doorstep. We love that it is low key & old fashioned (in a good way) compared to the other big holiday park sites on the Island, there’s no pool and clubhouse here, just good old outdoor-adventures and fun to be had.

We’re struggling to work out why it’s taken us 5 years to re-visit this campsite, so much so we’re already planning how we can squeeze in another trip back there before the end of camping season 2020.

👍

  • Beach access
  • Seafood in West Mersea
  • All beaches on Mersea Island are dog friendly all year round (council would prefer you to keep dogs on lead in busy summer months)
  • Great walks from the site

👎

  • Pre- Allocated pitches, we do love being able to choose where to pitch.
  • The solar showers can be frustrating, they are the kind you have to keep the button constantly pressed down, if you take your hand off to lather up and there’s not much hot water it takes a while to start up again.  

SURROUNDINGS

  • If you are up for the challenge, you can walk the whole way around Mersea Island it’s meant to be 13.5 miles, however its probably a mile or so more, as due to erosion at some of the Southern section of the coast path you need to take a detour inland. Make sure you bring lots of water and snacks, there’s no refreshment stops on the eastern and northern stretch (around 8-10 miles.
  • Walk to West Mersea for a lovely seafood lunch from the campsite (5 miles each way) you can break the journey at the local vineyard and pass the beautiful pastel coloured beach huts of Victoria esplanade. Ask for a map at reception
  • Cudmore grove country park, Nature reserve is a short walk along the beach from the campsite
  • Foot ferry From East Mersea to Brightlingsea is 9 mins each way, summer only, dog friendly

FIRES

  • Fires : No
  • BBQ’s: Yes  – off ground, bricks provided

FOOD & DRINK

  • The Dog and Pheasant is a short walk from the campsite through the playing field, dogs and kids welcome
  • We love West Mersea Oyster bar (dogs allowed outside)
  • Mersea Island Vineyard and vintage tea rooms, you can follow the coast path diversion from the campsite to reach this or its a few minutes drive
  • We’ve actually never been to the famous Company Shed as they don’t allow dogs, but it’s meant to be good.
  • There’s a Nisa in nextdoor campsite for any essentials
  • Mersea Barns,  shop and café, has food stuff and drinks, on the more gourmet side, nice gifts and café with eat in and take away food and coffee. Dogs are welcome in the lobby, terrace and garden
  • Bonners Barn (amazing local fruit & veg, smoked fish & butchers) on the right before you cross The Stood onto Mersea
  • You pass Seafood at Dawn (next to Mersea barn) just before you get to the campsite, we didn’t eat there but heard good things. No dogs in the restaurant, but they do take away.
  • On Tuesdays and Thursdays you can buy fresh catch direct from the fisherman at the top of the Jetty, Coast Road, West Mersea. Summer 2:45-4:30pm, Winter 2:45-3:45pm

FACILITIES

  • Patchy phone service and 4G/3G don’t rely on having good connectivity
  • Spotlessly clean, award winning toilets (loo of the year for several years!)
  • Free wifi, near the toilet block
  • Solar showers (Mainly indoor, 1 outdoor)
  • Baby changing
  • Pay hairdryer
  • Family bathroom
  • Chemical disposal
  • All pitches electric
  • 2 Playgrounds
  • Dog walking area
  • Rubbish and recycling
  • Calorgas for sale (including the hard to get small ones 🙌) and camping gaz
  • Laundry
  • Hot washing up
  • Pay iron
  • Accessible bathroom facilities
  • Dog wash 
  • Playing field
  • Freezer for ice blocks only

Victorian Esplanade

OUR TOP TIPS

  • Check tide times before setting off from. When the tide is over 5m it covers the Strood, the road that connects the island to the mainland and becomes impassable. This only occurs twice a day for about a week a month, but if that’s when you are visiting you should allow for an hour and half each side of the high tide to cross safely.   

Fen Farm website

Map of all Campsite reviews

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