The Raft at Chigborough | Cabin in Essex | Canopy & Stars

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The Raft at Chigborough - Cabin in Essex

Last cache: 17:44:44, Friday 30 September 2016

Chigborough Farm

Suitable for children aged 8 and over

Not suitable for pets

Children over 8 years old are welcome. We’re sorry, the Raft isn’t suitable for pets .

Cast off from the real world at a floating cabin for 4 on a sun-dappled lake - with a private hot tub!

Drift serenely on a raft Huckleberry Finn would be proud of - one with a two-storey wooden cabin aboard. All you can hear are the splashes of trout (bring a rod if you're keen to fish or get Nigel Angus - see things to do - for some pointers), and the sounds of bird life, including a tame swan family who come and go. The Raft has a pioneer feel, built using hand-sawn pine and larch from the farm and is tethered to the bottom of a small, tranquil lake, surrounded by reeds, woods and fields. From the jetty, a few minutes' walk from the car park - though wheelbarrows for kit are provided - you'll get the hang of a floating ferry platform, which bridges the gap between bank and raft. There's a rowing boat for splashing around as well, or for popping over from the Raft to the wood-fired hot tub by the bank, for a relaxing soak under the sky! 

Nominated for Sawday's Awards 2014 - One of a Kind

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. 

Paul & Sam, your hosts, run their family farm and fishery - the smoked fish in your welcome pack comes from their own Smokery. 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. 

Our guests say...

We stayed at the Raft for 2 nights. It was even more stunning and unusual than we had expected. We come from London and being able to have the seclusion that the raft offers was amazing! The weather was brilliant and we spent our days eating, drinking, sunbathing, rowing our little boat around the lake and chopping wood for our fabulous private hot tub! We were so sad to leave.



It was our 32nd wedding anniversary. We love the outdoors life and were looking for something special to get away from a stressful building project (& life in general). This seemed the perfect place for us & then we discovered that it only was it 4 miles away from us. What a find.



We have an amazing long weekend at the Raft and felt completely relaxed when we left. We found plenty to do - paddling in the lake, making fires for the hot tub and wandering around exploring the lakes. It was the perfect get away from it all weekend.



Quirky, fun and captivated by the scenery plus all that was going on in it



The raft is one of the most amazing 4 night breaks I have ever had. Sam was really helpful and friendly when we arrived and a nice welcome basket awaited us on Raft. With it's secluded location it is the ideal place for a real rest. The wildlife is wonderful with lots of different water birds to watch, including herons and swans. The murmurations of the starlings at sunset were our favorites as I have never seen so many in one place. If you want to do a little fishing the lake if full of fish. The Raft itself is lovely and comfortable (especially the bed)we slept better than we had for years. Everything you need is provided including books and games but we preferred to watch the wildlife. Great cooking outside on the BBQ or the little restaurant at the farm is lovely for a treat. The shower is lovely and hot, although it seems strange at first to be looking over the lake when use it . Advise to use mosquito repellent as some evenings there are quite a few around. I can't wait to go back next year.


Jeanie & Martin

The journey down was horrendous due to traffic in London. Once we arrived we totally switched off. The cabin was homely and comfortable and utensils were easy to find. The wildlife was amazing as saw my first Monkjack plus swan came onto the decking and tapped at the door which made my day plus made some great photos which are now on my Facebook. The 4 days and 3 night stay was a suitable time to enjoy the tranquil surroundings. We have never felt so relaxed on holiday before which is purely down to the venue and its location and being at one with nature. It is a holiday to remember for all the right reasons.



Absolutely loved. It was just as tranquil and relaxing as we were hoping. We couldn't believe that we were only 40 mins out of London: it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere.



Really lovely relaxing stay simply bliss and perfect location to switch off and be with nature.



Peaceful, tranquil. Perfect getaway. The most romantic place I have ever stayed. We loved every moment. Our favourite part? All of it. The outdoor kitchen, the fishing, the duck that had made its best on the veranda. It all had a magical feel. Swaying, gently with the wind this "raft" was perfectly balanced in its form and function. No TV, no wifi. We felt truly at ease. Our host, Sam, was helpful and the welcome gift was perfect. We loved it and cannot wait to return



We had an amazing weekend for my husbands surprise 50th birthday weekend away! He had no idea where he was going until a couple of days before but described it as 'the perfect choice'! We enjoyed all the raft had to offer and spent most of the time pottering about on the water, fishing, lighting fires (for hot tub or marshmallow roasting!) and BBQing. A perfect weekend for Hubble & our 2 boys!!!



Thoroughly enjoyed The Raft at Chigborough. It is set in the prettiest surroundings with amazing nature to sit back and watch, be it the swans, ducks, herons, birds or fish. It was great fun using the pulley raft to access the home in the middle of the lake, making it feel like a bit of an adventure at the same time as a relaxing break. I loved the outdoor lifestyle with cooking on the veranda and showering with a view of the lake and no worries of people wandering past as it was completely secluded. The row boat was a lovely extra touch and it was great fun to row about on the lake and dock at one of the mini docking stations to enjoy a drink and listen to music whilst enjoying the sun.



A fantastic property that really has had extra care and thought put into every detail.



Perfect place for a total relaxed switch off. Great if you're not keen on camping but still like the outdoor space. The outdoor kitchen, bathroom and toilet really force you to use the outdoor space which is great for the mind and get you out of your comfort zone. The views were beautiful, and I was really surprised by the amount of wildlife that's surrounded us. We watched the sun go down one Eve and couldn't move because it was so beautiful. We really enjoyed chopping wood and starting the wood stove in the evening. Don't bother taking any of your own toiletries as that's all provided. There is no plug socket so don't bring a hairdryer. There is a usb charger which came in very useful for charging phones.



I booked this for my husband for our 10th Wedding Anniversary as a surprise, knowing that he loves the outdoors I thought this could be perfect for him and right up his street. For me I was a little worried as I've never even camped before so I was definitely out of my comfort zone, on the first day/night I was doubting if I would last the whole weekend not for any particular reason other than I thought I just might get bored BUT I have to say I absolutely loved it, everything about it, the peace, the quiet, the tranquillity, the wildlife, the views, the nothingness, just everything about this place took my breath away I totally took on the whole experience and we even slept under the stars every night not using the lovely bed provided, and why not it was beautifully perfect. I lived without a TV. a radio, a hairdryer and NO hair straighteners, my only survival kit was my makeup Lol! By the Sunday evening myself and my husband felt like we do on every break/holiday we needed 'Just one more night' I can't say enough about this place it's truly is a wonderful little find and we are coming back in July to experience it in hopefully sunny climates if not who cares, we love it !!



Couldn't have enjoyed our stay anymore than we did. It was everything we had hoped for and more.



I can genuinely say our holiday here was one of the nicest breaks we've ever been on. We stayed for two nights and regret not staying for more. The journey to the Raft itself followed an isolated trail down fields and fishing lakes using the wheelbarrow we were provided for our kit. Getting to the cabin using a raft across the lake was a novel experience. When we got there, we snaffled the scones provided in our welcome kit in minutes before exploring. We spent the next two nights playing board games, rowing, fishing and alternating between eating on the deck and drinking in the incredibly charming decor of the Raft itself. We were sad to wave goodbye this morning to Carl, the resident tamed Swan outside. A wonderful place - 10/10 would visit again.



Absolutely fantastic and will be back next year.The place was a dream.I booked this as a surprise for my fiancées birthday and she was blown away.10/10



Absolutely gorgeous place! So fun and quirky to stay in. We were very blessed with great weather and loved seeing all the wild life around us. I would recommend lighting the hot tub straight away as it only got warm on day two of being fired up! A perfect stay, highly recommended!



Amazing stay. Such a beautiful location. The whether was brilliant whilst we stayed so this really made our stay. Both me and my partner who have never fished before caught 8/9 fish off the side of the raft. Hot tub is great fun, although it needs to be lit several hours in advance to make sure it's hot enough - all part of the fun though !



We thoroughly enjoyed our stay on the Raft. From the moment we arrived the children could not wait to fish. The weather was lovely so that made it extra special, reading on the sunlounger or drinking wine whilst on the hammock, Bliss !!! A lovely and peaceful location where you can enjoy watching the wildlife. The partly exposed toilet and shower were a novelty too. It was nice to relax and play some games in the evening , all provided for. We enjoyed the tasty scones and the smoked cheese and wine that were waiting for us on arrival. All in all a very pleasant stay and we would love to go back.



We had a fantastic girls weekend away at The Raft. The house is completely private, was comfortable and had everything we needed. Cooking in the outdoor kitchen and showering in the partially outdoor shower added to the fun of glamping. Although the outdoor lights in the entertaining area were not working the first evening, as soon as we flagged it with the owners the issue was resolved within the hour. Great experience, would definitely recommend!



We had a lovely time in spite of the rain which quickly turned into sunshine. We rowed the boat, enjoyed the hot tub and struggled to saw logs - which made us laugh.



When we arrived, we filled our wheelbarrow and made our way through the beautiful countryside to the Raft (you are supplied with a map). The Raft is very private and can only be seen once you reach it. We used the ferry platform to get across and you soon get used to this. Our boys went out in the rowing boat as soon as we got there and my husband went straight round to the hot tub to light the fire and get it ready for the evening. Hot tub took about 5 hours to heat up and we all went in that night with our lantern lighting the way. It was great fun cooking outside, fry ups have never tasted so good. Shower and toilet are partly exposed to the elements but again this is part of the fun of glamping. We were very lucky with weather, which allowed us to make the most f fishing and rowing round the lake. There is an abundance of wildlife which is entertainment in itself, even our boys enjoyed it and coped well without technology.The Raft is such a unique place to stay and we'd love to stay there again and would highly recommend it.



It was fantastic very peaceful and as secluded as promised



After seeing the raft on a recent TV programme we booked a two night stay at the raft for my husbands birthday. So glad we booked it was an amazing experience totally out of this world experience, making us totally relax and recharge. Can't wait to return.



Great time. Lovely facility. Peaceful. A great getaway. Shame about the weather!



We had the most amazing time at The Raft. The weather couldn't have been more perfect, with the sun shining throughout! We were blown away by the accommodation and loved how individual it was. We were out in the rowing boat within 10 minutes of being there, watching the world go by and variety of different birds. Copping logs, fishing, barbecuing dinner, bird watching, hot tubbing, showering in the out doors were all part of a memorable couple of days. Will be recommending The Raft to all family and friends and would love to go back and stay there again!



Heaven on earth!



It was the most bizarre fun peaceful and most enjoyable break we have ever had, and would do it again in a instant. It didn't matter that the weather wasn't hot. We laughed till our sides felt like they would split then found a perfect peace which was like a little piece of heaven in today's fast world we didn't need to talk or be in touch with the anyone just us and the serenity and simplity of life. All the worry and troubles of our life disappeared we left their calm revitalised and feeling 10 years younger in fact very sad to leave. This is a memory which will last for ever.a special place.



The raft was perfect - peaceful, private and beautifully designed with everything we needed for a romantic getaway.



Was amazing!! So private and peaceful.and so unique never seen a place like it. Would go back in a heart beat.



We had a lovely time at the raft , four of us stayed. The location is amazing , your own lake at one with nature. Loved the outdoor kitchen , shower was lovely and hot and the wood burner was put to good use as it was pretty cold .



Quirky little place which proved to be more fabulous than suggested in the photos .



"We had a fantastic time! It was such an adventure from the moment we arrived. The good thing about the Canopy & Stars sites is that you can immerse yourself straight away in the outdoors life without having to put up a tent, etc. So it's so easy to just arrive and get straight in."



"As close to perfect as a surprise weekend can get! Booked this for my husbands birthday - he loves fishing, we both love the outdoors lifestyle and the chance to spend quality time with or children without wifi or TV was a bonus! The Raft is the stuff dreams are made of - simply yet perfectly furnished, light & airy, yet cosy and snug, gently swaying in the breeze with peace, tranquility and views to die for. You could feel the stresses of everyday life melting away. From messing around in the boat to relaxing in the hot-tub, playing monopoly and BBQ-ing on the deck and showering in the open - I couldn't have wished for a more perfect place to stay. In addition, Sam and Paul (the owners) and the wonderfully lovely ladies at the Tiptree Tea Rooms are second to none in their efforts to make you feel welcome and at home. This is one place we HAVE to come back to"



"The raft was amazing, such a beautiful private place, everything was perfect in regards to location. I think it was such an amazing idea to build the raft"



"My wife and I very much enjoyed our 2 night break on The Raft - right back to basics with toilet and shower being semi outside - there were no plugs so no hair dryer - it was really good to be totally alone in the middle of a lake with just water nature to keep us entertained - great place to unwind and to be reminded that life shouldn't be taken for granted."



"Been before and loved it! Very much peaceful and loved hot tub and log burner."



"All the best parts of camping, with extra luxuries thrown in. We went with friends and all loved relaxing by the water, barbecueing our meals and stoking up the hot tub in time (takes 5 hours to get nice and warm!) for a bottle of prosecco at sunset! Lovely and totally unique experience!"



"We had a wonderful relaxing time. The facilities were great. The space and design had been really well thought out. With every minute you could feel yourself "chilling out"."



"We had an amazing time. It was only two nights but both myself and my boyfriend enjoyed every moment and managed to occupy ourselves despite no technology (we even switched our phones off!). I had a lot of first time experiences: rowing in our own personal boat, chopping wood for the log burning hot tub, fishing.. and actually successfully catching a fish!! We both loved the novelty of the hammock overlooking the water and having moonlit showers in the great outdoors. The privacy was wonderful and the cabin itself was very comfortable with everything you could possibly need for a comfortable stay. We've been raving about it to all our friends and no end of people have commented on how amazing the pictures are that we've taken. Canopy and Stars via Instagram even regrammed a picture of my boyfriend with his catch of the day!"



"Loved the raft, loved the location, loved the row boat, loved the outdoor cooking area, loved the outdoor shower, loved the walk down to the raft, loved the wildlife, loved the tranquility..."



"All the best parts of camping, with extra luxuries thrown in. We went with friends and all loved relaxing by the water, barbecueing our meals and stoking up the hot tub in time (takes 5 hours to get nice and warm!) for a bottle of prosecco at sunset! Lovely and totally unique experience!"



"Couldn't have loved it more.  The raft was a perfect getaway after our wedding and it was just stunning. We enjoyed hiring the bikes and firing up the hot tub.  It was so peaceful and the owners were lovely."


Debbie & Andy

"The stay was perfect, the raft was an incredible place."



"We loved it! it was beautiful, secluded, wild, unusual, romantic, fun…and I could  go on with the adjectives..we all loved it, the young and the old, we all found there what we came for: the parents were celebrating their wedding anniversary and loved the uniqueness of the location, the children loved the format!"



"We had an amazing time, it was the perfect escape from London, we were able to relax and get an incredible amount of pleasure from the simple things - watching the swans, trying to catch a fish, gathering firewood etc."



"It was the perfect time away for peaceful tranquility before I enter motherhood for the first time!! the best thing was the beauty of the nature and the privacy, the hot tub, floating log cabin and outside kitchen did also help!!"



"Our stay was amazing, everything was perfect from the location and weather to the hot tub and catching fish. This is a good mix of a chilled out peaceful retreat to an activity and adventure holiday! The website description information and photos did make our expectations very high, on our journey we did wonder if it was going to live up to it, but as soon as the host and owner Paul led us down the path and we got our first glimpse of the raft - we realised just how amazing it is! Totally above and beyond our expectations! Considering it's not just the raft, it's really a whole lake we hired it was extremely great value!" 



"The Raft was beautiful and lovely being on our own private lake with the boat. More than met expectations, it was lovely"



"Thoughly enjoyed our stay, very peaceful and quaint place. Worst was the trout teasing us by jumping over our lines and not letting us catching them to eat!"



"We loved every second of our stay, what a peaceful idyllic setting, we could have been on the Mississippi. A wonderful 2 days was had by all. The best thing was having our own lake. The raft itself was comfortable and we loved the log burner, the hammock and the hot tub."



"Completely loved it. The outside shower, the little boat and the access to and from was wonderful."



"Wonderful stay in a truly unique property and setting. Owner was very welcoming and friendly. Very well thought out accommodation. Great woodburner and sunsets."



"yes we loved it. Very relaxing, the setting was beautiful and the raft itself was such a cute little place. showering outside was a different experience but at the same time refreshing. Perfect weekend away to get away from our hectic lifestyle. the best thing was the peacefulnes of the surrouding, fishing off the raft and catching lots of little fish, then come dark playing games and eating snacks infront of the fire."



"The raft was amazing, very cool place to celebrate my partners birthday, well thought out and perfectly presented accommodation"



"So peaceful, a beautiful setting, was helped by good weather and a little bit quirky! We had the whole lake to ourselves. While living a busy life this was the perfect tonic. Time out away from everything. Our hosts were welcoming, the smoked trout pate and wine left for us was lovely."



"Yes, the raft was exactly as advertised. Sam was very welcoming and helpful. Beautiful, tranquil, luxury roughing it! Best - The raft, beautifully finished, thought-out, everything you needed to do nothing for a few days. Worst - Only downside was not being able to swim in the lake (without getting a little silty) but were aware of this before we went."



"It was great, everything had been thought of and it was very well designed. it was in a very secluded location so very peaceful. Being on a raft was a very novel thing and certainly generated a lot of interest with friends and family. Teaching my daughters to row on the lake was also a great thing."



"We had a fantastic time, our experience on the Raft was better than we could ever have expected. An idyllic location and unique experience. We are looking forward to going back."



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  • Cabin for 2

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Aged 8 and over

Not suitable for babies

Not suitable for pets

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( per adult per night 1 double sofa bed, suitable for adults or children over 8)

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