Head to The Trap for a truly breathtaking immersion in nature.
With getaways on everyone’s mind at the moment, the race is on to find the most tranquil, most charming, and most photogenic staycation venues possible. And happily, we reckon this place has got the perfect combination of all three. The Trap is a gorgeous rural cabin with sweeping views of the Essex countryside, a healthy dose of mod cons, and a restorative peacefulness that’ll soothe even the most-stressed out Londoners. Best of all, this beautiful spot lies a mere ten minutes from the end of the Central line, so naturally we had to pop along to check it out…
One of the crown jewels of Canopy & Stars‘ lineup of rural retreats, The Trap delights from the moment you first catch sight of it. Awaiting us amidst the rolling fields was a quaint little cabin, with a sloping transparent roof that invites all-night stargazing. The Trap sits amongst bucolic scenes of the Essex farmland, with sheep bleating in a neighbouring field and the occasional bird of prey swooping overhead. Apart from that, however, the only thing you’ll hear is silence: glorious, unstinting silence, the kind you just can’t find in London. For overworked Londoners coming out of a four-month lockdown, this kind of restfulness is priceless!
The Trap really puts nature at the heart of your stay; the sleeping cabin is simple yet luxurious: just a massive bed, a heater and air conditioning unit (depending on the season you visit), and curtains to keep the morning sun out. A stay here is best spent driving through gorgeous country villages, or whiling away the hours with a good book, preferably after you’ve taken a long, lazy walk through the surrounding countryside. Or you could do what we did: having been welcomed with afternoon tea upon arrival, we immediately retreated to the cabin to scoff our faces with freshly-baked scones, cakes, and brownies. With zero regrets, I might add.
An adjacent cabin provides the toilet and kitchen facilities, but you’re going to want to fire up the barbecue for your evening meal. Grilling on the deck whilst surveying the gently nodding greenery is a fine way to spend the evening, and even if the rain falls (as, naturally, it did on our visit), you can retreat to the cabin to cosy up and listen to the rain drumming softly on the rooftop. If the weather’s fine, however, kicking back on the deck with a flame-grilled dinner is a more than adequate substitute.
An outdoor shower provides a bracing encounter with the morning air, but perhaps the best feature of The Trap (and there are many to choose from) is the spacious bathtub, sunk into the decking. When filled to the brim with steaming hot water, and surrounding by flickering candles, it’s a seriously romantic spot – or if you’ve retreated here for a solo stay, it’s the highest, purest form of relaxation available.
Our stay ended with a cooked breakfast, once again sizzled on the barbecue, before somewhat reluctantly heading back to London. Not that that’ll take you very long, mind you; with The Trap lying a mere ten minute car journey away from Epping Tube station, it’s all too easy to escape the capital for a relaxing weekend in the country. And trust me, if there’s anything worth braving the Central line for, it’s this place…
Also published on Medium.