The Blackwater estuary has beaten Moscow, Australia and Taiwan in the holiday destination stakes according to a national newspaper’s list of hotspots.

It came 24th in The Guardian’s top 40 list of places to go in 2014. Top of the list was Cape Town, South Africa.

It said: “The idea may never have crossed your mind but there are great little spots out in the Blackwater estuary.

“Osea, the private island a few miles from Maldon where the rich and famous party, is hosting several special events this year: kids' camps, boutique festivals, pop-up restaurants.”

It also mentioned The Raft, an eco-friendly, floating timber cabin, at Chigborough Farm in Heybridge.

It was opened last July by owners Sam and Paul Tallowin and is believed to be the first of its kind.