A QUIRKY railway carriage which has been transformed into a home away from home has been crowned as one of the best in Britain after a search to find top holiday lets.

The Carriage, which is based in Greenstead Green, has been named as a winner in a competition by Sykes Holiday Cottages.

Built in the 1880s, the railway carriage claimed the top prize in the best quirky property category.

Holiday homes owners from across the UK were competing in several categories, including best renovation, best quirky holiday let, best sustainable holiday let, best interior design and best view.

The Carriage is the brainchild of James Waters, a deputy environmental manager and antiques dealer from north Essex.

He originally bought the carriage in 2016 after spotting it storing car parts in a garden before transporting it back to his home by crane and lorry.

Working with his father on the renovation, the pair enlisted the help of plumbers, electricians and painters to bring the carriage into the 21st Century, completing the works during lockdown while James was on furlough.

The Carriage opened to holiday-makers last summer and has retained many original features, such as appearing on wheels, rail track and sleepers.

However it also has a number of luxury elements fitted to keep guests comfortable.

James will receive a £500 cash prize as well as free consultancy and advice from the experts at Sykes.

Properties were judged on a number of factors, including customer reviews, location and facilities on offer.

The judging panel was also asked to consider if each property would be the first choice for holidaymakers looking for a staycation.

James said: “Renovating the carriage was a real passion project for my father and me last year.

“Since opening we’ve constantly received great feedback from our visitors, but an award like this really does mean a lot.

“The process was challenging at times, but it has all been completely worth it to meet guests from across the UK enjoying this special property.

“From train enthusiasts to couples looking for something unique, I love getting to know those who come to stay and the whole experience has been really rewarding.”