Talliston House & Gardens

East Anglia Essex Great Dunmow

  • From £145 a night
  • 3 Guest Rooms
  • Something Different

This unique Essex B&B is undoubtedly the most astounding place you will ever stay!

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Talliston House & Gardens seems a rather grand name for a three-bedroomed semi in Essex. But then things are not always as they seem. Beyond the front door of this bed and breakfast are a series of extraordinary rooms. Each has been designed and decorated with so much commitment to their wildly different themes that you’ll feel like you’re exploring another world every time a new door opens. There’s the futuristic Japanese Tea Room, a 1920s New York study, the Victorian watchtower and the New Orleans kitchen. Of the 13 rooms in total, three are guest bedrooms, but during your stay, you'll explore them all.

If you’re lucky enough to book an overnight stay here you’ll find the guest rooms are similarly unique, with decorations straight out of visionary owner-cum-storyteller John Tallow’s incredible imagination. Take the 'Haunted Bedroom' – decorated to represent the bedroom of a Scottish Edwardian child, complete with a dark wood sleigh bed, heavy fabrics, period wallpaper and appropriately creepy toys. Or for something a little lighter, the 'Room of Dreams' recreates a Moorish bedchamber, with artefacts from around the world, a soundscape of Spanish wildlife and the scent of orange blossom: details like these – sounds and even smells – only add to the enchantment at Talliston. The third option is a Canadian Trapper’s Cabin – like all the rooms, set not only in a specific location but in a specific era too. This one transports you to 1940s Saskatchewan: the scents are woody and the sounds are bluesy music.

Great Dunmow, where the house is found, is a pleasant market town just six miles from Stansted airport, making Talliston a handy location if you have a flight to catch – comfy beds and a hearty breakfast will set you up for your journey – but really, it's more than a place to stop over. All guests get a short introduction from John, but to really appreciate the property, you should also book the full house and gardens tour, which takes you through the 25-year journey that has transformed this ordinary house into the most extraordinary B&B you've ever come across. The more time you spend here, the more you’ll discover – and the more you’ll want to come back!

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Book any internal guest bedroom at Talliston and you get the whole house, too! The rooms are period recreations, so expect corresponding facilities. That said there's a full kitchen with all your could want and a generous bathroom with bath, deluge shower, plus many and varied reception rooms. What we don't have is clocks and TV. Talliston is about stepping out of time, so leave the modern world at the doorstep and prepare yourself for a unique sanctuary of rooms and gardens.

Suitable For

Property best suited for couples.
No dogs/pets.
All guests must be aged 11+. All children must be accompanied by an adult.


Great Dunmow is a fascinating ancient market town with no high street chains and lots of independent shops, cafés & restaurants.
There are also a variety of great walks, National Trust's Hatfield Forest, Essex's grandest mansion Audley End and nearby medieval towns such as Coggeshall and Colchester.

Food & Drink

You are spoilt for choice, but we always recommend The Green Man at Lindsell and The Angel & Harp for dinner, plus Meadow Hill Café & Deli for teas, coffees and lunch time food.


Open all year.


Double rooms from £145 a night including continental breakfast. Fully cooked breakfast available for a supplement.

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The Owner Says

I created Talliston because I needed a house that was beautiful and functional – and allowed me to go on wild adventures without ever leaving home. Now you too can experience what it feel like to live inside this unique and amazing house and gardens.

Talliston was a 25-year project that took the UK’s most ordinary house and transformed it, room by room, by ordinary people on an ordinary budget, into ‘Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home’ (The Times).

Starting as a three-bedroomed, semi-detached, ex-council house in Essex, its thirteen rooms have been transformed into extraordinary locations each set in a different time and place. Magnolia living rooms have been recreated as Welsh watchtowers. Garages as log cabins in the woods. Box-rooms as 1920s investigator offices. A former pink bedroom is now a dark and haunted Scottish chamber. Talliston – a name that means ‘the hidden place in the wood’ – in the medieval market town of Great Dunmow, just minutes from Stansted airport, is another world hiding on a perfectly normal street, inviting you to step inside and discover its secrets.


Contact Website  07760 171 100  Talliston House & Gardens, Talliston Newton Green, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 1DU

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Getting There

From the A120, exit towards Great Dunmow on the B1256. At the fourth roundabout take the first exit to turn left on to Stortford Road, signposted for the town centre. Take the second left on to Green Lane and continue on to Green Lane which leads to Newton Green where you'll find Talliston House & Gardens. Nearest train stations are Bishops Stortford and Stansted Airport.
Great Dunmow is on the following bus routes: 133, 42A, X10 and X30.


  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Adults Only
  • Boutique B&B
  • Catering available
  • Parking
  • Wifi
  • Five-Star Luxury
  • Romantic Retreat
  • Remote Working

As featured in

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Let us know what you think of your stay.

Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 10 reviews


Utter privilege

The most wonderful place we have ever stayed. An utter privilege.
Jun 30, 2023 by Ashley

Can’t wait to go back!

Absolutely amazing Everything perfect Can’t wait to go back
Jun 24, 2023 by Jolanta

You need to stay here!

We absolutely loved our stay at Taliston House. It's very hard to describe what a unique, special place this is. It's stepping into different eras and countries in one house. Everywhere you look there is something else to see. Spotlessly clean, very comfortable and the owner John is very interesting and welcoming. You need to stay here!
Jun 23, 2023 by Louisa

Truly awesome

The house is truly awesome. We were blown away by the tour and the detailed explanations of how the house was put together which is a lifetime’s work. We had the whole house to ourselves and loved every minute of it. We slept in the Haunted Bedroom which was spooky but we enjoyed a great night’s sleep before waking very early to catch a flight from Stansted. It was a shame we couldn’t enjoy breakfast at the house but John put together a couple of packed breakfast bags to take with us. We also enjoyed the picnic hamper and highly recommend this - my partner is vegan and he enjoyed the selection. My favourite room was the Japanese one, however it is rather cold to sit in it this time of year. But the ambiance is absolutely amazing, especially with the lanterns at night. The lounge is beautiful too, so comfortable and authentic. The smells in each room are fabulous, they really add to the overall experience. We hope to return and spend more time in the house. It was far too fleeting.
Jun 21, 2023 by Jo & Neil

No words!

There are No words! The place is the most incredible venue I’ve ever stayed in. The time, love and passion that has been put into the property. Definitely book the extra tour with John - you really need to hear the magic behind the story from the Creator. Can’t wait to come again.
Jun 5, 2023 by Kelly-Anne

Loved it

We loved our stay at Talliston, it was like a whole magical world away from the street it sits on. Each room tells a story and everything has its perfect place. Needs to be visited to fully appreciate each room, each smell and each sound. We'll be taking our family back!
Jun 4, 2023 by Rosanna


A fantastic night stay at this amazing home. The host is a wonderful gentlemen and funny, especially with the tour of the property and garden, very captivating. Highly recommend if you want to truly escape the world and try this unique home as a getaway.
Jun 3, 2023 by Megan

100% Recommend

Fantastic - 100% recommend.
May 29, 2023 by Alex

Totally unique

John was a great host for his amazing house! Every room was themed and had its own quirks and atmosphere! We stayed in the haunted bedroom and was a great experience! Would highly recommend for something different and quirky for a totally unique experience!
May 13, 2023 by Gary

Wonderful experience!

What a wonderful experience! This is not just what is described, it’s so much more. Along with this beautiful room, you get a host that is passionate about his creation and loves to tell you all about it! Thank you John for creating this perfect setting for my daughter. She will remember it for the rest of her life.
May 8, 2023 by Jessica

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