Christmas in Saffron Walden

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Saffron Walden has been around a fair old while, and to this day retains many old buildings that help tell the story of this rural market town.

This heritage ensures that even in an age where modernisation is increasingly encroaching on most aspects of everyday life, Christmas and New Year’s Eve still retains something of that magic from days of yore.

In keeping with this are some of the town’s festive celebrations, many of which are taking place at Audley End House and which for December begin with a Victorian Christmas on the first of the month.

The exquisite stately home will be brought to life as you wander around and encounter characters decked out in full-period costume, making for a slightly surreal but ultimately very enjoyable experience that will be accompanied by music, carol singing and a festive fayre to browse in.

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For children a Victorian Christmas might not seem as wondrous, so they are sure to enjoy the chance to meet Father Christmas in the venue’s Cart Yard.

On Thursday 6 at the same venue, you can try your hand at making a Christmas wreath or festive table arrangement.

The workshop runs from the morning into the afternoon, and includes lunch and the necessary materials as part of the price (£50).

As well as getting to take home the results of your effort, you will also learn about Victorian Christmas traditions throughout the session.

Audley End House is also hosting its Carol Concert on Wednesday 12 December, where you can join in singing a Christmas classic or two while enjoying a glass of wine and good company.

On the first three weekends of the month, and then from the 19th through to Christmas Eve, the Audley End Miniature Railway is hosting special Christmas train rides.

Each train makes a stop at Santa’s Grotto, where the passengers will be greeted by Father Christmas and each child given a present.

Wrapped up as visitors already will be this time of year, The Signal Box Café will be open serving locally sourced hot food for all to help stay warm and full.

Of course, as quaint as much of this might sound, Christmas in Saffron Walden is not entirely about nostalgia for Christmases past.

Friday 7 December sees a concession to the modern Christmas in the form of a late night shopping evening in the town centre, because for all the planning in the world you still need those extra hours.

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