Why we love Saffron Walden
Whether you’re a local or just visiting, here is how to make the most of Saffron Walden in just one afternoon…
Things to do in Saffron Walden
Saffron Walden combines the best of both worlds. It’s where old meets new. You can often feel as though you’ve been transported to a time gone by while doing your grocery shopping. A wander around the cobbled streets, while popping into independent boutiques and admiring the historic architecture is a beautiful way to spend an hour or two. The market takes place on Tuesday and Saturday and offers a delightful mix of local produce, furnishings and crafts. After a browse, prop yourself up at the make shift barrel table on the fish stall for cockles and a little tipple!
Eat and drink
It’s quite easy to spend a whole afternoon simply eating in Saffron Walden. Timber-clad buildings host modern pubs and restaurants, while there’s the opportunity for tea and cake on almost every corner. For something a little different take a seat at The Cheddar Vine, tucked away on Cross Street. A deli and wine shop in one, order a cheese board with items of your choice and a glass of your favourite vino, and simply watch the Walden world go by.
If afternoon tea is more your thing head to Just Like Wendy’s, which is home to Eve’s Tearoom. A short couple of minutes drive out of the town centre, towards the village of Newport, the store and tea room are a hidden treasure. Browse the interior showroom stacked with exquisite homeware and vintage finds, before warming up with a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the cosy tearoom next door.
A little further a field in Great Chesterford, is The Crown House Hotel. Set in a beautiful building dating back to Tudor times, the restaurant is a warm and cosy place for a spot of lunch or dinner (the Sunday lunch is exceptionally delicious). It also has rooms available for those looking to extend their stay.
If you’re shopping for something special or perhaps a one-off item Saffron Walden will be your haven. Forget big high street names (although admittedly there are a few), the streets are lined with independent boutiques offering everything from fashion with the likes of The Ruby Rooms and Blue, lavish interior items and furnishing at Lottie Mutton and, gifts and accessories at Talents and The Corner Cupboard.
Surrounded by beautiful Essex countryside, Saffron Walden has plenty of footpaths and country walks to offer. However, if you don’t fancy pulling on your wellies and trekking across the fields, pay a visit to Bridge End Garden. Hidden in the back streets of the town, the grade II listed space consists of seven interlinked garden and popular hedge maze. The Turf Labyrinth, another maze which twists and turns, is sure to be a hit with children. The town will celebrate its maze culture with the third Saffron Walden Maze Festival from 19-21 August.
Explore Audley End
A hit with both adults and children is the magnificent Audley End House & Gardens just outside saffron Walden. Spend the afternoon wandering around the immaculately kept grounds, explore the Victorian service wing and visit the horses in the stable yard. There’s also a play area to keep the little ones entertained. The English Heritage site hosts a vibrant events calendar throughout the year.
Make the most of the day with a visit to the Audley End Miniature Railway, located opposite. A massive hit with families, the railway trails through the forest where children can spot teddies that live in the woods. There’s also a Enchanted Fairy and Elf Walk and picnic and play area – great for the when warmer weather arrives!