Saffron Walden is a picturesque, medieval town, in north west Essex. It has a rich heritage of old buildings reflecting its wealth as a rural market town.
A market has been held here since 1141, and market days are now Tuesdays and Saturdays. Shoppers enjoy browsing & buying goods from a number of different market stalls, which vary from week to week and can include: Fresh fruit & vegetables, clothes, fresh fish, kitchenwares, plants and flowers, cheeses, jewellery and much more. A Country Market also takes place on Friday mornings at the back of the Town Hall. Freshly baked cakes and savouries, preserves, fresh produce & craft goods are available to buy. On Saturdays, Farmers’ Markets take place in nearby local villages.
Beyond the Market Place in Saffron Walden, there are many independent shops and eating places to choose from. Many small business premises are located in the Rows, which were the town’s shopping centre from Medieval times onwards. There are many interesting historic buildings in the town. At the heart lies St Mary’s Church (www.stmaryssaffronwalden.org)Â the largest parish church in Essex. Fine examples of elaborate moulded plasterwork (pargetting), can be seen on the Old Sun Inn and the houses in Castle Street & Bridge Street. Also of note are the Eight Bells, the timber-framed Cross Keys, and the medieval building that now accommodates the Youth Hostel. Nearby, Saffron Walden Museum is of particular interest. The collections are housed in one of the oldest purpose built museum buildings in the country, completed in 1835. It has everything from mammoth tusks to mummies, from an early Tudor bed to a natural history museum gallery. In the grounds of the museum are the ruins of the Castle keep which dates back to the 1130s or 40s.
Bridge End Garden is a real jewel and an environment of great charm on the north side of Saffron Walden. Careful restoration has replicated gardening techniques and designs typical of the Victorian era and brought the garden back to its full splendour. The hedge maze is of particular appeal to children. The path into the garden passes the Fry Art GalleryÂ (www.fryartgallery.org)Â which houses a collection of works by a Great Bardfield group of artists who settled in the Essex countryside in the 1930s.
The attractive Common is the oldest of Saffron Walden’s open spaces and on its eastern side is the largest turf labyrinth still surviving in Europe. Children of all ages enjoy following the ‘path’ through the turf, which winds for about one mile within a circle 100 feet (30.5 meters) in diameter. To find out more about this charming Essex town go to www.visitsaffronwalden.gov.uk
Belle Couture After many requests from its growing and loyal clientele – Belle Couture has decided to offer its Customers the chance to wear high-end fashion at affordable prices that will complement its existing ranges of unique and beautiful clothes, shoes & accessories. And there’s more, coming in November, Belle Couture become Official Stockists of the much talked-about and popular celebrity brand of Tresor Paris Jewellery. Winstanley House, 4 Market Hill 01799 524424
ANNA Fabulous shop for designer clothes and accessories. Labels include Alice by Temperely, Farhi, Joseph, Olden, Anya Hindmarch, James Jeans, Sam Edelman and many more. 01799 516639Â www.shopatanna.com
Kitty’s A ladies clothing agency specialising in high end, authentic designer garments and accessories. From summer fashion clothing, shoes and bags to fur coats and knitwear for the cold winter months – they sell a wide range of garments, accessories, watches and timepieces from leading designer brands. 07814 2921420
Toy Box A traditional children’s toy shop that has been supplying quality toys for more than 30 years. They stock puzzles, role play toys, arts & crafts, Playmobil, Lego, wooden traditional toys and much more. 01799 525510Â www.toyboxsaffronwalden.co.uk
Adnams Cellar & Kitchen Store Explore our ever-changing range of wines and kitchenware. 01799 527281 cellarandkitchen.adnams.co.uk
The Sweet Shop Over 100 different jars of traditional sweets, pick and mix sweets, chocolates, toffees and lots of different flavours of creamy fudge. 07545 329047Â www.thesweetshopsaffronwalden.co.uk
Modish Recommended by The Guardian as one of the Top 100 shoe shops in the UK. 01799 528852Â www.modishonline.co.uk
The Blueberry Store New England Interiors, Shaker Folk Art, Americana and lots of great Xmas decorations and gifts. 01799 516345Â www.blueberrystore.co.uk
Abracadabra Teddy Bears Wonderful specialist shop filled with hundreds of great teddies. 01799 527222Â www.abracadabra-teddies.com
Ladytron Established in 2002, Ladytron has become a firm favourite with ladies desiring original and creative outfits at competitive prices. Owner Tom Tron says, ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“This season, the vintage ‘Mad Men’ look is a must for your wardrobe. Fever have a beautiful range, including the Dara Dress and Highlands Jacket. Italian label Jonny Q design the best fitting jeans and velvet trousers that you’ll ever wear, plus Culture have a fantastic selection of tunics and dresses.ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Â¬Ãƒâ€šÂ Avoca, Kali Orea and Passport all offer highly desirable ranges, featuring gorgeous virgin wool capes, rouched and pleated dresses, plus amazing tops. Also this season, Tom has introduced Spanish labels Custo and Almatrichi, and continues to offer stunning Swedish jewellery by Miss Dee, plus stylish bags from Kitsch & Stitch. 01799 524222
Petrus Here you’ll find some unique and desirable clothing brands. 01799 525313 petrusdesign.co.uk
Lottie Mutton Soft furnishings and gifts. 01799 522252
Chisnalls Delicatessen Chosen as one of the 50 Best Delicatessens in the UK by The Independent. 01799 528239 The Old English Gentleman Delightful, warm, friendly and traditional 19th century pub in the centre of town. 01799 523595