Christmas is coming.....

Saffron Santa’s Grotto in Market St.

NEW TO TOWN THIS YEAR! Children will be able to visit Santa in a magical traditional Grotto in the town centre this Christmas. The Saffron Walden Elves are busily organising the Grotto in the previous Steamer Trading shop in Market Street.

The Grotto will open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, from 6th until 22nd Dec, 11am-4pm.

Tickets are now on sale! Please book via this link to Eventbrite:

£5 per child to include a gift. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Limited availability.

Children’s ‘Christmas Star Quest’ Competition

The Saffron Walden Elves are running the FREE ‘Christmas Star Quest’ competition! Stars will be displayed from Sat 23rd Nov - Sun 22nd Dec in participating town centre independent shops and businesses. Each Star will show the name of a unique product or service, linked to the shop or business displaying the Star.

Eagle-eyed ‘Star Questers’ need to spot the Stars, fill in the answers on the entry form and shoot along to the Tourist Information Centre to post their entry for a chance to WIN a £50 (1st Prize) or £25 (2nd Prize) voucher to spend in town.

Please note that the answers on the Stars will change once during the competition, giving you two opportunities to participate, enter and WIN! New answers will be visible in participating businesses from 10am on Monday 9th December. Prize Draws will take place at 10am on Monday 9th and Monday 23rd December.

Free entry forms are available now from the Tourist Information Centre. 16 years and under. One entry per person per prize draw. See reverse of entry form for full T&Cs.

Christmas Spend Weekly Prize Draw

Spend £5 or more in participating independent shops and businesses between the 23rd Nov-23rd Dec and receive a Prize Draw entry card. Complete your details and post at the Tourist Information Centre for a chance to WIN a £100 voucher to spend in town. Prize Draws will take place every Monday from 2nd Dec until 23rd Dec.

T&Cs: One entry per transaction. £100 voucher to be spent in participating businesses. £100 voucher expires 31st Jan 2020. Assuming full contact details have been provided, winners will be notified within 24 hours of the draw. See reverse of entry card for full T&Cs.

The above events are being organised and funded by Saffron Walden Business Improvement District (BID). #supportlocal

8th to 22nd November: Christmas Shop Windows Competition making Saffron Walden a great place to visit at Christmas time. This year’s theme is ‘Light It Up’ which will add magic to the window displays. Closing date for entries is the 8th November. Judging to take place on 22nd November and winners to be announced on 24th November at the Christmas Lights Switch On. Competition organised by the Saffron Walden Initiative and the contact for more information is Jacqui Portway on 07931 534599 or email

16th, 17th and 23rd November: Free Lantern-Making Workshops. Make a lantern for the lantern parade on 24th November. 10am to 3pm in the Committee Room of Saffron Walden Town Hall. Materials will be provided. No need to book, just turn up. Suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Many thanks to our sponsors who have made this inaugural Lantern Parade possible:

Southern Landscapes and Construction Ltd
Wilby and Burnett
Saffron Security
Shire Trees
Uttlesford District Council Cllrs Asker, Eke, Fairhurst, Freeman, Light and Lodge

23rd and 24th November: Saffron Walden Christmas Gift Fair in Saffron Walden Town Hall. 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sunday. Free entry. An eclectic mix of stalls including gifts, vintage/retro, crafts, fossils, preserves and collectables.

23rd November to 24th December: Christmas Special at Audley End Miniature Railway. Bookings on

Sunday 24th November: Sunday Market, Santa's Grotto outside the Tourist Information Centre (11.30am to 5.30pm), entertainers in the Market Square, a Lantern Parade starting at the Baptist Church in the High Street at 3.30pm, followed by the Christmas Lights switch on at 4pm by the Mayor, Father Christmas and Elves.

Saturday 30th November: St Mary's Parish Church Saffron Walden Christmas Gift Fair from 10am to 2pm. The theme is 'Follow the Star.' More details on:

5th to 30th December: 'Enchanted Audley End' at Audley End House House and Gardens. Booking essential via

Friday 6th December: All day market from 9am to 8.30pm. Late Night Shopping with charity stalls and entertainers from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

6th to 8th December: Saffron Walden Christmas Gift Fair in the Town Hall. Free entry. Refreshments and gifts on sale, in aid of the Mayor's charities. Friday: 9am to 8.30pm to coincide with Late Night Shopping. Saturday: 9am to 5pm, Sunday 9am to 5pm.

Saturday 7th December: 'Spirit of Christmas' concert in St Mary's Parish Church at 2pm and 5.30pm. The concerts showcase the vibrant young musicians in our local schools and include the announcement and performance of the winning entries of the Spirit of Christmas Carol Competition. Above all, these most popular Christmas concerts rejoice in bringing separate groups from across the community together, in massed musical performance. 

Saffron Walden highlights

Bridge End Garden

View of the Dutch Garden from the viewing platform.

Tucked away in the back streets of pretty Saffron Walden, this lovingly restored Grade II gem consists of seven interlinked gardens laid out in the nineteenth century, and features a formal knot garden, kitchen garden and a popular hedge maze. 

Find out more

Saffron Walden Museum

Picture of a display of a Woolly Mammoth

This award-winning, “friendly, family-size museum” opened in 1835. With wide-ranging collections covering the history of north-west Essex, from ancient times to the present day, and many other wonderful objects from the wider world.

Find out more

Fry Art Gallery

Gallery interior

Unique collection of work by 20th century artists who have lived in and around Great Bardfield and Saffron Walden including Edward Bawden, Michael Rothenstein, Eric Ravilious and others. Collection includes paintings, books, prints and ceramics. 

Find out more

More highlights.....

One Minet Skate Park

A boy on rollerskates showing off fancy moves.

The Park is the first American-built Skate park in the UK. It's a great local spot that transition skaters up and down the country should visit. The bowls have a lot of little corners and bumps to pump around and endless lines you can flow around.

Find out more

Saffron Hall

Interior of the Hall during a performance.

Saffron Hall is an award-winning, 730-seat performance space within the grounds of Saffron Walden County High School. Saffron Hall hosts an annual season of concerts and events featuring local, national and international artists.

Find out more

Audley End Miniature Railway

Audley End Miniature Railway

The Audley End Miniature Railway is an exciting 1.5 mile train ride through the Essex country side perfect for a day out with all the family! Spot the many Teddies in their Teddy Bear Houses around the track or try and find the Fairies and Elves through the Enchanted Woods!

Find out more

Even more highlights.....

Audley End House and Gardens

Audley End House

Explore this decadent Jacobean mansion house and meet the staff in the Victorian Service Wing. Enjoy stunning views across the unspoilt Essex countryside and wander the tranquil gardens created by ‘Capability’ Brown, gold winner of Anglia in Bloom Awards 2017. Then gallop across to see the horses in the Victorian stable yard, and run, jump and climb in the children’s play area.

                                                                                            Find out more 

Saffron Walden Mazes

Hedge Maze in Bridge End Garden

The historic market town of Saffron Walden is uniquely fortunate in having four mazes: the ancient turf maze on the Common, the Victorian yew hedge maze in Bridge End Garden, the Jubilee Garden Bandstand Labyrinth and the Swan Meadow Maze. Also of note is Michael Ayrton’s Sun Maze Sculpture in the Fry Art Gallery.

Find out more

Saffron Screen

Saffron Screen

Saffron Screen is a not for profit independent cinema. Its professional auditorium boasts a full size screen, 200 cinema seats, and Dolby Digital surround sound. It screens a wide range of films, hosts Q&As and streams international cultural events including theatre, opera, ballet and concerts.

Find out more

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What's Great About Saffron Walden? #MYSW