Saffron Walden is a delightful medieval market town located in north-west Essex and just 15 miles to the south of Cambridge. It has a rich heritage of old buildings, including the magnificent Jacobean mansion Audley End House and Gardens and St Mary’s Church, the largest and one of the most beautiful parish churches in Essex.
On the north side of town is Bridge End Garden, a restored Victorian garden of great charm, which contains a wonderful yew hedge maze and sunken Dutch Garden.
A market has been held here since 1141, and market days are now Tuesdays and Saturdays with shoppers enjoying browsing and buying goods from a variety of market stalls. Beyond the market place, there are many independent shops and eating places to choose from.
Saffron Walden has many interesting historic buildings. At the heart lies St Mary’s Church, 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.
Saffron Walden highlights
Bridge End Garden
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.
Saffron Walden Museum
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.
Fry Art Gallery
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.
More highlights of Saffron Walden
One Minet Skate Park
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.
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.
The largest turf labyrinth still surviving in Europe can be found on the eastern side of the attractive Common. Children of all ages enjoy following the ‘path’ through the turf, which winds for about one mile within a circle 100 feet in diameter.