Just 15 miles south of Cambridge, Saffron Walden offers something for everyone A pinch of Saffron GREEN AND PLEASANT
SEE THE SIGHTS
N o visit to Saffron Walden would be complete without a stop at the bustling market, a fixture of life in the town since 1141. From plants, pottery and pet supplies through to fish, flowers and fashion, the market is notable for its varied collection of traders and traditional feel. The ruins of Walden Castle are another slice of history – and don’t miss the museum, which holds a collection of national importance. Featuring everything from mammoth tusks to mummies, it was one of the first purpose-built museums in the country. The buildings that make up this medieval market town are an attraction in their own right. Take a wander through the streets and you’ll discover the history- steeped structures of St Mary’s Church – a grand place of worship measuring 183 feet in length and boasting an ornate 193-foot spire – and the timber-framed Cross Keys pub, which has impressive Elizabethan architecture. Another watering hole – The Sun Inn – features intricate pargeting.
If you’re a fan of elaborate plasterwork, head down Castle Street, where you’ll find higgledy-piggledy Tudor buildings galore. Fancy stepping into your own period drama? Pay a visit to Audley End House and Gardens, on the outskirts of Saffron Walden. This Jacobean country home is one of England’s grandest mansions, and the Capability Brown-designed gardens are a delight to discover. Families will adore the Audley End Miniature Railway, which gives kids and grown-ups a magical tour of the estate with plenty of wildlife to spot and surprises to look out for. This half-term, from 27 May to 4 June, check out Craft Week: a chance to get creative with your little ones. There will be four craft activities on offer with each station taking its inspiration from the great outdoors, providing a chance to craft medallions, floral crowns and more. You’ll also be treated to a train ride, a fairy and elf walk and an interactive stage show – plus you can explore the nature corner and adventure play area.
RURAL CHARM A stunning example of an English medieval market town, Saffron Walden retains much of its historic beauty, including an abundance of cultural and architectural delights
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK MAY 2023 63
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