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Details

  • Start: Swan Meadow long stay car park, GR385 535
  • End: Swan Meadow long stay car park, GR385 535
  • Country: England
  • County: Essex
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: Pubs in Littlebury and many places in Saffron Walden
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer 195 Braintree and Saffron Walden and a small fraction on 209 Cambridge
  • Difficulty: Medium

Description

This short walk allows you time to take in the delights of Saffron Walden as well as viewing the picturesque Audley End House and its surrounding grounds

saffron walden Market Town and Stately Mansions


This short walk allows you time to take in the delights of Saffron Walden as well as viewing the picturesque Audley End House and its surrounding grounds


FACTFILE


Distance: 4 miles / 7.1 km / 2 hours
Terrain: One steep hill out of Littlebury, otherwise gentle walking, no stiles
Start / Parking: Swan Meadow long stay car park, GR385 535
Map: OS Explorer 195 Braintree and Saffron Walden and a small fraction on 209 Cambridge
Refreshments: Pubs in Littlebury and many places in Saffron Walden


Tourist Information Centre: Saffron Walden Tourist Info Centre
1 Market Place
Market Square
Saffron Walden
Essex
CB10 1HR
01799 524002


Places to visit: Bridge End Garden, Saffron Waldens hidden garden. For more information visit www.visitsaffronwalden.gov.uk or call 01799 524002


Step 1
From the car park, follow the signs to the High Street. Turn right towards the traffic lights and then right again in to Abbey Lane, so called as it used to go to the abbey, which is now Audley End House. Go past the United Reformed Church and at Hanover Place go straight ahead through the iron gates in to the grounds of Audley End House. Turn to the right, taking the path which leads across the field rather than through the trees. The path leads straight across the field to a footbridge. Once over, keep ahead on the fenced in route. When it opens out, follow alongside the stream (this is the Slade, which is a tributary of the Cam), past the gnarled old trees. To the left are views of Audley End House. The former Walden Abbey was adapted in the 16th century to become a home. It became the largest mansion in England, but due to crippling debts, the house was reduced to a third of its size. The house is now owned by English Heritage. As you come towards a field gate and dwelling, keep ahead through the gap on to a footpath out of the grounds. The path continues alongside the brook and beside the estate walls, eventually joining a farm access track. Follow this to the left, across Tea Bridge to the road. Tea Bridge looks very inconspicuous from this side of the wall, but on the other side the bridge is an elegant part of the landscaped gardens, a Grade I listed feature of the Elysian Gardens designed by Robert Adam. At the road, turn right along the pavement towards Littlebury.


Step 2
You are confronted by the church as you enter the village. Holy Trinity church dates from the 12th century and was built on the site of a Roman camp. By the church, turn right in to Mill Lane and then right again at the end of the road, crossing back over the River Cam and past Northend Lodge. Northend Lodge is a Grade II listed building and was one of the lodge buildings for the Audley End Estate. Turn left at the B184 then right on to the first footpath, taking the path on the right-hand side of the ditch. At the top of the field, follow the yellow arrow in to the next field, following alongside Browns Plantation. As you approach the farm a yellow arrow will guide you to swap sides of the hedge on to a farm track. The path skirts round a pond and between farm buildings and on to another farm track. To the right, Saffron Walden is nestled between the hills. At the footpath crossroads, turn right then at the corner of the field turn left along the field edge. At a track turn right along the path by the field edge heading back towards Saffron Walden and the church, the largest parish church in Essex as well as having the tallest spire. The path eventually becomes a sunken lane. At the bottom of the hill, the path becomes a lane, passing the football club (the oldest club in Essex) and then meets the main road. Turn right back in to Saffron Walden, taking the time to walk round the small market town, its magnificent church and secret gardens. The way back to the long stay car park at Swan Meadow is signed from around the town.



About Open Access


Open Access Land means that where you see this symbol you can walk without sticking to the mapped paths. For more information on Open Access and the right to roam visit
www.openaccess.gov.uk or call
0845 100 3290


Each month Essex County Councils Public Rights of Way team provide
Essex Life with a walk in the county. Walking, riding and cycling leaflets
are available to download

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