I am now deep in the English countryside – northern Essex, around Saffron Walden. This is a truly ancient town, with markets operating twice a week since 1141. The name comes from a combination of the old Saxon name, Walden, and Saffron which was the main ‘claim to fame’ and money earner in the 1400s, at which time the town grew substantially. Many of the buildings and streets are medieval and tudor in style and in these areas there is hardly a straight wall. There are many buildings dating from Victorian times but thankfully the medieval character of the town has been maintained. There is a ‘turf maze’ on the common which is said to be 800 years old.
The grand mansion in the town is Audley End House but I was not able to visit as it is closed over the winter months.