SWC Walk 130
18.75 km 11.7 miles
(or 14.25 km 8.9 miles finishing at Audley End)
A varied walk through the rolling fields of north Essex to Saffron Walden
. There you'll find half timbered buildings, an impressive church
, remains of a Norman castle, an ancient turf labyrinth, and Bridge End Gardens. The afternoon goes through the parkland of Audley End and continues along the Harcamlow Way to Newport. It is possible to shorten the walk by finishing at Audley End station. Trains: 9:43
Cambridge North train from Liverpool Street (Hackney Downs 9:50, Seven Sisters 9:57), arriving Great Chesterford at 11:05). Get a return to Great Chesterford.
Return from Newport at xx:13.
Or from Audley End at xx:10 and xx:47. Lunch:
It's Mothers Day today, which is sometimes a problem (see below), but at least there's plenty of choice in Saffron Walden. The 8 Bells
(01799-522790) is recommended. You also have the Saffron Hotel (01799-522676), The Cross Keys
(01799-522207) and a Wetherspoons, The Temeraire
You pass the 17th C White Horse (01799-540002), about ten minutes before Newport station. Alternatively, detour to the much larger Coach and Horses (01799-540292) to the north of the village. Tea, Audley End:
The Fighting Cocks (01799-541279) is on the way to Audley End station. You could also continue past the station turn-off then go down to the left to find The Bell (01799-540382). Both come recommended. Audley End House
is closed in winter but the gardens, stables, and service wing are open (£10.80 unless you're an English Heritage member). Walk Directions here
You can shorten the walk by finishing at Audley End station. The route there involves a teensy bit of road walking.
For an even earlier finish, a 132 bus
will whisk you from Saffron Walden to Great Chesterford at 13:05, 15:05, 17:05. Unfortunately, once whisked, there's a 45 minute wait for the train. (Just as well I did a whisk assessment).