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According to the Sunday Times, “It’s Schöffels, not stilettos, Dubarrys, not diamonds, in this cliché-free Essex market town.” [Sunday Times Home – 8th April 2022]. Saffron Walden is a quaint little place, packed with pretty cottages, cutesy shops, a large church (in fact one of the biggest in Essex) and a wonderfully crumbling castle. 

There’s a thriving twice weekly market (Tuesdays and Saturdays), plenty of cafés, pubs and restaurants and a relaxed, friendly vibe as well as more clubs for both kids and adults than you can shake a stick at. Dating back to the 12th century, Saffron Walden was formerly known as ‘Walden’ before the ‘Saffron’ part was attached around 1500, thanks to the saffron crocus trade which was responsible for the initial growth of the town. Here we look at why you should move to Saffron Walden.



What to do in Saffron Walden

Audley End House
Bridge End Gardens

Top attractions include the wonderful and world-famous Audley End House & Gardens. This English Heritage beauty has acres of Capability Brown-designed parkland, a lake, a miniature railway for the children and regular special days out for the family, as well as open air cinema screenings and concerts in the summer months.

Bridge End Gardens provide a town-centre corner of quiet, with its sunken parterre, summerhouse lawn, walled garden and a hedge maze. The gardens are perfect for a summers’ day picnic.

Visit the market. On a Tuesday and Saturday, the town thrums with activity as the market opens, selling everything from artisan bread to oysters, hats, cheese, flowers, olives, coffee, sausages and everything in between. The fish stall is a particular attraction, offering fabulous seafood platters which can be enjoyed with a cold glass of wine on the market square.

For sports, Saffron Walden has a fantastic cricket club, rugby club and hockey club, all of which put on regular matches and play host to a great social scene. Saffron Walden golf club is laid around the grounds of Audley End, making it one of the most picturesque courses in the country as well as being one of the most well-respected in the region.

Where to eat in Saffron Walden

Saffron Walden Market Square
Audley End House

Saffron Walden knows how to do café culture. There are numerous coffee shops throughout the town with pretty bistro tables which spill out onto the street giving it a rather European vibe.

Bicicletta is a favourite with some of the many cyclists who head to Saffron Walden. Offering artisan coffee, cakes and sandwiches, all with a track pump to pump up your bike tyres and cycling essentials for sale. This is a go-to for those with a penchant for two wheels! They also hold regular late night events with music, cocktails and food trucks outside.

The Curious Goat is a local favourite with cheery staff; it's very child-friendly and offers a fantastic selection of breakfast, brunch or lunch. 

In the evenings, head to The Eight Bells, part of The Chestnut Group, for smart food and a good wine list, set in a traditional pub with a simply stunning barn conversion. The Cross Keys Hotel, DOUGH&Co and Lokma are also all worth a visit.

Where to shop in Saffron Walden

Street in Saffron Walden
Saffron Walden Market

Saffron Walden’s well-heeled residents love an independent shop, and the town is full of smart boutique retailers. Some of our top picks include Hill Street Chocolatier, opposite our office, which sells the best in class of artisan chocolates and was also recently visited by Jamie Oliver. Sage & Saffron is a grocer with a difference, selling lemons the size of grapefruits, produce straight from Italy and the purest olive oil to have hit this side of Essex. Mini Miss Bread is famous for its sourdough and often sees queues on a Saturday morning, but it is well worth the wait! Other great spots include the Dead Time independent beer shop, Joseph Barnes Wines and the Saffron Fish Company.


Audley End House

For the little ones in Saffron Walden

Saffron Walden is packed with mum and baby groups, many of which take place in the Old Town Hall. Not only is there tons of choice for pre-schoolers, there's also children’s sports clubs on offer at The Grove Tennis Club, the Lord Butler Leisure Centre and at Saffron Walden Rugby Club.

Audley End House

Schools in Saffron Walden

When it comes to education, Saffron Walden County High School is an outstanding state school, rated one of the best in the country. Dame Johane Bradbury’s School leads the pack for independent schools for up to age 11. There are also a number of local village schools which are sought after including in Great Chesterford and Ashdon.

In the country

Saffron Walden is surrounded by pretty, rolling countryside. The idyllic villages which surround the town have some of the most picturesque views in the country. Ones well worth a visit include the likes of Finchingfield (of Lovejoy fame), Arkesden and Clavering, all of which are typical of English country living.

Audley End House

Commuting from Saffron Walden

Commuters from Saffron Walden in the main use Audley End train station, which is just over two miles from the town centre and has services into London Liverpool Street from 52 minutes and into Cambridge from 15 minutes.

Saffron Walden Market

Property prices in Saffron Walden

The average house price in Saffron Walden is £393,484 according to Rightmove, however prices can vary throughout the relatively small town centre. Some locations carry a premium, such as Mount Pleasant, West Road or the smaller medieval parts such as Freshwell Street, Myddylton Place and Castle Street, where the best homes can reach into the millions. However, on the outskirts of town, property prices tend to be much lower, with properties available from around the £500,000 mark.

On average, rental prices currently stand at circa £1,257 per calendar month. 

Buying or renting a house in Saffron Walden

Cheffins sells and lets a variety of properties throughout Saffron Walden town centre and the nearby villages. For anyone considering moving to the town, it is well worth paying Saffron Walden a visit and seeing first hand what a charming spot it is and then taking a drive out to some of the surrounding villages. Cheffins is the market leading estate agent in the area and the team there can offer plenty of advice on where to buy or rent. 

For more information on Saffron Walden, or to view the properties on the market with Cheffins in Saffron Walden and the surrounding area, click here.

Make an enquiry

Our Saffron Walden office specialises in property for sale of all types from large village homes to equestrian properties and smallholdings, through to townhouses and new developments.