Saffron Trail Stage 1– Saffron Walden to Henham

Type: Walk
Duration: 8h - 1d

Facilities

Routes

  • Length of route (miles) - 10
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About

The Saffron Trail stretches 70 miles in total from Saffron Walden to Southend, passing through five county districts: Uttlesford, Chelmsford, Rochford, Castle Point and Southend. We have split this trail into 7 stages so you can choose to complete at your own pace in whichever order you wish. 

This first stretch of the Saffron Trail is 10 miles long. It starts from St Marys Church, Saffron Walden, and finishes at Henham Church. It is a patchwork of wild wood, historic churches, open farmland, and Cam riverbank.

The path becomes rural as soon as the walker enters Uttlesford’s Audley Park, and then wilder as the path leaves Audley End. It passes over the railway line into Neville Hill after about 2 miles. The trail is easily lost in the first few miles out of Saffron Walden as some of the signage is poor. Worth some map research before setting off. Take a compass and OS map.

This first leg highlights include exploring a 13th century church, picking mugwort for tea, and listening for sparrow hawks in a coppiced wood. Look out for bats around the edge of Prior’s Wood at dusk.  

Please see below some of the highlights and coordinates along the route.

Content provided by Stephen Neale

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Disabled toilets - • Uttlesford District Council Offices, Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4ER • Saffron Walden Library, 2 King Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1ES

Catering

  • On-site catering - There is 24hr catering in Saffron Walden and limited catering along others part of the trail
  • On-site light refreshments - There is 24hr catering in Saffron Walden and limited catering along others part of the trail
  • Picnic site - All along the trail

Parking

  • Free Parking - Limited off-street parking around Saffron Walden and other villages and towns along the trail.
  • Parking with charge - Saffron Walden Common Car Park, 5 Cates Cor, Saffron Walden CB10 1FH Swan Meadow Car Park, 11 Park Ln, Saffron Walden CB10 1DA

Property Facilities

  • Public toilets - Public toilets, 7 Hill St, Saffron Walden CB10 1EH

Routes

  • Accessibility of route - Urban parts of trail around the towns and villages of Saffron Walden are suitable for wheelchairs/pushchairs. Other parts of the trail are not suitable. The terrain is generally flat but can get very muddy in winter. There are some steps and stiles
  • Countryside - Yes but some urban
  • Length of route (miles) - 10
  • Linear Route
  • Long Distance Path
  • Typical duration of route - 1 day (8 hours)
  • Woodland - Some tree cover at intervals along the trail

Suitability

  • Dog Owners - Suitable for dogs but must be kept on leads most of the time
  • Families

Map & Directions

  1. START/END– St Marys Church Church Path, Saffron Walden CB10 1JP
  2. Audley End Park – touch some of the oldest trees in Essex – where woodland surrounds the 18th-century landscape park
    Audley End Park gates
  3. Rookery Lane – look out for circling buzzards above the bridleway – the remnants of a redundant greenway lost to time.
    Rookery Lane signpost
  4. St Mary’s Church, – take a rest at the 13th century church. Information leaflets inside about the area and church. Church Ln, Widdington, CB11 3SF
    St Marys Church, Widdington
  5. Prior’s Wood – smell the coppiced woodland after rainfall. Look out for sparrow hawks. They hunt woodpeckers and wood pigeons here.
    Prior's Wood
  6. Henham Reservoir – feel the push of history while walking close to the reservoir. Historians have found numerous ancient artefacts in the area that may indicate a pre-Roman settlement of some significance
    Henham Reservoir
  7. START/END:– Henham Church Church Ln, Henham, CM22 6DP

Along This Route

  1. Visit Essex's hidden treasure house to explore delightful gardens and acres of parkland…

Along This Route

  1. Visit Essex's hidden treasure house to explore delightful gardens and acres of parkland…

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