More local tourism for you, as I again head outside the comfort zone of my home county, and explore posh Essex.


Saffron Walden is SO posh that BRAPA had to leave after disgracing himself at the local primary school in 1984 (see below).

Here’s where Simon used to keep his collection of Beer Guides in the early ’80s.

Actually Littlebury, pedants

A pleasant 90 minutes walk from Littlebury through the Audley End estate, where many many Waldonians (?) were enjoying the sun, to the chagrin of the Second Wave Wobblers.

Nice shot, if I say so myself

Walden is a little (15,500 souls) gem, a grown-up Lavenham, but it helps if you prefer old timber and pale colours and pargetting on your travels.


Not much change in the Beer Guide entries for 2 decades. I last visited the two regulars 4 years ago, so you’ll have forgotten about them by now.


The Old English Gentleman, for old English gentlemen,

Unchanged for 20 years
2016 and all that

while the King’s Arms is regal and peaceful.

Unchanged for 20 years. Note Friary Meux signage.
Yes, we had those dreadful glasses in 2016

Like I said l wrote last time, Walden is a wine town.

And a Latte town, with daft queues for take-outs from cafes called Tea Amo, Cafe Cou Cou, Molly’s and Starbucks.  I bought two bottles of fizzy water from Superdrug for a quid and tutted at folk who only stood 1.8m away.

The best pub in Walden is the Spoons. No, really. Ask the locals.

Simon will see a massive argument here

The Temeraire may not get back in the Guide now that Tim is hated more than Dom,

Your best chance of a micro pub free experience, unless the castle is taken on by someone with innovative ideas.

Open air potential

What else can I say ?

The Library would make a lovely BrewDog,


but the market square always seems a little underused.  Where’s the man selling sourdough and cheesecakes you get in Stowmarket ?

Art shot
Alleys lead to St Mary’s

Actually, it was about this point in Castle Street I realised that the Southworths really MUST visit Walden, and just learn to love NBSS 3 Wherry and Adnam’s.  There’s worse pubs.

Eight Bells – More Wherry, more Broadside.

If BRAPA is finally up to Essex by then, he can show them round his old primary school and the artwork, luckily indelible, that got Simon the boot out of Essex in that summer of ’84 when the Thompson Twins were conquering the world.



14 thoughts on “A WALTZ ROUND THE WALDEN

    1. On your list?

      I guess it’s not really en route to other places.

      I walked down Church St and Castle St in the sun and suddenly thought “those Americans have gotta see this”.

      The church is gorgeous but closed at the moment. Worth combining with nearby Thaxted and the Star.


      1. Oh yeah. I have a long list of where we have got to go. A part of me wishes you guys would stop blogging so the list would stop increasing. I already have to spend six months in the Midlands. That may be a tough sell to my travel partners…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If it’s any consolation the list of places I’m going to revisit to get pissed is growing by the day, too. Even the Honey Pot in Maidenhead looks good now,


  1. Primary school in 1984? Now you’re just trying to make us all feel old.

    You know, I was originally a Thompson Twins fan. But by the time they got to Hold Me Now and Doctor Doctor they’d taken a path I couldn’t follow them down (not unlike those other bands you mentioned the other day!).


  2. On one of my many trips to Norfolk (sadly still postponed, at present), I turned off the A11 just before it merges onto the M11, and took the B1383 going south.

    A much more relaxing journey than that horrible and over-crowded, two-lane stretch of motorway, and some very pleasant countryside to travel through as well. Next trip, whenever that might be, I’m tempted to take the same diversion, but turn off for a look around Saffron Walden. It certainly looks lovely from your photos, Martin.


    1. T’other Paul,
      From staying in Saffron Walden I would recommend the Ridleys in the Sun – but that was the 1980s and both Ridleys and the Sun are gone.


  3. On my two visits to Saffron Walden I visited the two pubs you name-check, obviously taken from the Beer Guide. Both decent pubs and not seeming stuck-up. It’s a beautiful town, which doesn’t always correspond with being a good pub town, although it certainly does in the case of Bridgnorth.


    1. Yes, theyre definitely not stuck up. Nor is the Spoons, which I sense did for the handful of Tolly boozers on the edge of town.

      The half timbered pubs on the main road are very restauranty.

      Essex folk drink enough to prop up cask.


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