Nearby Saffron Walden is Pushing the boat out this Christmas, with illuminations, trails, markets and more – explore what’s in store!
A medieval market town filled with lovely independent shops, Saffron Walden is the perfect place to head for a charming shopping experience this festive period. Illuminated by twinkling lights, the historic town centre is a joy to discover – especially at Christmas Late Night Shopping, which this year takes place on 3 December. The all-day market continues into the evening, joined by seasonal food, entertainment and charity stalls, plus many shops will stay open until around 8.30pm.
Nice ones to visit include Talents, a gift emporium which has been open since 1986. It’s reliably filled with lovely craft pieces, candles, ceramics and accessories. Homewares store Lottie Mutton has lots of festive decorations, from gorgeous garlands to quirky baubles, while Between The Lines is the essential stop-off for cards and a last-minute Advent calendar.
If your visit falls between 1 and 22 December, embark on the Yellow Brick Road Christmas Trail, organised by Saffron Walden BID. Follow the markings on the street and look out for snowflakes in shop windows – there are great prizes on offer, for young and old.
The historic town centre is a joy to discover
For a bite while you’re there, check out The Market House, just up the road from the Market Square. An indie eatery serving
tasty tapas, cocktails and live music, it’s a real gem that locals love. If you prefer a classic pub experience, the Cross Keys
is a good bet.
We all have a sweet-toothed friend, so for the ideal gift, make a beeline for Hill St. The team hand-make chocolates on-site, and always wow with their wonderful Christmas creations. Ingredients for your own festive feast, meanwhile, can be found at Burtons Butchers – a family-run business with a commitment to sustainability and sourcing local, top-quality meat – or Gilbey Butchers, which has a host of deli items, alongside a traditional butchery service.
For the all-important kids’ toys, turn your feet to the delightful Toy Box, a treasured part of the Saffron Walden community since way back in 1984. A higgledy-piggledy building, filled to the brim with toys, teddies and games, it covers the whole gamut – from timeless classics to the latest trends.
For creatively-minded young ones and grown-ups, Colorcraft is an absolute treasure trove of arty supplies, while Game On Toymaster has a world of games (digital and analogue!), collectables, models, Lego and consoles.