Essex

Historic Essex

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Overview

Start at Audley End manor house & gardens before arriving at the historic open air museum of Stansted Mountfitchet Castle. Enjoy historic Takeley and the National Forest before visiting Cressing Temple. Pass through Coggleshall to visit Hedingham Castle and Gardens. Take in Braintree and Thaxted before arriving at Saffron Walden.

Audley End

Enjoy the Jacobean manor house and former royal residence with views across the Essex countryside. Take in the servants wing, Victorian stable yard and explore the peaceful gardens. Nearby you will find the Audley End Miniature Railway where you can hop aboard and enjoy a ride through the woodlands.

Stansted Mountfitchet

Absorb over 900 years of history at the open air museum of Mountfitchet Castle built on the site of an original Norman motte and bailey castle. Tour the castle and working village to see how the Normans lived and worked. Enjoy a tour of the House on the Hill Toy Museum, the largest toy museum in the world, with over 80,000 toys on display.

Takeley

Take a trip to the historic village of Takeley on your journey through Essex and call in at the Holy Trinity Church. Just outside the village you will find the royal hunting grounds of Hatfield Forest, a great place to relax and explore amongst the ancient trees.

cressing temple

The Knights of the Templar formed the historic medieval barns at the centre of the rural estate – best visited when there is a special event on. You will also find a restored peaceful Tudor kitchen Walled Garden.

Coggeshall

The olde world village of Coggleshall contains Coggleshall Museum with its impressive lace collection, Coggleshall Grange Barn – one of Europe’s oldest timber framed buildings and the remains of a 12th century Cistercian Abbey. Take in Paycocke’s House & Gardens a Tudor merchant house built around 1500.

Hedingham Road

Hedingham Castle and Gardens encompass over 900 years of history. Time your visit to enjoy one of the many events at this stunning location including car shows, comedy and jousting spectaculars.

Braintree

Enjoy the bustling market town of Braintree with its District Museum and nationally important Warner Textile Archive. Fancy some shopping?, then head to Freeport, the outlet shopping village with its collection of shops.

Thaxted

Thaxted combines picturesque countryside and historic buildings including cottages, almshouses, fantastic guildhall and the St. John the Baptist church. Nearby you will find the iconic Webb’s Windmill with a small museum and spectacular views.

Saffron Walden

The bustling medieval market town of Saffron Walden is filled with independent shops and historic buildings including St. Mary’s Church – the largest parish church in Essex. Bridge End Garden with its sunken Dutch Garden and yew hedge maze is well worth a visit.

Animals / WildlifeCultureHistory

Overview

1

Audley End

2
9.5 miles

Stansted Mountfitchet

3
5.8 miles

Takeley

4
17.5 miles

cressing temple

5
7.1 miles

Coggeshall

6
8.9 miles

Hedingham Road

7
7.8 miles

Braintree

8
17.5 miles

Thaxted

9
7.9 miles

Saffron Walden

What to see and do…

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Escape The Room – The Codebreaker Experience

Chappel Station, Colchester, Essex, CO6 2DS

Tiptree Tea Room at The Barns

The Barns Tea Room, Cressing Temple, Witham Road, Braintree, Essex, CM77 8PD

Tiptree Tea Room at The Essex Rose

The Essex Rose Tea House, High Street, Dedham, Essex, CO7 6DE

Shepherd’s Hut On The Hill

Campions Hill House, Campions Hill, Nayland, CO6 4NL

Browning Bros Unique Accommodation

Tey Brook Farm, Great Tey, Colchester, Essex, CO6 1JE

Browning Bros Glamping

Tey Brook Farm, Great Tey, Colchester, Essex, CO6 1JE

Wivenhoe House

Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ

Dragonfly Hotel Colchester

A12/A120 Ardleigh Junction, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7QY

Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel

Tilekiln Green, Tilekiln Green, Bishops Stortford, Essex, CM22 7TJ

St Nicholas Hotel

St Nicholas House, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1DN

The George Hotel

116 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TD

Kingscliff Hotel

55 Kings Parade, Holland-on-Sea, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 5JB

About the Historic Essex Trail

Distance: 82 miles
Cities / Towns: 9
Number Of Businesses: 37

Enjoy the splendour of the magnificent Audley End manor house and its gardens before driving down to the open air museum of Stansted Mountfitchet Castle to experience the life of a Norman villager.

Pass through historic Takeley and surrounding National Forest before enjoying the medieval barns at Cressing Temple. Enjoy the olde world setting of Coggleshall before arriving at Hedingham Castle and Gardens.

Pass through the bustling market town of Braintree before enjoying the historic buildings of Thaxted. Finish up at the historic market town of Saffron Walden to enjoy the shops and historic buildings.

Animals / Wildlife
Culture
History

Days Gone By

Trace the history of Essex on this trail – from Stansted Mountfitchet with its Norman history and toy museum to Hedingham Castle and the Knights of Templar barns at Cressing Temple you will find plenty from days gone by.

Village Life

Enjoy the scenery and settings of Essex’s pretty villages. Historic Coggleshall and picturesque Thaxted with its windmill and historic buildings are amongst the delights on this trail.

Essex Castles

Enjoy one of the regular events at Hedingham Castle and Gardens, with over 900 years history or head for Stansted Mountfitchet to explore life as a Norman villager.

Also Nearby

Escape The Room – The Codebreaker Experience

Chappel Station, Colchester, Essex, CO6 2DS

Tiptree Tea Room at The Barns

The Barns Tea Room, Cressing Temple, Witham Road, Braintree, Essex, CM77 8PD

Tiptree Tea Room at The Essex Rose

The Essex Rose Tea House, High Street, Dedham, Essex, CO7 6DE

Shepherd’s Hut On The Hill

Campions Hill House, Campions Hill, Nayland, CO6 4NL

Browning Bros Unique Accommodation

Tey Brook Farm, Great Tey, Colchester, Essex, CO6 1JE

Browning Bros Glamping

Tey Brook Farm, Great Tey, Colchester, Essex, CO6 1JE

Wivenhoe House

Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ

Dragonfly Hotel Colchester

A12/A120 Ardleigh Junction, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7QY