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3 days

"There is no town in north Essex - and very few in England - to equal in beauty, compactness and and juxtaposition of mediaeval Georgian architecture, the town of Thaxted".

Sir John Betjeman

Just as the stories of ordinary people are so often lost in the noise of royalty and aristocracy so too is the majesty of vernacular architecture lost in the shadow of palaces and churches. Aimed at U3As, National Trust groups, Arts Societies and all groups with a thirst for knowledge. We aim to redress this imbalance. Stay Saturday and Sunday night in beautiful Thaxted. A full day out in the company of our Blue Badge Guide exploring the buildings of Thaxted and the magnificent Cressing Temple barns is framed by visits to a 14th century house in Saffron Walden and an architect led tour at a phoenix of a Palladian mansion in Epping.

Day One Saturday: Arrive in Saffron Walden to buy lunch and tour a Grade I Listed house that is being painstakingly restored by the owner, a director of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

Mediaeval and timber-framed with jettied upper floors it began life as an inn and is renowned for exceptional 17th century pargeting.

Check in at 4.30pm. This evening enjoy a 3-course dinner together.

Day Two Sunday: The Blue Badge Guide arrives for Vernacular Spectacular day trip, walking tour in Thaxted and a visit to the Cressing Temple Barns as described on page 30. There will be free time in Finchingfield for lunch.

In the evening a traditional Sunday roast for our three-course meal.

Day Three Monday: After breakfast check out and drive an hour south to Epping and a Palladian mansion that was destroyed by fire in 1916, stripped of anything of value or merit in the 1950s. Now rising phoenix like from the ashes, the Copped Hall project architect shows us restoration in progress in the mansion, grand stables and the walled kitchen garden. There's tea & cake before you head home.

• 2 nights dinner, bed & breakfast

• 5 singles without supplement

• 1 day Blue Badge guided tour

• House visit Saffron Walden

• Copped Hall tour with coffee & cake

• Your choice of coach

• Free driver half board & parking

• Free Organiser place at min 25

• Up to 1 in 10 free

• 100% Passenger Payment Protection

• GTO Liability insurance

Available October to March 2020


3* Swan Hotel, Thaxted This historic coaching inn sits opposite the church in the picturesque Essex village of Thaxted. We have booked all 20 stylishly upgraded bedrooms offering a mix of twin, double, and single to accommodate a max of Rooms are bright, elegant and airy with crisp white linen sheets, luxurious 1200 pocket sprung mattresses and tea & coffee facilities.  

£395pp Minimum 25 people

Price Valid to 31 March 2020