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When people picture Essex they often see a scene of fake tans, tight clothes and lively nightclubs, but away from the modern cities, Essex has some wonderful countryside and beautiful historic towns and villages. The small, pretty town of Saffron Walden is a cluster of colourful, half-timbered and thatched medieval houses and an interesting collection of shops and cafes.

The surrounding countryside is scattered with medieval villages and hamlets, with picturesque houses, village greens and churches and plenty of options for walking and cycling.