Saffron Walden 'among best places to live'

Saffron Walden's High Street

Saffron Walden's High Street - Credit: Andra Maciuca

Saffron Walden has been listed as one of eight best places to live in the East of England by The Sunday Times.  

The 2021 UK-wide top list has prompted Saffron Walden Mayor Heather Asker to say that Walden is indeed one of the best places to live in the country.  

The town joins only two other places listed from Essex – Epping and Dedham Vale, on the border with Suffolk.  

The winner for the East of England is Woodbridge in Suffolk. Other places listed for the region are Ely, Norwich, Shotley Peninsula and Wells-next-the-Sea. 

Councillor Heather Asker

Saffron Walden mayor Heather Asker - Credit: CELIA BARLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Councillor Asker said: “It proves wholeheartedly that residents and the local authorities work hard between us all to make that happen. 

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“I am exceedingly proud of all the hard work that our town council puts in, and the relationship we have with local communities.” 

Tim Palmer, 'best places' judge and chief writer at The Sunday Times told the Reporter that in the nine years the top has been running, Saffron Walden has been a ‘regular’. 

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He said it’s a ‘massive achievement’ to get in this top list. 

Mr Palmer said: “Everybody loves a place with a market. It’s so nice to have something like that, that brings the community together and makes something as boring as shopping feel like a proper outing. 

“It just makes going for a walk or stepping outside the front door feel like something a little bit magical. It’s got all the basics. 

“The High Street is really good, hopefully it will survive.” 

He added: “You have got lots of really good walks there. And you are able to get everything you want without having to go by car or change trains.  

“You can get into London by train. You have got to get to Audley End station but that kind of sifts out the less committed people.” 

Mr Palmer said the schools are ‘great’ and the community is ‘really active’. He said the judges noticed a variety of societies and clubs that people can join.  

But he added: “I wouldn’t want to say that anyone who lives in this place is happy and anyone who doesn’t isn’t; it’s just a case of finding out what suits you.” 

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