Museum & days out

Museums & days out (click on an image to go to their website)

There is masses of things to do just near to Piglets or a little further afield. Below are some notes on what is available to do, which we hope will be helpful to you planning your break with us.

Saffron Walden museum & castle

Our local museum opened in 1835. There are many permanent exhibitions, covering Ancient Egypt, Greece, local archaeology, local history, natural history, fossils, costume, toys, ceramics, furniture and World culture.

The ruins of Walden castle (built 1141-43) lies in the museum grounds.

5 miles from Piglets.

Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden

The Fry Public Art Gallery was opened in 1987 and houses an impressive number of paintings, prints, illustrations, wallpapers and decorative designs by artists of the 20th century and the present day who have local connections and have made a significant contribution to their field.

5 miles from Piglets.

Grade 1 listed building tour of 25-27 Church Street, Saffron Walden & the market

A truly unique opportunity to tour a grade 1 listed home within the historic Old Sun Inn – a huge labour of love by owner Douglas Kent who is the Technical & Research Director at the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Tours are limited in both numbers & dates, so prior booking is essential – click here for more information and how to book.

A market has been in the town since 1141 when the town was known as Chipping Walden (i.e. market Walden). Great atmosphere on Saturday morning/lunchtime. There is a smaller market on a Tuesday. 

5 miles from Piglets.

The House on the Hill Toy Museum, Stansted Mountfitchet

The House on the Hill Toy Museum is the largest known privately owned toy museum in all of Europe with more than 80,000 fascinating items of mixed antiquity toys available to view, based on the collection of just one toy loving man who started in 1946 by buying a Hornby train set with his pocket money!

11.7 miles from Piglets.

Mountfitchet Castle, Stansted

Mountfitchet Castle is a unique open-air museum experience where the visitor can travel back in time over 900 years and truly witness life in a medieval Motte and Bailey castle.


11.7 miles from Piglets.

Once an ordinary house in an ordinary street, Talliston has been transformed into “Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home” (The Times) and is now the setting for a fantasy novel.

Tours with afternoon tea and special events. See their website for details

11.7 miles from Piglets.

Imperial War museum, Duxford

12.7 miles from Piglets.

Step into the history of aviation at the Imperial War Museum Duxford! Discover the stories of those who lived and worked at RAF Duxford and explore giant hangars full of iconic aircrafts. From seeing the WWII Spitfire and walking under the belly of the Vulcan bomber, to hopping on board Concorde – your visit will leave you in awe.

Colne Valley Railway, Castle Heddingham

This is a really pretty little line scattered along the route with relocated station buildings, antique signal boxes and handsome bridges, all lovingly restored and rebuilt by enthusiasts. They’ve got a large and varied collection of operational vintage steam and diesel engines plus carriages and wagons which roundly represent much of their Railway Heritage.

17.6 miles from Piglets.

Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Much Hadham

In next door county, Hertfordshire, is one of the UK’s finest art destinations, open seasonally for visitors to tour sculptor Henry Moore’s former home, gardens and studios at Perry Green.

19.8 miles from Piglets.

Punting down the Cam to Granchester

Scudamore’s have been hiring punts on the river Cam since 1910 and offer the usual Cambridge ‘backs’ tour but if you want to break away from the crowds, ask them to take you to Grantchester through beautiful countryside. A pint at The Rupert Brooke pub (who lived in the village) or afternoon tea at The Orchard are a must on a sunny day.

21.7 miles from Piglets.

Fitzwilliam museum, Cambridge

The Fitzwilliam houses world class collections of works of art and antiquities spanning centuries and civilisations.

Highlights include masterpieces of painting from the fourteenth century to the present day, drawings and prints, sculpture, furniture, armour, pottery and glass, oriental art, illuminated manuscripts, coins and medals and antiquities from Egypt, the Ancient Near East, Greece, Rome and Cyprus.

21.8 miles from Piglets.

Just over 45 mins from Piglets is ‘The Nook’ where you can meet Alpacas, feed them and walk with them. Visit their website to book an Alpaca experience to discover more about these fascinating and enchanting creatures and discover their very individual personalities.

23.1 miles from Piglets.

Kettle's Yard, Cambridge

Between 1958 and 1973 Kettle’s Yard was the home of and Helen Ede. In the 1920s and 30s had been a curator at the Tate Gallery in London. Thanks to friendships with artists and other like-minded people, over the years gathered a remarkable collection, including paintings by Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, David Jones and Joan Miró, as well as sculptures by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth

24.6 miles from Piglets.

Thomas Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) was born in Sudbury and baptised at the Independent Meeting-House in Friars Street on 14 May 1727. A founding member of the Royal Academy he is regarded as one of Britain’ most important portrait and landscape artists of the 18th century.

Gainsborough’s House Society was formed to purchase his home and establish it as a centre for Thomas Gainsborough. The Museum opened to the public in 1961 and has remained open for over 50 years. The beautiful historic garden at the heart of Gainsborough’s House is maintained by a devoted body of volunteers, who garden exclusively with plants that were available in Gainsborough’s lifetime. Above is a self-portrait of the great artist.

25.3 miles from Piglets.

The (not so) Secret Nuclear Bunker, Kelvendon Hatch

Keleden Hatch – Witness the three lives of the bunker starting with its role as an RAF ROTOR Station, then a brief period as a civil defence centre through to its most recent life as a Regional Government HQ. Designed for up to 600 military and civilian personnel, possibly even the Prime Minister, their collective task being to organise the survival of the population in the awful aftermath of a nuclear war.

28.2 miles from Piglets.

Essex Police Museum, Chelmsford

Essex Police Museum has a collection of objects, photographs and items that tell the history of the force from 1840 until present day.


29 miles from Piglets.

St Andrews Church, Greenstead

Near Chipping Ongar in Essex, is the oldest wooden church in the world, and probably the oldest wooden building in Europe still standing, albeit only in part, since few sections of its original 6th/7th century wooden structure remain.

29.4 miles from Piglets

Colchester Castle museum

At Colchester Castle Museum follow in the footsteps of Roman soldiers, Norman invaders, the Witchfinder General and the devastation of Queen Boudica!

In fact you can explore over 2000 years of some of the most important events in British history in this magnificent Castle!

Colchester was Britain’s first city & former capital of Roman Britain.

35.5 miles from Piglets.

Shaw's Corner, Ayot St Lawrence, Welwyn

Home to the famous playwright George Bernard Shaw for over 40 years, Shaw’s Corner is a 1902 Arts and Crafts house set in a quintessentially English garden.

It feels like Shaw has just left the room, from the pressed clothes in his wardrobe to the typewriter and glasses on the desk in his study.

45 miles from Piglets.

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