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Waltham Abbey

The little English postcard town. As summer starts to assert itself you just have to get out and enjoy the sun, it will be dark and gloomy again so fast that this notion forms the very compulsion to be out there. Got to soak up the vitamin D right?
Epping Forest is just 26 miles drive away and is a curious draw in that it is just a woods and not much else, but people flock to it with picnics and footballs and seem to enjoy it. We would like to point out the little market town of Waltham Abbey on the way to said forest. It's not a big experience but it is a diverting one, the town is built around the Abbey from which it takes its name (in fact the Waltham name derives from the Latin word for forest "weald", or "wald". Showing its connection to Epping Forest just down the road).
The Abbey itself dates from the 10th century and is even the burial place of King Harold (though some dispute this) after his death in the battle of Hasting in 1066 his body was brought here (we couldn't find out why here rather than say, Westminster Abbey, but his graves clearly marked. The Abbey is grander on the outside than it is on the inside but still a lofty eminence that is impressive to walk though (there was a wedding on when we were there so had to be brief).
Other impressive features are the River Lea that runs through the town and there are is impressive riverside and damn system in place that makes this an attractive area to spend an hour or two (note: the Churchhall on the river bank dispenses caffeinated beverages for as little as 60p – so more than an enough inducement to stay). The area is also akin to Purfleet in that it has an impressive armoury that manufactured gunpowder during the war and is now a museum. On some days (like when we visited) there is a Spitfire doing some showy maneuverers at low altitude by way of entertainment which leant the occasion as shiny sense of allure.
All in all this is a lovely little chocolate box type of town that while not totally free of betting shops and kebab houses still has a keen sense of the regal about it.

Postcode: EN9 1DG

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