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Saffron Walden Common: Finding calm in a-mazing spaces #BetterPlaces

Sometimes we all need a special place to go to gather our thoughts, and I have been using the same place for over ten years.

Over ten years ago, my husband and I come on holiday to Suffolk, and from there we went for a walk that took in a little town called Saffron Walden.

I’d never heard of it before, but my husband went there as a child.

We sat on a bench there and chatted…in that carefree way that you did when you didn’t have to stop a small person from running into the road…


Benches don’t look much do they? But THAT bench has a lot of happy memories.

Over ten years later, we regularly come back in Saffron Walden, and happily taking my kids to play on the same common, and particularly to sit with them near the wonderful turf maze they have there.

I come here alone – usually to think about where and what needs to be done next in our lives – which given the complexity of the paths within the maze itself is somewhat ironic…. we just need a little space and quiet so we can find our own centres don’t we?

There is no better place to go to find my "centre" than the Saffron Walden turf maze...

It helps that the maze is located in such a beautiful town – it adds to the delicate tranquility of the place….

Just look at that blue sky in my favourite place to be #BetterPlaces @britmums #syndol #nofilters #sp

A photo posted by Helen Neale (@kiddycharts) on

They are often others around, particularly in the summer, but its size means that you can almost always find somewhere where you aren’t going to be disturbed from your thoughts.

When my children were smaller, I remember my husband taking my daughter to the maze to get her to go to sleep – walking around its old, and weathered bricks was even calming with a crying babe in arms. You really don’t know where your paths will take you as a parent, and there was a comfort of knowing that despite the tears, you would get through the maze in the end. The gentle sway as we walked soothed too….

Bricks from the Saffron Walden maze can be unbelievably evocative - perhaps its knowing they have seen so much...

Despite their simple appearances, they have been pounded by feet for hundreds of years; because of this they are strangely evocative. Imagine the sights and sounds they have seen through the ages?

Even now my kids are older, we come to the maze regularly; for quiet, for picnics, to play on the swings and slides at the bottom of the common, to run around those same bricks we used to calm our daughter – anything, but mainly to be together as a family.

Saffron Walden turf maze twists and turns

I am sure that coming here will help me guide my children through the many twists and turns that growing up with bring them.

This #BetterPlaces post is in support of the Syndol Headache Relief Find Your Better Place campaign with BritMums. Syndol Headache Relief is now formulated for headaches. Visit for online resources with information about headaches and how to restore calm in your life.

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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mishal khan

Tuesday 9th of February 2016

its to intresting and amazing post . special places visit with all the family. thanks for shearing us.


Thursday 26th of February 2015

It is so important having a special place to visit with all the family, this looks wonderful. I'd love to have a go at that maze, it must be so much fun.

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