Orchards, antiques and walks in Sawbridgeworth

PUBLISHED: 19:28 14 October 2010 | UPDATED: 17:57 20 February 2013

Kate Yarnold, Eugene Keddy and Dean Coleman from Rivers Nursery Site and Orchard Group

Kate Yarnold, Eugene Keddy and Dean Coleman from Rivers Nursery Site and Orchard Group

Whether your idea of a perfect day out is shopping for an unusual find, making the most of the great outdoors, or relaxing with a drink and treating yourself to a meal, Sawbridgeworth has plenty on offer, as Louise McEvoy discovers

RIVERS Nursery Orchard has many fruit varieties, as well as many wild flowers, and is well worth a visit.
There are about 600 fruit trees in the orchard apple, pear, plum, cherries, gages and apricot which include about 65 different varieties of apples.
The orchard, which was first established as a nursery by John Rivers in 1725, with Thomas Rivers concentrating the land more on the production of fruit when he took over the business in 1827, closed towards the end of the 1980s and some of the land went to development.
Today, The Rivers Nursery Site and Orchard Group, made up of local people, are restoring and preserving part of the site, which was started by the Friends of Rivers Nursery Orchard in the mid 1990s.
The annual Community Apple Picking Day took place in the orchard between 10.30am and 1pm on Sunday, October 3. The organic apples will then be sold in Church House on Apple Day, which takes place between 1pm and 4pm on Saturday, October 16, where there will also be tastings and apple-related activities and competitions.
For more information about the orchard and about these upcoming events, visit www.riversnurseryorchard.org.uk

Antique hunting
Why not head to the Herts and Essex Antiques Centre for a fascinating browse through a wide range of interesting, rare and collectable items?
Situated in The Maltings on Station Road, the centre opened more than 25 years ago and is home to over 70 independent dealers offering a wide range of antiques - from furniture and clocks to silverware and jewellery to ceramics and glass.
Whether you are looking for a specific item, searching for an unusual present for a special occasion, or just want to have a look around, the centre is well worth a visit.
It is open from 10am until 5pm Monday to Friday and from 10.30am until 5.30pm at weekends, and also has a coffee shop which serves drinks, snacks and freshly cooked meals. The coffee shop is open every day except Monday.

Start walking
Make use of an abundance of rights of way and take a walk around the countryside surrounding Sawbridgeworth, planning your own route or following one of the many circular walks in the area.
Why not follow the guided trail commissioned by Sawbridgeworth Town Council to mark the millennium? It starts at Great St Mary's Church and takes in the heart of Sawbridgeworth, passing places of historical and local interest. There are nine display boards, marking the way and giving information.
Under the watchful eye of Sawbridgeworth resident and local historian, Wally Wright, who acted as the project coordinator, the walk was prepared by the Bishop's Stortford and District Local History Society.

Eat and drink
From lively town centre pubs to quiet bistros and restaurants, there is a range of places to eat and drink in Sawbridgeworth.
Goose Fat and Garlic on Bell Street is an inviting restaurant which offers an a la carte menu for more formal dining, or tapas for more casual occasions. For more information and for sample menus, visit www.goosefatandgarlic.co.uk
The Gate pub on London Road has its own brewery on site and, as well as being known for its homebrews, is thought to be one of the biggest sellers of real ales in the country.
Members of the Real Ale Club Sawbridgeworth, which has been established for 15 years, officially meet on the last Wednesday of every month at The Gate.
Members also visit breweries, hold quiz nights, and organise a trip abroad about once a year.
For more information about the club, visit www.racs.org.uk

Did you know?
Victoria and David Beckham and their family moved into Beckingham Palace in Sawbridgeworth in 1999.

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