Waltham Abbey Gatehouse and Bridge

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Heading into the past

As soon as you turn onto Highbridge Street in the middle of town, the history of Waltham Abbey makes itself known.

Between the houses and shops on either side, Waltham Abbey Church stands like a lighthouse at the end of the road.

The closer you get, the more magnificent it grows. The tower rises in sand-coloured and grey stone, covered with intricate windows rising up till the bell tower takes over.

But leave that adventure for later in the day because there’s somewhere we want to take you first.

Make your way through the Abbey Gardens and soon you’ll come across the gatehouse and bridge stretching over the Cornmill Stream.

Over we go!

Dating back to the 14th-century, travellers would’ve had to enter through the gatehouse to get into the grounds of the abbey.

It would be impressive just by itself, but the architects of old decided an entranceway into such an important place deserved something a little extra.

The bridge connecting the gatehouse to the opposite bank makes what was already an incredible scene somehow even better.

Stand there for a moment, look below and get lost in the water’s reflection.

Old buildings have an incredible way of reminding you that slowing down for a moment is one of the best ways to really appreciate the adventure you’re on.

Garden strolls

You probably walked past the Abbey Gardens on your arrival to the gatehouse and bridge, but now it’s time to get exploring them properly.

Wander along pathways lined with trees in bloom, through rose gardens where bees buzz from the colourful petals of one plant to the next, then finally head for Cornmill Meadows.

Wildlife flourishes here. Streams cut through lands of grass, dragonflies dart above the water, and you might even spot some rare birds if you’re lucky.

Sipping in style

A day of exploring calls for a moment of rest. Stop by The Gatehouse Café for a sit-down and fine cup of coffee.

The beans they use are all freshly roasted and just the smell as you step inside is like walking into a warm hug of delightfulness.

Is there really any better way to round off a day of adventure? You’ll have to tell us if you find one.

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