The pretty village 1 hour from London that’s the ‘most photographed village in England’ and feels like you’ve gone back in time

London is certainly a great place to live, but when the Big Smoke gets a bit much, an idyllic day trip somewhere greener can be the perfect antidote. Luckily, Londoners are well connected and transport links in and out of the city can make travel easier than ever.

One Essex village is the perfect place for a scenic day trip – and what’s more is it is only a short journey from London. Finchingfield is a quaint village in the Braintree district of north west Essex.

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Could their be a prettier place than Finchingfield?

Finchingfield is on the B1052 Braintree to Saffron Walden road, only 54 miles from London and close to Constable Country. According to VisitEssex , in the time of William the Conqueror the village was called Phincingfelda.

The tourism website also describes this pretty village as “a textbook example of the traditional English village,” and even references the fact that Finchingfield is described as the “most photographed village in England” given it is so famed for its beautiful appearance.

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Finchingfield Mill was built all the way back in the 18th century

With fresh expanses of green lawns, traditional pubs and colourful cottages, Finchingfield is the perfect destination for anyone looking for an escape from London. The village has a number of sights just waiting to be explored, including the Guildhall built in 1500 or the 18th century Round House cottage

According to VisitEssex, the most interesting building to visit is Spains Hall, an Elizabethan building in the heart of 150 acres of woodland, with 11 miles of public footpaths and 9 miles of bridle paths.

Finchingfield in Essex has kept much of its original charm, photographed by Bill Key of Impington

Finchingfield in Essex might be the perfect spot for a day out this summer

Unsurprisingly, a number of painters have been inspired by the village, including Lucien Pissarro who made several oil paintings inspired by his visits there.

Tourism website AboutBritain is also hugely complimentary about Finchingfield, describing it as an “idyllic Essex village” full of redbrick cottages and a community feel: “The village currently has about 1350 inhabitants who are kept busy with many local societies and clubs.

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“There is a horticultural society, a local cricket club, a branch of the Royal British Legion and the Finchingfield Society which all make good use of the village hall. Locals also meet and fly their radio-controlled planes on the local sports field.”

The quickest route to Finchingfield from North East London, where it is 33 miles away, is via the A113 and B184, through Great Dunmow. This route should take 57 minutes.

Alternatively, you can drive via the M11 which takes one hour and three minutes. Another option is to take the train and bus. The train from Liverpool Street Station to Braintree takes an hour and then the 9A bus will take you to Finchingfield in 30 minutes.

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