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Save your bacon in Great Dunmow

This is a small market town in Essex, close to Stansted Airport and steeped in history. Chocolate box cottages sit alongside a riverside church and handsomely restored Maltings that were used to produce malt.

Every four years the Flitch Trials take place in the town, in which couples must convince a jury they haven't argued for a year. Those who succeed are paraded along the High Street and win a flitch of bacon. Who says romance is dead? You can learn more about the history of the town in the Maltings Museum.

Spot ancient trees in Hatfield Forest

A short drive from Great Dunmow, this magnificent ancient royal hunting forest is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors.

Take a boat out on the lake in summer, or follow a forest trail among the horse chestnuts, Scots pines and cedar trees. Some of the trees here are more than 1,200 years old.

Enjoy sporting action in Chelmsford

Essex's only city is around 30 minutes away by car. Chelmsford City Racecourse, which opened in 2015, is one of only three floodlit courses in the country, and offers all-weather racing.

If you prefer the gentle sound of leather on willow, first-class matches take place at Essex County Cricket Club from April through to September.

Looking for accommodation in Great Dunmow? Travelodge Stansted Great Dunmow Hotel is conveniently placed on the fringes of the town. Travelodge Stansted Bishops Stortford Hotel is also a short drive away.