The perfect time at Paycocke’s- with however long you’ve got!

Family walking in the garden at Paycocke's

We understand that you don’t always have all day to explore one of our amazing properties. The Coggeshall properties are small but perfectly formed, and give you plenty of opportunities to go deep into the depths of our stories, or to simply take the time to relax away from modern life in our beautiful garden, whilst being only a few minutes’ walk away from the centre of a bustling town. So, here are our suggestions for how to spend your time here, with however long you’ve got…

If you've got all day

When you visit Coggeshall you get two properties for the price of one, and the chance to explore a historic wool town to boot! Both properties open at 11:00, so park up at our car park adjacent to Grange Barn once you arrive in Coggeshall. Then, enter Grange Barn and explore in awe as you learn about its amazing 800 year history, and how it was saved from destruction less than 50 years ago. Take the time to do the kids trail if you are travelling as a family, where you can take the time to ponder over how many tiles might be on the roof, and discover much more.  Maybe grab a jar of our amazing Grange Barn Honey- which is gaining quite a reputation! 

Grange Barn in the sunshine
Grange Barn
Grange Barn in the sunshine

After you’ve taken in all that the Barn has to offer, pick up a walking map and take a walk around the village, which takes in some of the key places that Coggeshall has to offer and takes roughly 40 minutes to reach around the circular route to Paycocke’s. Alternatively, pick up part of the Essex way and wander down to St Nicholas’ Chapel, another remaining part of the original Abbey complex. Whichever you decide, once you arrive at Paycocke’s you will certainly deserve a drink and a bite to eat. The café serves hot and cold drinks, cakes, tray-bakes, scones and snacks, so why not treat yourself to a Cream tea?!

Chapel of St. Nicholas Coggeshall
Chapel of St. Nicholas Coggeshall
Chapel of St. Nicholas Coggeshall

After some food, explore all that Paycocke’s has to offer- both inside and out. There are many nooks and crannies to discover around the house, and it has plenty of stories to tell. Once again, there is a children’s’ trail if you are visiting with the family, and garden games such as croquet and quoits to keep you entertained outside. Don’t forget to check out our dressing up box- we love to see our visitors getting into the spirit of the Tudors! The garden at Paycocke’s is beautiful year round, and if you visit in the summer, you may be lucky enough to leave with some of the produce grown by our volunteer gardeners to bring home to your own table. Equally, don’t forget to visit our Shop and Second Hand Bookshop, to find a treasure to remind you of your visit.

Now that you’ve taken the time to explore Paycocke’s, have a leisurely meander back up the hill towards your car and Grange Barn. Before you leave, why not grab a cheeky ice cream from the Barn? After a day of exploration, you certainly deserve it.

If you have a couple of hours

You can easily visit both Paycocke’s and Grange Barn in a couple of hours- even a few minutes is enough to fall in love with this place! Park at Grange Barn and start by exploring its vast history… watch the video which depicts the restoration of the Barn in the 1980’s and marvel at the contrast in health and safety procedures from today! Find our hidden door and take a moment to note down what you think might be on the other side of it, we love to see your suggestions!

Stroll down the hill towards Paycocke’s, taking some time to see what wildlife you can spot as you cross over the River Blackwater. Once you arrive at Paycocke’s, go in through admissions and begin to explore the house. Make sure you read the information on the woollen banners, as they give a great overview of the history of the property, and how it came to be what it is today. After exploring the house, wander around the garden, and grab a quick game of quoits or croquet if you can spare the time- crown the winner Champion of Coggeshall! If you still have time to spare, you must visit our tea-room and enjoy a drink and maybe a little treat. Don’t forget to go back via our National Trust Shop and Second-Hand Bookshop so that you can leave with a treasure of your own!

Treat yourself to a nice afternoon tea
A cappuccino and a slice of cake in Paycocke's cafe, Colchester
Treat yourself to a nice afternoon tea

Make your way back to Grange Barn, and, time allowing, pick up an Ice cream from them for your journey home!

If you have 30 minutes to spare!

Many of our visitors love Paycocke’s because it is the perfect place to come and spend some time, whether you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids to have a change of scenery, or if you are passing time until you need to get to your next destination.  Here are some ways to spend a quick time at Paycocke’s:

  • Relax in the garden with a cup of tea and a slice of delicious cake
  • Have a croquet tournament with your friends and family
  • Do our kids trail around the house and find the treasures of Paycocke’s
  • Dress up as a Tudor and wander around the house, pretending that it is yours!
  • Explore the garden at Paycocke’s,  taking in everything from its arts and crafts inspired top section, to the kitchen garden at the far end where our produce is grown

These are just a few ideas of what we like to get up to at Paycocke's, but if you and your family have any pastimes here, we would love to hear from you. 

You can even enjoy your cuppa outside on a nice day
Two ladies enjoying a cup of tea in the courtyard at Paycocke's
You can even enjoy your cuppa outside on a nice day
Grange Barn

Grange Barn and Paycockes circular walk, Coggeshall, Essex

Step out on a walk from Grange Barn through the Essex countryside to another Trust property, Paycocke’s House. Walking along the River Blackwater, this three-mile circular walk takes you right back to where you started.

Gallows Street Coggeshall in Tudor times...

Paycocke's Tudor Coggeshall walk, near Colchester, Essex

Step back in time to the year 1512 and get a fascinating insight into Tudor life as you walk through Coggeshall.