Situated near Braintree in Essex, Blake House Craft Centre is one of the region’s true hidden gems. Once a traditional farmyard, with a beautiful Essex corn barn in a courtyard of restored 18th and 19th century listed buildings of stables, cattle sheds and cart lodges, this wonderful site has been transformed into a flourishing craft centre which houses a wide range of small local businesses.
You’ll find a beautiful massage suite offering various alternative therapies such as reflexology and reiki, a couple of wool shops selling a huge array of colourful threads of varying textures, and even an antiques shed with affordable yet tempting goods.
There’s a mini golf, and adventure playground and in the summer months there’s also a maze made with maize. We went along on the last day for 2018 and it was hilarious. A great way to get the steps up. A whole bunch of crazy people walking around with not a clue what they’re doing or where they’re going (that included us). You can however pay a couple of quid and get a map in an envelope. Should you choose not to open the envelope and get the clues you get the money back. It’s set in over 10 acres of farmland, is grown each year with over half a million maize seeds. Each year it is different.
There’s boot sales, there’s even the British Lawnmower Racing Association Championships held there, so you get the picture as to its remoteness. Oh and their wonderful restaurant/cafe sells some homely food.
There’s adequate parking.