Essex

Constable Country

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Overview

Start at Colchester, the oldest recorded Roman town in England, before relaxing in the inspirational landscape of Constable country at Dedham and Flatford. Unwind with a luxurious stay at Wivenhoe House Hotel, located just 5 minutes from Colchester. Explore the historic Suffolk countryside of Lavenham, Kersey and Long Melford, home to the TV series Lovejoy.

Colchester

Historic Colchester was the first British Roman capital and is Britain’s oldest recorded town. Castles Park is home to Colchester Castle built on the site of Roman temple and Hollytrees a Georgian townhouse museum. For the more lively visit Colchester Zoo, Jump Street, the leisure centre and swimming pools.

Dedham

Bridging the Essex / Suffolk border, Dedham is a peaceful spot to hire a rowing boat and make your way to Flatford through the landscape that inspired painter John Constable. Or if you prefer, enjoy some food and drink at The Boathouse or take a picnic and walk along the river bank.

Dedham Boathouse Boat Hire

Boats are available to hire 7 days a week from 9am until 4pm between March to October. Enjoy the beauty and relaxing experience of rowing down the river Stour in a traditional clinker built rowing boat. View the Dedham Boathouse Boat Hire's profile.

The Kitchen @ Dedham Boathouse

The Kitchen @ Dedham offers a wide selection of cakes and savoury & sweet pastries - open 7 days a week from 9am until 4pm. Chef prepared food available from Wednesday to Sunday. View The Kitchen @ Dedham's profile.

Flatford Mill

The village of Flatford is famous for the 18th century Watermill and Willy Lott’s House. Flatford Watermill is a Grade 1 listed mill, famously featured in John Constable’s painting called The Hay Wain. Explore the historic buildings or take in the views on a walk along the River Stour to Dedham.


⚡Charge your electric vehicle at Fields Kitchen Farm Shop.

The Angel Inn

John Constable drew and painted in Stoke-by-Nayland including a number of works depicting St Mary's Church. Constable loved the impressive bell tower of St Mary's and he drew and painted it on a number of occasions. It is believed Constable visited The Angel Inn on several occasions when making these sketches and paintings. Learn more

Hadleigh

An historic market town dating back to 1252 alongside the River Brett, Hadleigh is filled with crooked, half-timbered houses reflecting the historic wool and cloth trades of yesteryear. Take in a walking tour or visit the nearby ancient woodland of RSPB Wolves Wood.

Kersey

The historic wool village of Kersey and surrounding hamlets occupy a steep hill with the high street forded by a tributary of the River Brett. The skyline of the charming village skyline is dominated by the 11th century medieval St. Mary’s Church. Why not pop in to Glass & Craft for a handmade souvenir or visit Bridge Farm Barns Corn Craft Gift Shop & Tea Room for shopping and refreshments.

Lavenham

Half-timbered medieval cottages and the 15th century church are central to the history of picture postcard Lavenham. The wool town is steeped in history and you can visit The Guildhall of Corpus Christi and the 14th century Little Hall or take the railway walk to Long Melford. Jane Taylor the author of the poem Twinkle Twinkle Little Star lived with her family at Shilling Grange in Shilling Street, Lavenham, however the poem was written whilst she was living in Ongar. Why not also visit The Lavenham Greyhound for a drink or a spot of lunch.

Cavendish

Located between Clare and Long Melford, the picturesque Suffolk village of Cavendish is well known for its “Suffolk Pink” thatched cottages, the historic Norman tower church and local pub overlooking the vibrant green.

Clare

Situated on the north bank of the River Stour the old wool town of Clare is steeped in history with plenty for the visitor to explore, including a medieval church, museum, Clare Country Park, 13th century Augustinian Priory and Clare Castle ruins dating back to William the Conqueror.

Long Melford

From Melford Hall overlook the village green in Suffolk’s great cloth village where you can join in the annual Beatrix Potter festival or just browse the antique shops on the main street. Other local attractions include the Long Melford Heritage Centre and nearby moated Tudor Kentwell Hall.

Child FriendlyCultureFree to Do+5 more

Overview

1

Colchester

2
8.2 miles

Dedham

3
0.2 miles

Dedham Boathouse Boat Hire

4
0.0 miles

The Kitchen @ Dedham Boathouse

5
5.7 miles

Flatford Mill

6
7.7 miles

The Angel Inn

7
7.5 miles

Hadleigh

8
3.5 miles

Kersey

9
7.9 miles

Lavenham

10
9.5 miles

Cavendish

11
3.8 miles

Clare

12
7.1 miles

Long Melford

What to see and do…

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Hedingham Castle | Essex

Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3DJ

Mollett’s Farm | Suffolk

Main Road, Benhall, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 1JY

Maximus Sustainable Fish | Suffolk

Friday St Farm Shop, Farnham, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 1JX

Helmingham Hall Gardens | Suffolk

The Events Office, Helmingham, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 6EF

Wrights Cafe | Helmingham Hall

The Coach House Tea Rooms, Helmingham, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 6EF

Helmingham Hall | Suffolk

The Events Office, Helmingham, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 6EF

Suffolk Distillery | Premium Gin, Rum & Vodka

Suffolk Distillery, Sudbury Road, Stoke By Nayland, Suffolk, CO6 4RS

The Woodbine Inn | Essex

Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 3QT

About the Constable Country Trail

Distance: 61 miles
Cities / Towns: 12
Number Of Businesses: 323

Leave the Roman town of Colchester with its castle and numerous historic buildings and head to Constable Country. Explore Willy Lott’s Cottage and the watermill at Flatford on the River Stour and may be walk or row to Dedham.
Head through the countryside to the market town of Hadleigh before visiting the Suffolk Wool Towns of Kersey, Lavenham, Long Melford and Clare with their timber framed houses – you may even spot De Vere House, Harry Potter’s mythical birthplace! Stop and explore the magnificent Tudor Kentwell Hall with extensive gardens and tearoom. Be sure to read our Suffolk guides and our useful What’s on in Suffolk article to find out more about the local area.

Child Friendly
Culture
Free to Do
History
Pet Friendly
Rainy Days
Shopping
Wheel Chair Access

Historic Suffolk

Suffolk is home to many picture postcard 15th century villages based on the wool trade. Spot the crooked timber framed houses in the likes of Lavenham, Kersey and Hadleigh. Enjoy historic Flatford Mill, site of Constable’s famous Haywain painting or the moated Kentwell Hall.

Art & Cuture

Visit the art and craft galleries at Dedham and Lavenham where you will find a mix of painting and sculptures by local and national artists including Constable and Gainsborough. Stop a while in Long Melford, Lovejoy country, where you can browse the local antique shops.

Beautiful Countryside

Enjoy the rolling green countryside and wildlife of Suffolk. Watch for kingfishers on the banks of the River Stour at picturesque Dedham or the River Brett through historic Hadleigh. Look out for the avocets in the fields or explore RPSB Wolves Wood and keep an eye for the local deer.

Also Nearby

Hedingham Castle | Essex

Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3DJ

Mollett’s Farm | Suffolk

Main Road, Benhall, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 1JY

Maximus Sustainable Fish | Suffolk

Friday St Farm Shop, Farnham, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 1JX

Helmingham Hall Gardens | Suffolk

The Events Office, Helmingham, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 6EF

Wrights Cafe | Helmingham Hall

The Coach House Tea Rooms, Helmingham, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 6EF

Helmingham Hall | Suffolk

The Events Office, Helmingham, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 6EF

Suffolk Distillery | Premium Gin, Rum & Vodka

Suffolk Distillery, Sudbury Road, Stoke By Nayland, Suffolk, CO6 4RS

The Woodbine Inn | Essex

Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 3QT

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