Constable Country Experiences Guide
There is much to see and do in Constable Country; stunning countryside scenery is mixed with a rich history of art and culture. Find out more about the best way to experience this part of the county.
Attractions and Landmarks
If you’re looking to explore Constable Country then Flatford is the ideal place to start! This part of the county is known mainly for its artistic connections with painter John Constable. He has painted many well-known paintings but some of his most famous pieces are in and around Flatford. The most celebrated of which is ‘The Hay Wain’ which features an area near to Flatford Mill. There is a superb walk along the River Stour, where you can take in the stunning views and scenery, which was included in Britain's Favourite 100 Walks run by Ordnance Survey. You can also visit the John Constable museum and explore the many historical buildings in the picturesque village of Flatford including Flatford Mill and Valley Farm, which is the oldest building in Flatford being built in mid 15th century.
Take a step back at time and visit the ruins of Clare castle in the heart of Suffolk’s smallest village. This 13th century castle is situated in what is now known as Clare Country Park, the stone castle keep is set upon a 60ft high motte that overlooks the town. The inner and outer baileys are ideal picnics and the inner bailey also contains the former railway station which now houses a delightful Café. Once you’ve explored the castle, then take a stroll along the footpaths that run along the edge of the River Stour and the old railway line… Discover the history of the town and then wander through the streets where you’ll discover many independent shops and interest buildlings. Now a ‘safe for walkers’ accredited… Wool Town
For a family friendly day out take a trip to Hollow Trees Farm in Semer, near to Hadleigh. This excellent farm park has many animals for you to meet including cows, pigs, chickens, goats and alpacas. They host all sorts of events throughout the year and there are many activities for children to get involved in. Follow the farm trail and find all the exciting things including mini tractors, a goat mountain and a bear’s den! Once everyone’s been thoroughly entertained head to the café for refreshment. You can even pop in the shop and buy some fantastic local produce and even plants. The perfect day out for the whole family.
If you or one of your loved ones is a Harry Potter fan than Lavenham is a must visit destination! The streets of Lavenham were filmed secretly in 2010 and used as a background for the scenes in Godric’s Hollow. The buildlings featured may not all be recognisable however as they were altered using CGI technology. The famous Guildhall was also filmed and transformed into Harry Potter’s parents’ derelict house in the film. De Vere house in Water Street also appears in the film. Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not, there is so much to learn and discover in this medieval town.
Art & Culture
Constable Country is famous for its artistic routes and the wool town of Long Melford is particularly well-known for its thriving and growing hub of art galleries. Over the years it has built up a reputation as the best place in Suffolk for art. Some of the galleries are considered world class and offer better value for money than their counterparts in London! This wool town is also widely known as one of Suffolk’s most attractive villages, so it is well worth a visit. Its high street is the longest in Britain at 2.5miles and is full of independent shops, galleries and antiques centres as well as cafes and restaurants. There are many other interesting sights to see here including the Holy Trinity Church, built in the late 15th century. Melford Hall, run by the National Trust is also worth a visit. Head down to Long Melford in July for the exciting street fair!
The Great Outdoors
For those that enjoy the great outdoors this part of Suffolk is second to none for outdoor pursuits. In particular the River Stour that runs through Constable Country is an excellent way to explore your surroundings. There is row boat hire at Flatford and The Outdoor Hire Centre in Sudbury also hire canoes, kayaks and row boats as well as trips to suit all abilities.
Suffolk has many exciting festivals including the popular charity festival LeeStock at Long Melford. Held in May at Melford Hall, this festival has grown considerably in popularity since its creation in creation in 2007 and now boasts a number of well-known acts. LeeStock was started up by a group of friends wishing to pay tribute to their friend who had sadly passed away. It has now grown into an extremely successful event and has raised in excess of £100,000 for charity.