Constable Country is a truly beautiful place to visit and is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in England. From picturesque villages to rivers and woodlands, Constable Country is full of character. The area is rich in history and has inspired many great artists and writers. Read on for our Top 10 Things To Do in Countable Country to make the most of your visit to this part of Suffolk.
1) Explore Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum and Gardens, Dedham
The Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum and Gardens is a lovely place to visit with the whole family. In the heart of Dedham, set in around 40 acres of grounds with a delightful garden, Castle House, was the elegant country home to East Anglian artist, Sir Alfred Munnings. Castle House is now the home to the Munnings Art Museum which invites people to explore the fascinating life and work of Munnings. The museum has a comprehensive collection of paintings, drawings and archival material so do give yourself plenty of time to take it all in. There is a tea room so you can always have a break and a reviving cup of tea.
The Museum is opening from 1st April - 31st October 2015. See the website for prices and for special events.
2) Watch a show at New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
There’s something so exciting about going to see a live theatre performance. At the New Wolsey Theatre you’re sure to find a show that the whole family will enjoy! The New Wolsey is fantastic at putting on quality productions, displaying an exciting range of amateur and professional performers. Always focussing on making theatre available for everyone the New Wolsey has some brilliant schemes meaning there are affordable seats for everyone.
To find out what’s on, you can visit their website here.
3) Have a fun day out at Jimmy’s Farm, Ipswich
Situated on the outskirts of Ipswich, Jimmy's Farm is a working farm that offers a fun day out for the family. There’s plenty of activities to keep the children busy, including nature trails, an adventure playground, and the most exciting of all, the farm park where kids can get up close to many farmyard favourites. There's also a café, a family-friendly restaurant, and an extensive butchery where you can buy all the farm's meat products. You can also purchase cheese, deli products, gifts and souvenirs. If you visit on a rainy day make sure you wear your wellies and waterproofs!
The farm runs special events throughout the year, such as the Sausage and Beer festival, so keep an eye on the website!
4) Visit Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich
Take some time to have a leisurely wander around Christchurch Mansion, and discover 500 years of history in this Tudor gem. Explore the beautiful mansion from top to bottom, experiencing the Tudor kitchen, the Georgian saloon, the beautifully detailed Victorian wig and lots more!
For those who love art there’s also The Wolsey Art Gallery to enjoy, which is part of the Christchurch Mansion. The art collection on display in the Wolsey Art Gallery includes oil paintings, water-colours, drawings and prints by Suffolk artists from the 17th century to the present day and includes the important works of Suffolk-born artists Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable.
After exploring the mansion you can pop into the café and indulge in tea and cake. Or why not pack yourself a picnic to enjoy at Christchurch Park nearby. Sounds like a splendid afternoon to us.
Admission is free. Check out the website for more information.
5) Get creative at Wild Raspberry Ceramics Café, Chelmondiston
Take some time out to unwind and relax with friends and family whilst painting your own ceramics or textiles. Wild Raspberry Ceramics prides itself on it’s truly welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. No matter what your age or artistic ability, you can create something of beauty to use in your home, or give as a gift. Once you’ve finished you own personal masterpiece, sit back with a cup of tea and homemade cake in the café.
6) Stroll around High Woods Country Park, Colchester
High Woods Country Park is a true gem and definitely worth a visit if you and your loved ones feel like slowing down the pace in a peaceful and truly beautiful setting.
Open to the public for free, High Woods boasts 330 acres of woodland, open spaces (ideal for picnics), lakes, wildflower meadows, hayfields and scrubland. The Park is also home to thousands of different birds and mammals, all waiting to be discovered. The Council's High Woods team looks after the park throughout the year and has proudly held the prestigious Green Flag Award since 2004.
Fish in the park, walk your dog, take a guided tour, or play in the play area. With so much to do it’s perfect for the whole family!
See the website for more details.
7) Get active at Alton Water Sports Centre, Stutton
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a master of the water, either way you’ll love Alton Water! Set in 400 acres of beautiful Suffolk countryside, Alton Water invites you to experience sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding and more! Whatever takes your fancy!
Alton Water has a highly acclaimed and long established RYA approved training centre so you’re in safe hands. Teachers are available for those who need them, or for those who are already expert, set off and explore at your own will!
If getting in the water doesn’t float your boat you can always enjoy a cup of tea and some cake in the The Regatta Café.
Check out the website for more details.
8) Enjoy afternoon tea the Essex Rose, Dedham
A quintessential British way to spend an afternoon; enjoying a delicious afternoon tea. The Essex Rose, old fashioned in the best sense, is housed in a 16th century building just a few yards from the River Stour on the corner of the main street.
English tea at its best with wonderful scones, Tiptree jams and an excellent selection of cakes, biscuits and sandwiches. It is well worth taking a little walk to explore Dedham beforehand as portions are rather generous. Food is served throughout the day with English breakfast available until mid morning, followed by various light lunch options before tea in the afternoon. A very lovely tea room; welcoming atmosphere with excellent staff.
9) Go on a family walk
Leave your car behind and take in the beautiful countryside by foot. Breath in the fresh air, take in the stunning views and enjoy some quality family time. The Stour at Flatford is a wonderful, gentle walk for the whole family; it’s just under two miles and is across easy terrain. Get a taste of the countryside that inspired the artist, John Constable; passing Flatford Mill, Willy Lott's House, the River Stour, and boasting great views of Dedham Vale from Fen Lane. There's even a national trust tearoom en route!
For a full itinerary, click here.
10) Treat yourself at Dedham Vale Vineyard, Boxted
As a special treat for the adults why not visit Dedham Vale Vineyard. Set within 40 acres of wildflower meadows, lakes and woodlands, the vineyard produces six styles of award winning wines. As well as offering wine sampling at the Tasting Barn, visitors are also welcome to explore the vineyard.
The Vineyard Trail, which is a self conducted tour through the vines, is £5 per person including wine tasting. The Grand Tour and Tasting, a guided tour through the vines with the vineyard’s expert winemakers, followed by afternoon tea or lunch at the Tasting Barn, is £18 per person. Bottoms up for a home-grown English wine experience!
For more information, please see the website.
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