A visit to Flatford Mill in Flatford, East Bergholt
, makes for a relaxing day out for all the family. The scene has been immortalised by John Constable in his painting of The Haywain and the Mill is still recognisable. Attached to the Mill, which is a Grade 1 listed Watermill originally built in 1733, is a 17th Century miller's cottage which is also Grade I listed.Flatford Mill image kindly provided by the Field Studies Council
(see below for information on their courses at Flatford
The Watermill is located in the centre of Dedham Vale, a wonderfully English village close to the Essex/Suffolk border. This is part of the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so take your time to savour the area.
The Mill was once owned by John Constable’s father and Constable made the Mill and the surrounding area the subject of many of his works of art, which are now world famous. For information on Suffolk's talented artists please see our guide to Gainsborough and Constable
The mill is located just downstream from Bridge Cottage
which is a 16th-century thatched cottage owned by the National Trust. You can enjoy an exhibition of Constable's work here and perhaps a course too as the Cottage is leased to the Field Studies Council
. The Field Studies Council is an environmental education charity committed to helping people understand and be inspired by the natural world. Established in 1943, the FSC has become internationally respected for its national network of 17 education centres.
The Flatford Centre is just an hour from London and offers visitors of all ages a unique learning environment. The rich mosaic of lowland landscapes, wildlife habitats and places of historic interest in this beautiful part of East Anglia are reflected in the Centre's wide-ranging programme of environment and art-based courses. Over 300 residential and day activities are offered each year for people of all ages. Click on the link above to find out more about FSC's courses at Bridge Cottage.
One of the best ways to experience the countryside that John Constable knew and loved is to take the Constable Country Walk around the picturesque Stour Valley. Follow the signposts from Flatford along the River Stour
. Alternatively you could take part in one of the National Trusts daily guided walks (April-Sept) to learn more about the area and John Constable.
Alternatively between Spring & the end of October you could take a trip on the River courtesy of the River Stour Trust in Stour Trusty II. Find out more here - Flatford/Dedham River Trips with the River Stour Trust
There are a number of country pubs, restaurants and cafes in the Stour Valley and nearby at Dedham. If you want to extend your visit to Flatford there are a number of accommodation options available including - The Flatford Granary B&B
is an impressive building that was once owned by Constable's Father and has been lovingly restored and converted into a B&B. The accommodation retains much of its original charm with exposed beams and leaded windows, and opens out onto a beautiful garden bordered by the River Stour. Click on the link above to book your break at Flatford Mill - you can't get closer than this!
Also there is Clockhouse Farm Caravan Park, Sudbury
- a tranquil site enclosed by pretty meadows and trees with views overlooking the Stour Valley and Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Lodges
. Useful links
Guide to Constable Country
Have you had a day out at Flatford Mill? Please send all reviews to us at firstname.lastname@example.org