Wild Colchester – From Dedham to Flatford

My last weekend in the UK and what better way to spend it than in the spectacular British countryside catching up with old friends. We planned to go to Dedham just a few miles north of Colchester to the River Stour. After a delicious traditional British lunch of sandwiches, tea and scones at the Essex Rose Tea Rooms, we headed on over to the boat house to hire some wooden row boats. We though wow this looks easy, piece of cake! However those row boats are a lot harder to maneuver than expected. we spent a lot of time rowing in to trees and dodging ducks, however it was a lot of fun. We decided not to row all the way to Flatford, which is possible but instead head back to Dedham and walk the country path to Flatford.

The country walk did not disappoint, beginning with a walk through a cow field i noticed my first unusual wildlife, those yellow dung flies that Sarah Beynon shared with us on Springwatch the other week. My friends were not impressed with my new found knowledge! From then on it was ll about the bees, so many were out it was amazing, such a great photo opportunity i was glued to the bushes. my friends kept telling me to hurry up but i had to tell them i would catch them up , i got some great shots!

It was just a shot walk to Flatford and we soon saw the old mill appearing over the horizon. A national trust site the mill was built in the 16th century and famous from the works on John Constable whose father owned the mill. The mill does not disappoint and is like a scene straight from a Constable painting.

Flatford also has a quaint tearooms where tea can be taken outside overlooking the Stour, and a National Trust shop with bookmarks and country craft. There is also a museum sharing the history of the mill and John Constable.

The walk from Dedham to flatford was just 30-45 minutes and we then spend as long again walking around the Flatford grounds (and taking photos of bees).

If your in the Colchester area it is really worth the visit, to not only get some outdoor air but also a historical tour of one of Britain’s best loved artists.

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