Beginner 4 Day Tour (Route A)

Tour Overview

This tour takes you right round Constable Country, covering all of the designated Dedham Vale AONB area around the River Stour, and visiting many viewpoints used by John Constable for his best known local paintings. It also heads a little further north and east to explore some local woodlands and the medieval market town of Hadleigh.

Tour Data

Price Per Person: £362 (luxury B&Bs) - £384 (character hotels)

Start & Finish: Langham

Overnight Stops: Dedham, Hintlesham, Stoke by Nayland

Suitability: Beginner, Occasional Rider

Min - Max Total Tour Distance: 38 - 81 miles (61 - 130 km)

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Day One

Start - Finish: Langham - Dedham

Min - Max Distance: 5 - 9 miles

Route Overview

A short warm up ride. North from Langham via small country lanes to the lip of Dedham Vale. Then a meander east along the Stour Valley into Dedham village.

Points of Interest en-route

Visit peaceful 12th C Langham Church nestled on a wooded ridge above Dedham Vale. The tower was a viewpoint used by John Constable for several of his paintings.

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Evening One

Character Inn/Hotel: Milsoms Hotel

Luxury B&B: Dedham Hall

Things to Do

Stroll along the banks of the Stour, or hire a rowing boat from the Boathouse. Visit the Alfred Munnings Museum (check opening days) to admire his beautiful paintings and sculptures. Browse in Dedham's quaint village shops and the Art & Craft Centre.

Dinner Suggestions

Milsoms Restaurant.

Fountain House Restaurant at Dedham Hall.

Sun Inn on Dedham High Street opposite the Church.

Boathouse Restaurant on the banks of the River Stour.

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Day Two

Start - Finish: Dedham - Hintlesham

Min - Max Distance: 17 - 24 miles

Route Overview

East along Dedham Vale to Flatford Mill. Northeast to Belstead via peaceful wooded lanes. Then northwest via gently rolling farmland to reach Hintlesham.

Points of Interest en-route

Visit scenes painted by John Constable at Bridge Cottage, Flatford Mill and Willy Lott's Cottage on the banks of the Stour.

Stop off to admire the unusual bellcage at East Bergholt Church, or the delightful gardens at The Place for Plants.

Visit Jimmy's Farm of TV fame, to see the rare breeds or visit the timber barn restaurant.

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Evening Two

Character Inn/Hotel: Hintlesham Hall

Luxury B&B: Hintlesham Hall

Things to Do

Book in for a round of golf at next door Hintlesham Golf Club. Take a peaceful stroll round the nearby Wolves Wood RSPB reserve.

Dinner Suggestions

Hintlesham Hall (choice of smart restaurant or informal lounge bar)

The George Pub

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Day Three

Start - Finish: Hintlesham - Stoke by Nayland

Min - Max Distance: 16 - 23 miles

Route Overview

West towards Hadleigh, entering it via a delightful old railway trail. South along the beautiful Brett Valley to Higham. A gradual climb northwest to reach Polstead, then southwest across the narrow Box Valley to arrive at Stoke by Nayland.

Points of Interest en-route

Explore Hadleigh's bustling high street with its many fine medieval buildings.

Linger awhile in beautiful Polstead village to admire some of the fabulous medieval houses, or take a refreshment stop at The Cock Inn next to the village green.

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Evening Three

Character Inn/Hotel: The Crown Inn

Luxury B&B: Poplar's Farmhouse

Things to Do

Explore 15th century St Marys Church in its splendid hilltop setting (a favourite John Constable subject, used in several of his paintings).

Dinner Suggestions

Crown Inn restaurant

Angel Inn restaurant

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Day Four

Start - Finish: Stoke by Nayland - Langham

Min - Max Distance: 0 - 25 miles

Route Overview

Southwest and steeply downhill to Nayland. Then, depending on fitness and time availability, a short scenic loop westwards along the idyllic Stour valley, before climbing south out of the valley to return to Langham.

Points of Interest en-route

Pedal slowly along the beautifully preserved medieval high street of Nayland village.

Watch activities at the busy Essex and Suffolk gliding club at Wormingford.

Visit Dedham Vale Vineyard and take a tour to learn about the winemaking process.