Things to see and do at Flatford
There is plenty for all to enjoy on a visit to Flatford. Take a self-guided trail through the Dedham Vale countryside or join one of the Constable tours to discover the Hay Wain view as well as the locations of other major paintings by John Constable.
Walk the Suffolk countryside
Enjoy the Dedham Vale Area of Natural Beauty and take in the landscape on a walk through the countryside. Discover the picturesque stroll alongside the River Stour to the village of Dedham or follow one of the trail routes, which you can find on the maps around the site.
Bringing Constable's landscapes to life
Experience the views that inspired Constable's paintings and discover the history behind them on a guided tour. Tours run Monday to Friday at 11.30am. The tour covers around 300 metres, lasts an hour and costs £3.50. Please note, these tours are volunteer dependent, so call ahead or speak to a member of staff to check availability.
Volunteers will also be at the Hay Wain view on weekday afternoons as well as Saturdays and Sundays to talk you through the history of Constable's most famous landscape.
John Constable Exhibition
Constable spent his entire childhood in the Dedham Vale and these memories sustained him for life. The hamlet of Flatford and the landscape of the Stour Valley dominated his paintings from the early 1800s.
A year before John’s birth the Constable family moved from a house next door to Flatford Mill to a mansion in East Bergholt. John Constable spent most of his school life at Dedham Grammar School, walking across the fields each day from his home in East Bergholt.
After he left school Constable went to work at his father’s windmill in East Bergholt and in his spare time he used to sketch the landscapes.
Visit the exhibition to find out the full story and discover John Constable's paintings of the views in and around Flatford.
RSPB Wildlife Garden
The RSPB has created a family-friendly wildlife garden at Flatford, designed to pass on ideas that visitors can incorporate into their own gardens. Discover the carved garden creatures, run through the willow tunnel and see if you can spot some of Flatford’s resident wildlife.
Valley Farm Kitchen Garden
The Kitchen Garden at Valley Farm was restored in 2010 to its former glory by a team of volunteers, who continue to develop and maintain the gardens today. They manage the gardens in a traditional way, respecting the heritage of the land. The produce grown is used in the tea-room to create a range of delicious specials. Look out for sign by Valley Farm to see if the kitchen garden volunteers are about. If they are, you are welcome to come on in and have a chat about the garden and view the produce.
Discover Constable country
John Constable grew up at Flatford Mill on the River Stour. In many of his famous painting and sketches he captured the places close to his boyhood home and the scenes of everyday rural life there. Discover the views that inspired him, by visiting the locations of his best-known paintings, using What3Words, which is an app that allocates a unique three-word name to three-metre squares all over the world.
The Hay Wain: Wages.Shutting.Hoped
Willy Lott's House: Junior.Eased.Hoofs
The Mill Stream: Light.Removers.Earplugs
Boat Building: Spelled.Teeth.Flagging
A view on the Stour near Dedham: Choirs.Riskiest.Anchovies
Scene on a Navigable River (Flatford Mill): Crunch.Traded.Limp
Boys Fishing: Iceberg.Sniff.Else
The Lock: Comb.Evolution.Bombard
The White Horse: Seducing.Exhales.Exit
Discover the life of John Constable and his family. Stories of a happy childhood, heartbreak and success in the art world help to paint a picture of what his life was like.
Discover what family-friendly activities are on offer at Flatford in Suffolk, from walking by the River Stour, nature trails and geocaching.
Flatford is home to a number of unique buildings which all have individual histories. Read on to discover more about the history of this special place.
Treat yourself to a cuppa and a tasty treat in the Flatford tea-room and find the ideal gift for you or a loved one in the shop.
Find out how to book at group visit to Flatford to discover the scenes that made John Constable famous on a guided tour, followed by a relaxing bite in the riverside tea-room.
Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.
Explore the varied landscape of Suffolk, including heathland, an Anglo-Saxon burial ground and scenery made famous by the landscape artist John Constable.