Constable Country Constable Country
National Trust
Essex

 
Visitors to the UK will not find Constable Country on any map because it is the name given to an area of outstanding natural beauty in south-east England.
 
This unique area lies almost equidistant between the Suffolk towns of Ipswich in the north and Colchester to the south.
 
John Constable
It has got its name from the beautiful landscape paintings of the English 19th century Romantic painter, John Constable. The quintessentially English landscape portrayed in such paintings as ‘The Hay Wain’ and ‘Dedham Vale’ is familiar to many people, adorning chocolate boxes and as the subject of jigsaws.
 
The heart of Constable Country is the border between the counties of Essex and Suffolk along the River Stour. It is here that Constable lived and grew up, in the scenes so familiar and instantly recognisable in his paintings.
 
It is a joy to visit locations that have changed little since the 18th century.
 
Constable was born and grew up in East Bergholt. He went to day school in Dedham Village and boarding school in Lavenham until leaving school to work in his father’s corn business. But, his real passion was for drawing and painting and he produced hundreds of sketches of scenes in Dedham Vale.
 
His father was a wealthy corn merchant and owner of Flatford Mill. Although millions of people visit Flatford & Bridge Cottage, the National Trust has done an excellent job of minimising their impact.
 
Constable Country Walks
One of the best ways to experience the countryside that Constable knew and loved is to walk around the picturesque Stour Valley. Flatford & Bridge Cottage are accessible from East Bergholt, Dedham and Manningtree.
 
The St Edmund Way and Stour Valley Path both run alongside Flatford and the journey is about 1¾ miles (2.8 km) from Manningtree Railway Station. OS Explorer Map 196.
 
Manningtree Station is on the London Liverpool Street – Ipswich/Norwich line.
 
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Contact & Further Information
 
Getting There
Flatford is the heart of Constable Country and is located south of East Bergholt off the B1070. National Trust car park nearby.
 
- By Car
Flatford & Bridge Cottage is south of East Bergholt and well signposted from the B1070.
Parking: 200 yards (183 metres) from Bridge Cottage in the National Trust car park. Free to National Trust members.
Sat-Nav: Postcode CO7 6UL
 
- By Rail
The nearest railway station is Manningtree which is 1¾ miles (2.8 km) from Flatford by footpath or 3½ miles (5.6 km) by road. Manningtree Station is on the London Liverpool Street – Ipswich/ Norwich line. Abellio Greater Anglia service Manningtree Station, for timetable and tickets go to Web:  National Rail Enquiries
 
The National Trust has excellent “How to Get Here” instructions on their website  Web:  National Trust/ How to get to Flatford
 
Google Maps - Flatford Mill Constable Country