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Constable Country

The classic English landscapes have been the subject of many artists. Their works redefined what we've come to accept as 'landscapes' and have influenced photos we take of the countryside.

  • South East England

  • 5 nights
  • Full Board
  • Landscape

  • Aug

    Oct

  • Average group size: 12-14

Moderate

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Walking grade

Grade 4

This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full day walks at a moderate pace over flat terrain for the majority of the time. Any elevation is minimal. Some walks are at the top end of the grade in terms of distance, however is on flat terrain so still within the grade. The walking each day will be between 4.5 - 5 hours of walking and the average length of the walks is 10 miles. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.

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Classic Collection

Thoughtfully designed, meticulously planned, carefully graded, and expertly guided walking tours and hiking holidays along well-loved and off-the-beaten-track footpaths.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Plenty of views familiar from Constable’s paintings.
  • Tudor timber framed, picture perfect Lavenham.
  • Enjoy the wildlife of the Stour Estuary Nature Reserve.
  • Quirky accommodation at Flatford Mill.

Welcome to a world of water meadows, willow trees over hanging river banks and ducks gently paddling against the flow. It all looks like a scene straight from a Constable painting. Because it is! Our centre at Flatford Mill offers accommodation in Willie Lot’s cottage which appears in the Haywain, perhaps the most famous painting by an Englishman. Anybody wishing to see the accommodation used on this holiday, should go to the National Gallery in London where Constable’s most famous work is on display!

Immersion in history continues on our walking programme. Of many highlights, Lavenham one of the more picturesque towns in the country, and famed for its use as a set in the Harry Potter film series. Discover various references to Anne Boleyn and St Edmund amongst others. Literary and artistic connections abound, from Arthur Ransome and George Orwell, sites of Constable’s work also feature.

However, do not think this is an educational tour. We are walking through quintessential rural Britain along riverbanks and through meadows. We take in seascapes and pretty villages, open vistas and sunken paths. This holiday truly has something for everybody. 

  • Full board accommodation (hostel)
  • All local transport required for the itinerary by private coach
  • Services of a Classic Tour Leader
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Tour Codes

71385

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Independent travel to the FSC Flatford Mill. Check in is from 2pm and no later than 5pm. Meet your tour leader at approximately 6pm in the centre before dinner. If you plan to arrive late, please contact Flatford Mill directly and advise your time of arrival. 

Dinner each evening is taken on site.

Day 2

Flatford Circular

Meals

Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    10.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    70m

The walk encompasses the eastern end of the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This part of the countryside features in many of John Constable's paintings, and we shall visit Dedham, the village where Constable went to school. You will be able to enjoy the habitat along the banks of the River Stour.

Today's walk will be directly to and from the Centre, so no transport is required. 

Day 3

The Shotley Peninsula

Meals

Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    11 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    50m

Sandwiched between two scenic estuaries, the Shotley peninsula is one of Suffolk’s hidden gems. The route follows alongside the Orwell and Stour estuaries before heading inland through woods and fields. Salt marshes and wide water give the walk a coastal feel. Arthur Ransome of "Swallows and Amazons” fame has part of the path dedicated to him, and legend has it that in the church at Erwarton, Anne Boleyn’s heart is buried.

Day 4

Lavenham Circular

Meals

Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4.5 hours

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    80m

This walk is based on Britain’s best-preserved medieval village and one of Suffolk’s most important wool towns - Lavenham.  Medieval charm can still be found at every turn with timber framed buildings lining the narrow streets and lanes. The village received international attention since it was transformed into 'Godric’s Hollow', the birthplace of Harry Potter. Time will be found at the end of the countryside walk to explore this fascinating village.

Day 5

The Brett Valley

Meals

Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4.5 hours

  • Distance

    10.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    110m

Starting and finishing at Stratford St Mary this walk takes you through the countryside and hamlets of the Brett Valley. You can visit the church of All Saints at Shelley with its connection to Tudor nobility, and walk through a wood called “Sodom and Gomorrah”, before finishing at Hall Farm for well earned refreshments.

Day 6

Departure day

Meals

Breakfast

Departure from the centre after breakfast. Check out is by 10am. 

We hope that you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.  

Departure dates for your selected tour

19th Aug 2024 - 24th Aug 2024 (5 Nights)

28th Oct 2024 - 2nd Nov 2024 (5 Nights)

Travel Details

Private coach transport to and from the trailheads, is included when necessary. 

The nearest railway station to FSC Flatford Mill is Manningtree station, approximately 4 miles away from our property. 

If you are driving to Flatford Mill to join our holiday, there are car parking facilities on site.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

FSC Flatford Mill

FSC Flatford Mill is the first and original field study centre set up in the UK during the 1940’s. It is the Centre for Constable Country, set amidst the quintessentially English countryside of the Dedham Vale in Suffolk and sits on the banks of the River Stour. 

The property offers simple accommodation for those who want a convenient base for good walking. The centre offers a range of room types, split between two different buildings; Willy Lotts' House (built in the 1500s and made famous by John Constable's 'The Haywain' painting), and Valley Farm (a medieval great hall built in the 1450s) with layouts ranging from single and twin bedded rooms up to dormitories with bunk beds. If you book a single occupancy room, you will have ample space and often various beds in the room as usually the room would be multi occupied.

Please note that the bedrooms on offer are an eclectic mix and we ask that you bear this in mind before booking. You will be staying in one of two, very old buildings with original features. Bathrooms are clean and modern and bedrooms vary in size. You may have a single bed or a bunk bed. One bedroom located in Valley Farm is very spacious however there is an original staircase up to the bedroom. There are handrails but we ask you to be cautious with the original features. Some ceilings are also low and some floorboards are slanted at an angle. We ask that you enjoy the features of an old building and you do not join this holiday with the expectation of modern accommodation. Please also note it is not possible to request to stay in a particular building. Rooms will be allocated by the centre just before arrival of the group.

We are offering en suite accommodation for this holiday on a single occupancy or twin occupancy basis and the style of room you receive will be split amongst the rooms types noted above. Please note that some en-suite rooms do not have a bathroom directly in the bedroom, but you will have your own private bathroom facilities just outside your bedroom. There is also the opportunity to book one single room with shared facilities at a reduced price.

Rooms are very simple in style, with limited facilities (no TV, no hairdryers, no telephone, no seating area and little storage facilities) with bed linen and one towel provided. If you require more towels, please bring these with you. There are tea & coffee making facilities in the bedrooms. 

The centre has a dining room offering breakfast and evening meals and spacious common areas. There is complimentary Wi-Fi on site. The centre doesn't have a bar, however soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are on sale in the dining room. 

There is car parking on site and check in is from 2pm on the day of arrival, with departure after breakfast on the last day by 10am.

*Please note that this accommodation type is different from the majority of hotels we choose for our UK holidays. The accommodation is more hostel than hotel and as described above is simple which is reflected in the holiday price*

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full day walks at a moderate pace over flat terrain for the majority of the time. Any elevation is minimal. Some walks are at the top end of the grade in terms of distance, however is on flat terrain so still within the grade. The walking each day will be between 4.5 - 5 hours of walking and the average length of the walks is 10 miles. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

In the holiday cost, we've included all local transport expenses related to the advertised activity programme for your convenience. If there are additional visits or excursions to enrich your experience, you can choose to participate and cover the costs locally. Depending on the itinerary, local transport may involve a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses, and ferries.

Optional Excursions

At your destination, you may have the option to book various local excursions and activities through a local operator. It's important to note that we are not involved in these activities or excursions, and we do not operate, supervise, or control them in any way. Your contract will be directly with the local activity supplier, and we bear no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. 

Tipping

In your holiday price, we've included tipping for our local suppliers, covering hotel and restaurant staff, local guides, and drivers. Should you wish to make an extra contribution for a specific service, this should be given directly to the recipient at your discretion.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader plays a crucial role in enhancing your holiday experience, and they share your passion for exploring the world on foot. In addition to being resourceful and organised they are also well-travelled and deeply enthusiastic about showing you new destinations.  Your tour leader takes care of all the local administration, ensuring you can fully enjoy your holiday without worrying about the logistics. While leading group holidays, they always keep in mind that each group is composed of individuals. Each tour leader brings their unique style, talents, and professional background to the table. Rest assured, they are all trained, qualified, experienced, and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting, and inspiring as possible. Remember, your leader, while on holiday, is your first port of call for any issues, ensuring a smooth and worry-free experience for you.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will meet with you to review the programme for the next day. This is your chance to discuss details and ensure that the planned activities align with your walking ability. If you have any concerns about clothing or equipment, feel free to bring them up during this discussion. If, for any reason, you prefer not to participate in the organised group programme, please inform your leader. Your preferences are important, and your leader is there to make sure your experience aligns with your expectations.

Your Travel Details

Travelling by Train? The nearest railway station to FSC Flatford Mill is Manningtree station, approximately 4 miles away from the Centre. It is on the main line from London Liverpool Street to Ipswich/Norwich. The journey time from London is approximately one hour. You can also travel to Manningtree station from the north via Peterborough and Ipswich. If you have any issues booking transport to and from the station, please contact the Centre who may be able to help. UK rail information: www.nationalrail.co.uk 

Travelling by Bus or on foot? The 93 and 93A bus services between Colchester and Ipswich are operated by Ipswich Buses and run through East Bergholt. Ask for the Kings Head / Oranges and Lemons bus stop and then walk down to the Centre using the ‘By Car’ directions above. The Centre can be reached via the St Edmunds Way (which also goes past Manningtree train station) and Stour Valley footpaths. Grid Reference TM 07693322. UK coach information: www.nationalexpress.co.uk 

Travelling by Car? If you are driving to Flatford Mill to join our holiday, there are car parking facilities on site. 

The Centre is located between Colchester and Ipswich and is about 10 miles from each, approximately 2 miles from the A12. From the crossroads near the ‘Oranges and Lemons’ cafe in East Bergholt, turn down Flatford Lane. It becomes one-way in your favour after 300m. 300m further on, note the direction arrow to the Field Centre on the tourist sign and turn down a narrow steep-sided lane (do not go into or beyond the Flatford public car park). Bear left at the bottom of the hill. The Centre forecourt is then 200m further on, indicated by an FSC logo and sign on a low wall. The car park is 150m further down the lane. When you arrive, please announce your arrival at Reception. The entrance is by the sign on the far side of the forecourt. 

The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may also help you. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk 

You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the FSC Centre: www.rome2rio.com

During the holiday, private coach transport to and from the trailheads, is included. 

Personal Details Check

To ensure the accurate administration of your holiday arrangements, kindly verify that the personal details we have for you are current and correct. Confirm that you've given us all the necessary information for securing your travel and accommodation. Please review your passport details, date of birth, and any other pertinent information crucial for the management of your holiday.

Additionally, please make us aware of any dietary allergies or intolerances you may have. Your well-being is important to us, and this information will help us make appropriate arrangements for your meals during the trip.

You can access and update the provided information or add missing details through the "Manage My Booking" feature on our website at www.rambleworldwide.co.uk. Alternatively, reach out to our Sales and Reservations team at +44 (0)1707 331133. Upon receiving your booking confirmation, promptly check the details. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable holiday experience.

Meals

This holiday is on full board basis starting with dinner on your arrival day and finishing with breakfast on your departure day. Breakfasts and dinners will be taken at the centre and lunch will consist of a packed lunch provided by the centre. 

The centre will provide the lunch items in the morning for you to make up your lunch before you leave for your walk. Lunch items generally consist of a sandwich, fruit, water and a slice of cake. As kettles are available in the communal areas, you may wish to bring a flask to make up a coffee/tea flask to accompany your picnic lunch. 

Dinner will consist of a two course (main course and dessert) set menu with a choice of at least two options. Vegetarians are well catered for as the centre may have one or more 'meat free' days during your stay. Please note that the food provided is not fine dining and is basic, in fitting with the accommodation provided. 

Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be purchased in the dining room during your evening meal. There is a pub a 15 - 20 minute walk from the Centre if you wish to make a visit in the evening after dinner. 

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

Opting for filtered water from a reusable bottle with its built-in water filter, like the Water-to-go bottle available at www.watertogo.eu, is a sustainable alternative to single-use sealed water bottles. Simply refill it from any water source and contribute to saving the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

Exciting news: Water-to-go has introduced two new bottles to their collection. The Active bottle is designed to fit bike water bottle holders, and the Sugarcane bottle is an even more planet-friendly option. Crafted from fibrous cane, a by-product of liquid extraction, it undergoes a process to create plant-based plastic. Explore the details on the Water-to-Go website for this innovative new range.

As a token of appreciation for your commitment to the environment, we've secured an exclusive 15% discount with Water-to-Go for you. Visit www.watertogo.eu and use the code RWH17 during your order.                        

Note: If you're booked on a long-haul holiday departing after November 1, 2023, you'll receive a complimentary Water to Go bottle, sent to your home address 2 or 3 weeks before your holiday. Thank you for being a part of our sustainable journey!

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

OS Explorer Map 196 Sudbury, Hadleigh & Dedham Vale 1:25 000

OS Explorer Map 197 Ipswich, Felixstowe & Harwich 1:25 000

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: themapshop@btinternet.com

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements in destination can change, and it's crucial for you to take responsibility in staying informed. Ensure that you consult a professionally qualified source and comply with any health requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before your departure. Your GP can provide advice on vaccinations. Stay proactive about your health preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It’s a condition of booking that you obtain adequate travel insurance, from a reputable provider, to undertake the holiday, including UK trips chiefly due to the cancellation element of cover.

The policy must cover the period from the date of booking to the last day of your trip and should include, as a minimum, cover for: medical expenses (including the consequences of a Covid positive test result), mountain rescue including helicopter rescue, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and shall not have exclusion clauses limiting cover for the activities you will partake in on your trip, including altitudes reached in the holiday arrangement. It is your responsibility to check that your policy is adequate for the nature and destination of the holiday booked.

Once you have obtained your travel insurance, please provide us with the name of your travel insurer, the policy number and the insurer’s 24 hour emergency assistance number.

In the event that you fail to obtain suitable Travel Insurance we shall not be liable for any costs incurred or claims made against us due to your failure to comply with this term.

If travelling outside the UK you must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested to do so by RWH Travel staff, tour leaders or suppliers. No refunds will be made should you be excluded from the walking programme through being uninsured or you being unable to demonstrate that you are insured.

Our house broker MPI should be considered for whom we are an affiliate and contact information is on our website and will be referred to in your booking confirmation.

If you are travelling to an EU country or Switzerland please also ensure that you have either an existing valid EU EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) or a valid UK GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). You can apply for a UK GHIC free of charge on the NHS website at https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start.


Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is your go-to for the latest info on security, local laws, and the nitty-gritty of passports and visas at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Make sure to take a quick peek at the current advice for your upcoming destination—it'll only take a few minutes.

When you're out and about, stay aware of your surroundings. Take smart precautions with your credit cards and passport, and maybe tone down the flashy accessories. Less is more, especially when it comes to carrying cash—just enough for the day will do. Consider using a money belt for that extra layer of security. Stay alert, stay safe, and make the most of your travels!

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We are dedicated to promoting responsible travel practices that prioritise the well-being of both the environment and local communities. We believe in the transformative power of travel and aim to minimize our ecological footprint by selecting eco-friendly accommodations, encouraging waste reduction, and supporting sustainable transportation options where possible. Our walking tours are designed to immerse participants in the local culture, fostering meaningful connections with the communities we visit. We strive to leave a positive impact by engaging in responsible tourism activities, respecting local customs, and contributing to the preservation of natural landscapes. Through our commitment to responsible travel, we aim to create enriching experiences for our guests while actively contributing to the conservation of the destinations we explore.

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust

Unlike many other tour operators, we take pride in our unique approach. Ramble Worldwide channels its surplus profits back into various outdoor, walking-related, or environmental conservation projects in the UK through our own trust. When you choose us, you contribute to this impactful initiative.

The primary focus of our Trust's financial support is directed towards Britain's premier walking charity, The Ramblers. They play a crucial role in advocating the benefits and significance of walking to the British public. Additionally, our Trust invites applications for small grants from local organizations in the UK that require support for walking-oriented activities. This encompasses initiatives such as establishing footpaths and bridleways, funding for the reconstruction of bridges and refurbishing huts, and bursary funding for organisations that support individuals to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors..

For more comprehensive details, please visit the 'About' section on our website and click on the Charitable Trust link. Your choice to travel with us goes beyond a memorable vacation; it contributes to meaningful projects that have a positive impact on our community and environment.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Kindly share a mobile phone contact number with us. We'll utilize this solely for crucial communication pertaining to your holiday arrangements.

Ensure your mobile phone remains switched on and easily accessible when en route to the airport or during transit delays. This way, we can promptly reach you with any last-minute updates concerning your travel plans.

In consideration of others, we request that you switch off your mobile phone during walks or make an effort to limit its usage. Additionally, during group meals, please minimize the use of mobile devices. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone on the journey.

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