As the leaves turn red and gold, we explore the little villages, sandy heathlands and verdant countryside which have inspired famous painters such as Constable and Gainsborough.
Day 1 We travel east via the Dartford Crossing for a late lunch stop in Colchester. We continue into Suffolk and our hotel near Woodbridge.
Day 2 This morning we visit Bury St Edmunds, famous for its Abbey Gardens and the Angel Hotel, where Dickens had Mrs Pickwick stay. We continue to the pretty villages of Cavendish and Clare. We return to our hotel mid-afternoon for a chance to enjoy the leisure facilities.
Day 3 This morning we visit Sutton Hoo. The Exhibition Hall houses a full-size reconstruction of the Anglo-Saxon burial chamber from the ship grave discovered in 1939. We then continue to the coast and the pretty town of Aldeburgh for some free time.
Day 4 Today we delve into Constable and Gainsborough Country to discover the idyllic villages and landscapes that inspired the famous painters. With our Blue Badge guide, we visit Constable’s birthplace at East Bergholt, the church at Dedham and the little hamlet of Flatford Mill. In the afternoon we visit Sudbury for tea and cake.
Day 5 Today we make our way to The Food Museum, formerly the Museum of East Anglian Life, a large 84-acre estate with 17 historic buildings, animals, gardens, river walk and a collection of over 40,000 objects. This afternoon we visit Lavenham, with its half-timbered buildings, famous crooked house, and remarkable Guildhall, of which we have an introductory talk.
Day 6 Departing after breakfast, we continue our journey back to the local area with suitable refreshment stops along the way.
Our four-star hotel is beautifully situated in 120 acres of historic parkland in the tranquil heart of the Suffolk countryside, near Woodbridge. Leisure facilities include swimming pool, spa bath, steam room, sauna, gym, golf and an onsite hairdresser. Bedrooms have TV, telephone, hairdryer and hospitality tray. The hotel has WiFi and a lift to some rooms.