Our jaunt for March was in the beautiful county of Suffolk, although Flatford Mill actually sits right on the border of Essex and Suffolk. I had seen a photo of Flatford Mill on Instagram, and it looked so beautiful. As it is only about an hour away from where I live, we thought it could be a nice one to visit for a day trip. I mentioned in an earlier post, (here) that it is our goal this year to try to explore and appreciate the areas that we have near to us, and venture out to find one as often as we can. It is also a good excuse for me to try out shooting different things with my new camera that I am desperately trying to master!
Flatford Mill itself is an old, Grade I listed Mill, built in the 1700’s. It sits in what is known as “Constable Country” The famed landscape painter, John Constable was born in the village of Flatford in 1776, (his parents went on to own the Mill) and most of his paintings were inspired by the area. In fact, one of his most famous, The Hay Wain, was a painting incorporating the Mill. You can read more about the artist here if you would like to.
Suffolk is one of the most scenic Counties I think. It is full of green, open spaces with lots of history and “chocolate box” cottages. The area that is Constable Country is incredibly picturesque. The River Stour runs through it, and the area has been declared an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty. Its an incredibly peaceful and tranquil place, and impossible to not be swept away with the charm of the area. Steeped in Milling history, you have a real sense of stepping back in time as you meander along the river path, taking in the Lock, Old Granary Cottage and the 15th century farm house of Valley Farm. As you can imagine, its historical link with painting means it attracts artists and painters, seeking inspiration and to tread in the footsteps of John Constable. Although I have no painting talent, I can imagine its an amazing place to pitch up and paint.
Flatford Mill is a beautiful place to visit, although you only really need half a day as its not a huge area. Other than the gorgeous walks, there is a tea room (of course, we had tea and cake) and a cottage that is set up and staged, as it would have been set out, with a family living in it in the 15th century. This was a tricky one for my husband, who is 6ft 3, as the ceilings were made so low in those days. He had to walk around bent forward. I however am more suited to those days, being just 5ft 3. For once, short girl issues worked in my favour!
So there you have it. Another gorgeous place we have discovered not far away. Id love to hear anywhere that you feel is worth exploring on our expeditions? Any recommendations?