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Walk N: A Festival Circular

As part of Suffolk Walking Festival, we get an immersive taste of the Dedham Vale

There and back again: East Bergholt to Stratford St. Mary

Suffolk Walking Festival has been running since 2007 and is now one of the country’s largest and longest running celebrations of walking. This year ‘Walking with Constable’ joins the festival, as we immerse walkers in John Constable’s world.

We start in the centre of the village in which Constable’s father, Golding Constable, built a new house in 1774, moving his family from their home in a mill house in Flatford, a mile south on the river Stour [literally, a ‘flat ford’ settlement, where cattle could cross].

We’ll discuss the mezzotint process at the site of Constable’s depiction of Dedham Mill, which developed over multiple stages. You can view the high resolution examples in Cambridge Digital Library.

We’ll head along a peaceful stretch of the river Stour towards Stratford St. Mary before walking through the villiage and out towards the north east and past the Church of Stratford Saint Mary before making our way through the fields like many farm workers before us, and think about what might be hiding beneath our feet.

Once back in East Bergholt, we walk past Constable’s studio before our walk finishes.

How Nature paints her colours: how the bee sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweets.

Paradise Lost (Book V), John Milton, 1667

The walking route