During one of the last weeks of summer, we finally took a trip to a place we had been meaning to go for a long time now– Dedham, which is part of Constable Country. This area is where the painter John Constable was from, and inspired the landscapes in his beautiful works.
One of the happy challenges of living in this part of England is the fact that there is always something to do and see– when the weather is nice. Sometimes a sunny Saturday makes us panic– what to do? How should we take advantage today? And that is why we were only seeing Dedham for the first time, after over three years of living close by.
Once again, the scene that met us in this new landscape was just ridiculously idyllic. People picnicking with cattle, as one does.
And navigating rowboats around them, too.It was one of the warmest days we had enjoyed in a long time, and everyone seemed to be out– which was really lovely. In our neck of the woods, people just don’t congregate a lot in public.Alas we did not rent a rowboat, but they can be had for £14 an hour. Next time!
We sat on the bank and enjoyed a picnic and watched boaters go by– often bumping into each other or getting tangled in willow branches.
I especially loved seeing the dogs in the boats. This was at times problematic (when passing ducks, for example) but mainly just fun.
After our picnic lunch, we went for a long walk, following the River Stour. It stretches on through miles of beautiful countryside with walking paths. However, miles and miles of walking in the sun was not Amelia’s idea of a great day, so we turned back after about a mile. Along the way, we enjoyed seeing everyone out and enjoying themselves. She got to do some wading, and we even found a few reasons to pull out the wild food guide she had packed.
After a while, we got thirsty. The place that had been renting out boats looked like the best place for a drink, but had stopped serving for the afternoon, in preparation for dinner. So we wandered into the village of Dedham, and found a pub across the street from the church. There was a nice big garden with a swing set in the back, so we enjoyed ciders and apple juice there.
Afterwards, we walked around a bit and enjoyed some of the architecture. I cannot particularly recommend any places there, even though “Art & Craft Center” had sounded promising. It was just a shop with mostly imported tchotchkes and some mediocre handicrafts.
What England really does best is gardens, architecture and country landscapes– and there is so much of that to enjoy in Dedham.What if this was the door to your grammar school? Fancy!There were lots of homes with lots of charm, like this one.After wandering around quite a bit, we reluctantly got back into our car for the pleasant country drive home.
It was a beautiful day, the kind that we will think back on with fondness of our times living in the countryside in England.
Thanks for coming along with us!