Stour Valley & Dedham Vale
At the end of the last Ice Age, the glaciers deposited thick sheets of
terminal moraine over South Suffolk. Since then rivers such as the Stour have
cut wide valleys giving us the attractive Dedham Vale.
There are really only three ways to see the Vale in its
- You could choose to walk from Flatford
upstream towards Dedham or even Stratford St Mary if you are feeling really
fit. Alternatively, you could choose to cross back onto the northern bank at
the newly restored bridge about 1 mile upstream from Flatford and walk back
along the road.
- An alternative would be to hire a boat and
row upstream, you can then turn around when you feel tired and let the gentle
current carry you back. A leisurely hour guaranteed.
- The river Stour has been a major navigation since 1705. More information can be
found on the The River Stour
Trust site. They operate an electric boat
that makes regular trips during the summer.
- Finally for those who must hurry on, take time to pause as you drive
out along the one way system and look to your left where you will glimpse
enigmatic views such as the one below.
A view over Dedham Vale from the road. Can you make
out the church tower at Dedham?
Compare this with Constable's painting. Do you think Constable placed
his easel on this very spot? The answer is 'Certainly not!' Dedham Vale was
painted from the top of Gun Hill and so is looking in exactly the opposite
direction. If you look in the background of Constable's picture you will see
the Stour leading down to Harwich
Constable's Dedham Vale