Map contributed by Sarah; words and pics by Marie-Louise
This was a lovely short walk of about 5.5 miles that convened at the free parking behind the Red Lion in East Bergholt and took a circular route along quiet paths and lanes with some wonderful scenery and Stour River views.
We stopped for lunch at Flatford in the heart of Constable country – it’s always a thrill to stand where the artist must have stood when devising The Hay Wain (recently voted England’s second favourite painting after Banksy’s Girl with a Red Balloon – which puts Constable in his place!), though the actual painting was executed in his London studio.
Apparently, in the interest of art rather than accuracy, Constable shortened the roof of the cottage – leaving Willy Lott and his family with rather less space than they thought they had. Flatford Mill and Flatford Granary are both iconic buildings overlooking the Stour, while a pleasant spot to unpack the sandwiches is the Flatford Wildlife Garden which is run by the RSPB. Abuzz with bees and butterflies, it offers plenty of inspiration for creating a wildlife-friendly garden of your own; the flowering oregano in particular was smothered in happy feeders.
As usual, the company was good and the walk was well-planned and relaxing. Even our youngest participant seemed to be having a good time and keeping the ‘old folk’ entertained.
Many thanks Sarah.