Outstanding Activities in the Outstanding Landscape - Part 1

Author: Catherine Smith – Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Project

Take a look at part 1 of my top activities to do in the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Stour Valley area.

Art is at the Heart of the Stour Valley!

Find out how our most famous artists ‘see’ our outstanding landscape: Sir Alfred Munnings painting can be seen at Castle House, Dedham; Thomas Gainsborough’s collection is at Sudbury; John Constable’s views can be seen at Flatford and around, with some of his paintings on show at the WolsTaey Art Gallery in Ipswich. Contemporary artists are on view at local art galleries, such as in Clare and Long Melford.

Walking is the ultimate way to recharge your batteries

It’s low impact on people and the environment! Footpaths criss-cross the Stour Valley, or if you want a bit of help getting started, download the free Explorer Walks to Constable County, Dedham, Nayland and Stoke By Nayland.

Wildlife and conservation

  1. Wildlife and conservation are at the heart of what makes this landscape so outstanding. Numerous local and community nature reserves can give you some ‘time out’ to recharge your batteries. Places such as Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Arger Fen, a wonderful woodland; Rowley Wood near Stoke By Nayland; and Daw’s Hall near Bures… to name just a few!

On the water!

It can often be when you take to the water, especially by the quieter canoe or electric boat, that you will see the most wildlife, on the river banks, overhead and below you! You may not see an elusive otter, but you will see traces… or birdwatching can help you while away a few hours… From wading birds at Cattawade – where the Stour meets the sea – to glimpses of kingfishers and herons along the river. The River Stour Trust run boat trips including on the restored ‘Stour Lighter’, the John Constable.

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