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Tours - Castles, Rivers & Constable

There’s real variety in this Suffolk selection box with a great range of delightful and different market towns and villages for your single night stays. Visit the mighty meres at the heart of Diss and Framlingham. Enjoy some of the best herbaceous borders at Bressingham on the edge of Norfolk or in the picturesque cottage gardens of the half-timbered wool towns. Snape, Aldeburgh and Orford combine creeks, castles and concerts and the beauty of the River Stour make Constable Country a great place to push the (rowing)boat out.

Tour details

Tour Name
Castles, Rivers & Constable
Tour Reference
8E
Tour Duration
8 days and 7 nights
Start Day
Any Day
Tour Grade
2-3
Board Basis
Bed & Breakfast
Price
From £718 to £758 per person
Accommodation

is located near Needham Market, in the Diss area, in Framlingham, in Orford, near Woodbridge, in Hadleigh and in Lavenham. Selected properties include two 4 or 5 star guest houses, a TBC star hotel, a 2 star hotel, a 4 star hotel with leisure facilities and two unrated, but special historic inns. We are pleased to discuss details on request.

Tour at a Glance

Variety is the hallmark of this tour, mixing the flatlands of the Norfolk borders with the charm of Constable Country, the rolling countryside and picture book villages of West Suffolk and the wild beauty of the unspoilt Suffolk Coast.

Availability
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Itinerary

Day One - Arrive & explore
Arrive at Needham Market, explore the area and spend your first night in or near this small market town.

Day Two – Great village greens & glorious gardens
Cycle through pretty Suffolk lanes to Thornham Magna. Here you can see the original walled garden, currently being restored and visit the thatched pre-Conquest church at Thornham Parva. On across England's largest village green (stretching 2 miles) at Mellis, and over the Norfolk border to Bressingham, famous for its landscaped gardens and superb display of herbaceous plants and heathers. You can stroll through the gardens or see them from the narrow gauge steam railways, part of the fascinating railway and steam museum. Your night's stop is a comfortable old coaching inn at Scole, near Diss.

 

Mileage: Rec 31 Min 2 Max 38

Day Three –Rare finds, castles & curling chimneys
First stop is the wonderfully atmospheric museum housed in the control tower of a former WWII American airbase. Step further back in time when you discover the magnificent medieval great hall at Wingfield Old College, lingering, perhaps, for a drink at the excellent pub across the lane. Then on to the beautifully restored post mill at Saxtead Green before arriving at your night's stop in the quiet market town of Framlingham. The 12th century castle and church are both superb.

 

Mileage: Rec 31 Min 25 Max 33

Day Four – Creeks and concert halls, white wine and oysters
Your first stop is Shawsgate Vineyard for a spot of wine tasting, then on to Snape Maltings home of the Aldeburgh Festival with its art galleries, craft shops and tea room on the banks of the River Alde. Quiet lanes offer good views over salt marshes, the River Alde and Orford Ness, the nesting site for thousands of sea birds, as you cycle on to Orford, dominated by its impressive castle keep and famed for its oysters and smoked fish.

 

Mileage: Rec 20 Min 17 Max 35

Day Five – A shingle street and one-time warrior king
We continue to the hauntingly beautiful Shingle Street. Then follows an opportunity for a lunchtime pint on the banks of the River Deben and followed by a visit to Sutton Hoo, the Anglo-Saxon ship burial a few miles outside of the lovely maritime town of Woodbridge where you will spend the night.

 

Mileage: Rec 22 Min 12 Max 28

Day Six – Tide mills and market towns
>Take time to explore Woodbridge and visit the Tide Mill before climbing back onto your bikes and pedalling along quiet Suffolk lanes, passing through the pretty villages of Bealings, Tuddenham and Kersey. You spend the night in Hadleigh, an attractive market town with fine old buildings and quiet riverside walks.

 

Mileage: Rec 24 Min 24Max34

Day Seven – From Constable’s inspiration to medieval masterpieces
Heading into the heart of 'Constable Country', you'll explore East Bergholt his birthplace, Flatford Mill where a guided walking tour visits seven sites painted by Constable including the 'Haywain'. Continue on to Stoke by Nayland, whose church tower is featured in many of Constable's paintings, and finally to the famous 'Wool Town' of Lavenham for the night.

 

Mileage: Rec 30 Min 12 Max 35

Day Eight – A final flurry or linger in Lavenham before home time
Time to explore the medieval splendour of Lavenham before a gentle ride back to Needham Market. There is are options to visit the Museum of East Anglian Life at Stowmarket and, for the energetic, to visit Ickworth House, a National Trust Property near Bury St Edmunds.

 

Mileage: Rec 24 Min 16 Max 40

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