A beautiful day, both weather and scenery combined to give us our best day so far. We are in Dedham Vale in Constable Country. We set off early from our site and drove about 40 minutes to Flatford Mill, this is a National Trust property and is where Constable painted the Hay Wain, as well as various other significant landscapes. The car park was empty when we arrived at 9:15am and so there was plenty of space, although no specific parking for motorhomes. We tried parking normally but we just stuck out too far, so instead we parked across three parking spaces as there were so few people around, then we went wondering around the beautiful scenery.
With so few people at this time of the morning, and the soft light from the early Autumn sunny reflecting off the still water around the mill, made for the most tranquil of scenes.
There is a beautiful teashop here located at the water’s edge, which was just opening up as we came past. We crossed the small bridge and continued walking along the banks of the Stour, as people rowed and kayaked slowly downstream. We meandered through fields on our way towards Dedham village. Just before the village Archie caught something in his paw and started limping so he had to be picked up and carried, fortunately he isn’t a Great Dane! When we got to Dedham we decided to take a break, here we had coffee in the Essex Tea Room (the area forms the boundary with Essex and Suffolk), while giving Archie and ourselves a rest. I went into the Co-Op to pick up some bread and fruit for dinner, it was the loveliest Co-Op shop (at least on the outside, it shirked the modern Co-Op regalia and looked like an olde-world village shop. And they had fresh baked bread on a Sunday!
Whilst we had coffee we contemplated how we would get the invalid dog back. I thought I would carry him back from Dedham to Flatford, some 2 miles, although I didn’t really fancy it. Then I had the bright idea of hiring a rowing boat and rowing back to Flatford Mill, dropping off Lisa and dog, then rowing back and then walking back again. The attendant at the rowing hire told us it would take about 1.5 hours to row there and back. The cost was £14/hr, with a £14 deposit, which would have meant forking out £35 and I only had £20 in my wallet! A trip back the cash-machine in the Co-Op was required, at the end of this 10minute sojourn I arrived to see a dark blue Mini pulling out of the car park with a mad woman waving furiously at me I tried to avert my gaze but she was insistent. Well she was non other than Lisa Lane, she had hi-jacked a car (and man)!
You can see the walk that we did from this publication.