Destination Inspiration: Dedham, Essex, UK

Destination Inspiration: Dedham, Essex, UK

Set among the Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and “Constable country”, this pretty village on the cusp of Essex and Suffolk is a nostalgic rendering of rural England. Less than two hours’ drive from London, its half-timbered cottages and cosy pubs make this a quintessential countryside day trip for city dwellers.


Dedham, Essex, UK

Why now?

This handsome, lesser-known English village is luring Londoners
in need of a rural fix. Situated on the northeastern edge of Essex,
Dedham’s quiet lanes lined with half-timbered cottages and
pastel-hued houses are prime territory for a countryside day

Creatives will feel at home here. Nicknamed “Constable county”,
the surrounding Dedham Vale has changed little since artist John
Constable painted its landscapes in the early 1800s. Indeed, the
village scenery makes for the perfect composition as it gives way
to unspoiled lowland landscapes and the steady River Stour. Keen to
see some local artwork? Head to the Shakespeare House Gallery, set
in a former woolworker’s cottage.

Don’t miss

Dedham is best experienced on the water. Hire a boat from
Boathouse Restaurant
to enjoy all its visual splendour.

Where to stay

Bed down at The Sun Inn. Situated on the High Street, this (you
guessed it) sunshine-yellow inn is the perfect base for a fanciful
retreat. Rooms are cosy yet chic and the restaurant menu is pretty
impressive too – we would strongly recommend the hake with
butterbeans and samphire followed by a cheeseboard featuring brie
from nearby Suffolk.

Where to go for dinner

Book a table at Le
for a late summer dinner of hand-dived scallops and
Dedham Vale beef on a terrace overlooking the River Stour.

And for a drink…

Head to The Marlborough for a traditional village-pub

Who to take with you

Take a history lover; they’ll be keen to explore the dramatic
landscapes and will appreciate the village’s bygone aesthetic.

When to go

Sailing through the meadows is one of the best things to do in
Dedham, so check the forecast ahead of visiting – between June and
September, the weather should hopefully be fine enough.

Essentials to pack

Be prepared for a little drizzle (this is England, after all)
and pack this Burberry Trafalgar checked shell umbrella.

How to get there

Driving from London takes around two hours. To get there by
train, take the hour-long service between London Liverpool Street
Station and Manningtree – Dedham is a 10-minute drive from here, or
an hour and 20 minutes’ walk, if you’re so inclined.

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