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This is a wonderful chance to explore this wonderful area of the English countryside. Just north and east of London, this is a gentle countryside of rolling hills, flatlands and charming seaside villages. Rich in history, this area was well known in medieval times for its major contribution to the wool trade and many of the quaint villages remain intact as they did then.

Easily accessible from London, this area is a true gem and offers a wonderful combination of history, lovely scenery, fun walking and exceptional cuisine. You will delight in things that are familiar as well as you travel this area as it was the home of John Winthrop, the founder of Boston, MA and as such, can tour the cities of Dedham and Groton on this side of “the pond”.

This walk begins in what is often considered the most perfect of all English small towns: Lavenham – a treasure trove of black and white timber-framed houses on streets whose pattern is virtually unchanged from medieval times. Throughout the week you will have ample chance to explore these charming towns that are the heart of Suffolk. The agreed-upon number of established communities in Suffolk varies greatly because of the large number of the all but non-existent hamlets which may consist of just a single farm and a deconsecrated church: remnants of wealthy communities, some dating back to the early days of the Christian era. Suffolk encompasses one of the most ancient regions of the United Kingdom.

The walk in this area includes not only a private tour of Ickworth, linked to the movie The Duchess, but also some of the best cuisine to be found anywhere. While England is not often thought of for its food, this walk features some truly exceptional meals which not only tempt your taste buds but are a true delight to behold.

The churches of Suffolk are innumerable and these will be the focal points of our walks. The county is relatively flat and arable which therefore lends itself very easily to comfortable walking! Steeples can be seen from afar, rising above fields of English green, boosting a possibly tired moral and of course the donkeys will be there, as ever, carrying all those essentials that we need to have with us like alcohol, water, bags and Diana’s delicious homemade biscuits. With the mention of alcohol we will be drinking the best of English wine from vineyards such as Wyken Hall, Nyetimber and New Hall and also of course a chance of the best of English ale. How could we not have some time for such heritage?

Art history will also be on the agenda as two great English artists were born in Suffolk: Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable. We will finish the week in Dedham a village of great fame as it was a part of the world favored by Constable and some of his greatest paintings came from this area. We will have a light hearted talk with Peter Maxwell Devis about Constable’s life in his native Suffolk and visit Will Lott’s house now a National Trust house and scene of ‘The Haywain’. Dedham is also the place where Sir Alfred Munnings lived and worked and we will visit his home before another English gastronomic treat in the tea rooms at Dedham: freshly baked scones, fine English jam and clotted cream.

Dates: (7 nights and all meals) June 29 – July 6, July 13 – 20

Rate: $2,875.00 USD double occupancy (Single Supplement: $780.00 USD)

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