Set by the River Stour, Dedham is in the heart of Constable Country. It was here that Britain's greatest landscape artist John Constable went to school. The attractive high street is lined with Georgian-fronted houses, old inns and a large art and crafts centre. The magnificent 15th C. church was built from the wealth of the medieval cloth industry.
Dedham is frequently rated as containing some of England's most beautiful Lowland landscapes, particularly the Water Meadows of the River Stour, which passes along the northern boundary of the village forming the boundary between the counties of Essex and Suffolk.
Of longer influence in Dedham was horse painter, Sir Alfred Munnings who became President of the Royal Academy. His house in Dedham, Castle House, now contains a gallery of his work, and his studio.
Dedham Vale & Constable
Dedham Vale, the charismatic and quintessentially English countryside on the Essex-Suffolk border still retains the charm of yester year. The landscape which inspired British artist John Constable for many of his paintings is today known as Constable Country. Explore this place of natural beauty, much of which remains unchanged from the time the great British artists lived and worked here.
Discover Flatford Mill nearby, now a Field Studies Centre where you can stand and admire the same scene of ‘The Haywain’ John Constable painted. Nearby Bridge Cottage is owned by the National Trust and a great place to stop for some light refreshments and take in the views of ‘Constable Country’
Dedham Vale & Stour Valley AONB
With largely unspoilt English countryside, Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Considered as some of the best English lowland landscape.
Things to do in Dedham
There are no shortage of things to do from hiring a boat along the River, Walking the Stour Valley Path, to simply relaxing and enjoying the scenery at wonderful restaurants and pubs.
• Visit the Munnings Art Museum, home of equestrian artist Sir Alfred Munnings
• Hire a boat to explore the Stour River
• Explore the exhibitions at the Dedham Art & Craft Centre
• Walk down Dedham High Street with its colourful wooden-beamed houses lining the streets
• See Dedham Church, an impressive 15th century church standing tall in the middle of the village
Stay in Dedham
Choose to stay in Dedham to be closest to the areas of beauty and calm in the Essex countryside.
Restaurants in Dedham
Walk up an appetite to enjoy fine cuisine in the scenic surroundings, with old tea houses lining the winding streets of the village.
• Enjoy fine dining in luxury restaurants
• Sit down to perfect afternoon tea in one of the lovely tea rooms
• Go wine tasting in Dedham Vale Vineyard
Dedham Vale Walks
Walkers will find countryside paths to their heart’s delight in the Dedham Vale, including a popular 3 mile circular walk between Dedham and Flatford. You can also walk to the nearby villages of Flatford, Manningtree, East Bergholt and Statford St Mary.
Find out more about Dedham walks.
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Dedham is a just a short drive from Colchester. The village roads are not meant for heavy traffic, so we recommend using public transport when possible, especially during the summer months.
• By Car: Dedham is just 20 minutes’ drive from Colchester town centre. Information on Dedham car parks is available on the Colchester Borough Council website.
• By Bus: The 80, 81, and 81A buses runs from Colchester to Dedham. The 93/94 bus also runs from Colchester to East Bergholt, which is a 30mn walk to Dedham.
• By Train: Regular trains run from Colchester Station (North Station) to Manningtree (England’s smallest town!). From here, Dedham is a 40mn walk away along a beautiful path following the River Stour. Alternatively taxis can take you the short 10mn drive to the centre of the village.
• By Bike: Cycling in Dedham Vale is ideal to explore the area at your own pace. You can cycle from Colchester to Dedham via Ardleigh Reservoir, a route which takes about an hour. You can also hire bikes once in Dedham.