A place always wanted to see and standing there almost cant believe it. The photos are from the end of the day, taken too fast as expecting to be asked to leave and a little gloomy. Always wanted to know what was round the corner and thought the house in the painting was Flatford Mill but in fact is Willy Lots’ cottage. The millstream is full of baby Great Crested Grebes chirping and diving thru the bull rushes and the stream is full of small fish.
None of the trees shown in ‘The Hay Wain’ survive today, water levels are higher than in Constable’s time althou the land in this part of East Anglia has sunk into the North Sea by over 30 cms in the last 200 years and the bank on the far side has been build up as a flood defence.
Flatford Mill that looks onto the mill stream is now a Field Study Center, there is an RSPB wildlife garden close to the Mill and you can rent rowing boats by the bridge near the tea room – to row along the river Stour.
Our journey from home should have taken little over 2 hours took but was almost 5 because of roadworks as you leave junction 28 of M25 and brought traffic to a standstill on the slow lane for over a mile and go on for most of July. We went on to next junction and took a diversion but even on A11 there had been a huge accident in the morning and the road was almost closed. Sliproads onto A roads in this part of the world are a little hairy and local traffic take them at full speed.
We visited small Suffolk village of Dedham nearby where Constable went to school – lovely old buildings and river pub. Wanted to go down to the sea but told it would take a while because of country roads.
If you can – please go its worth the traffic hassel but allow more time.