general information

General Information

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Explore Constable Country

Flatford lies in the heart of the beautiful Dedham Vale. This charming hamlet was the inspiration for some of John Constable's most famous pictures, for example, the Hay Wain or Boatbuilding near Flatford Mill among many others. Wandering beside the River Stour or looking at Flatford Mill and Willy Lott's House you can feel as if you are actually walking through one of his paintings.

Take a look at an exhibition about Constable in Bridge Cottage and enjoy the riverside tearoom.

Exhibitions by contemporary artists are held in the  Boat House Gallery.

We have plenty of parking and you can also come on foot by following the River Stour from Dedham or Manningtree.

This is great walking countryside so you can take the family out, walk the dog or simply step back in time and absorb the places Constable knew and loved.

Row, Row, Row your boat ...

Now running most days from Spring until end of Summer either at Flatford Bridge or Flatford Granary.

Complement your day at Flatford with a trip to Dedham along the meandering scenic River Stour, taking in the views along the river bank.

Pop in to the tea-room on your return for a cream tea or a spot of lunch. 

To avoid disappointment contact Flatford Boats for current opening hours. They can only take cash! Tel. 01206 298112 or 07481 113919

Boat Hire from: 

1/2 Hour      : £5.00

1 Hour         : £8.00

1 1/2 Hour  : £12.00

2 Hours       : £16.00 

At Flatford Boats you can hire a rowing boat from 1/2 an hour up to however long you want. Some visitors go out for 8 hours.

Dogs are allowed, under your own responsibility. 

Take a boat trip along the River Stour

2017 Season Operating from Easter to October

Stour Trusty II is an electric boat that can accommodate up to 8 passengers; and she is one of the only powered craft licensed to operate between Stratford St Mary, Dedham, Flatford and Brantham.
The River Stour Trust's electric boat, Kathleen, can also accommodate up to 8 passengers and is available for trips from Le Talbooth at Dedham. Our boat trips are available annually from Spring until the end of October.
Check with the River Stour Trust for up to date availability.

Go Geocaching

Geocaching is an activity for all the family, young or old, that takes you to some beautiful places.

Not heard about Geocaching? Don't worry it's easy to pick up and makes for an entertaining outing, with or without youngsters.

Geocaches are hidden about the English countryside in their thousands. From small 'Micro Caches' to larger regular caches you won't have to go far to find your nearest cache.

Here at Flatford you have the opportunity to discover the 'Flatford Mill' series, a set of four caches hidden in and around Flatford hamlet.

Each cache can be located by its set of GPS coordinates that can be found on the Geocachingwebsite. Just download the Geocaching App for your smartphone and away you go.

Children Activity Pack

Put those games consoles away and plug into nature. Pick up an activity pack. They are free and available from the Car Park reception.

Fifty things to do at Flatford

An outdoor adventure is just around the next tree, hedge or field here at Flatford. Play Pooh sticks on Flatford Bridge, roll down a hill, play in the snow or make a grass trumpet. How many can you tick off the list?

Ask at the car park reception for a '50 Things' booklet and begin your quest to tick off all fifty.

You could ...

  • Roll down a really big hill
  • Fly a kite
  • Make a grass trumpet
  • Hunt for bugs
  • Catch a butterfly in a net
  • Find a geocache
  • Run around in the rain
  • Build a den
  • Play pooh sticks
  • Make a trail with sticks


  • Enjoy homemade food in our peaceful riverside tea-room
  • Local gifts and Constable souvenirs in our charming shop
  • Free entry
  • Parking, 200 yards from Bridge Cottage, pay on entry, £4 charge per car (free for members)
  • Dogs on leads welcome
  • Second-hand bookshop
  • Groups welcome - please contact us before your visit


  • Pushchairs and baby back-carriers admitted
  • Regular family events and activities
  • 50 things activity bag available from the visitor information centre
  • Baby changing facility
  • Cycle stands situated by the dry dock


  • There is level entrance to the shop, tea-room, information centre and Bridge Cottage (uneven floors inside cottage)
  • Adapted toilet in the information centre
  • Disabled car parking and drop-off point
  • PMV, wheelchair and golf buggy available
  • We have an accessible countryside trail suitable for PMV
  • Braille guide
  • Induction loop


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Flatford and Constable country walk


Explore the picturesque Stour Valley and Dedham Vale made famous by the 18th-century paintings of John Constable, England’s foremost landscape artist of the time.

Enjoy panoramic views on a walk through history

John Constable painted many idyllic views of the area in his famous six-foot canvases, scenes which remain easily recognisable today. In a letter to his close friend, John Fisher, John Constable’s description of the Dedham Vale, said 'The sound of water escaping from Mill dams... Willows, Old rotten Banks, slimy posts, & brickwork. I love such things... As long as I do paint I shall never cease to paint such Places......'

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