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Local Attractions near Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa
Stoke by Nayland Hotel is positioned on the edge of the Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), amidst 300 acres of undulating 'Constable Country', with many views still recognisable from Constable's time. The Dedham Vale (AONB) is one of forty in England and Wales that protect some of our finest landscapes.
John Constable (1776 - 1837) was a Master of English landscape painting in the romantic style. As well as being noted for painting in the open air, he is also known for his depictions of reflections on water and light on clouds. The essence of English lowland landscape, as seen in Constable's works, can still be experienced today in what is now known as 'Constable Country'.
Located close to the picturesque, mediaeval town of Lavenham, described as "the finest medieval town in England" and famous for its wool cloth trade in the 16th Century and the historic, Norman Castle in Colchester, reputed to be the oldest town in England, Stoke by Nayland Hotel is an excellent base from which to explore this charming and historic area.
The counties of Suffolk and Essex are steeped in history and charm. The splendour and serenity of the Dedham countryside, captured in the paintings of John Constable, and the delightful market town of Sudbury, the birthplace of the renowned artist, Thomas Gainsborough, are both within easy reach of the hotel.
For those who wish to travel further afield, the impressive cities of Norwich and Cambridge and the scenic East coast, including Snape and Aldeburgh, should not be overlooked.
Some things to see and do -
- Lavenham Guildhall (built in 1529) is perhaps the town's most prominent feature. Owned by The National Trust, it stands on one side of the Market Place, a triangular space surrounded almost entirely by timber-framed buildings.
- Lavenham has no fewer than 300 buildings that are listed as being of architectural or historical interest. One of these is the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, which is among the finest in East Anglia - a magnificent church with a spire of 141 feet.
- There are four art galleries in Lavenham including the Crooked House Gallery, a quirky 14th century timbered building in the heart of the village boasting an eclectic selection of paintings, prints, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery and stained glass.
- Colchester Zoo - one of Europe's finest zoos with over 260 rare species many part of breeding programmes
- Colchester Castle - a largely complete Norman castle. It is a Grade I listed building.
- Beth Chatto Gardens - Internationally acclaimed gardens
- Flatford Mill - a Grade I listed 18th century watermill built in 1733. Attached is a restored 16th century thatched cottage, just upstream featuring a display about Constable and owned by the National Trust
- St. Mary the Virgin Church - dates back to 1492. The building will be familiar to many as it is featured in many of Constable's paintings
- Gainsborough House - The museum and gallery of the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough
- Kentwell Hall - enjoy re-creations of Tudor everyday life and (recently) Victorian life at this moated, mellow redbrick Tudor mansion
- Carters Vineyards - enchanting place comprising of 40 acres of vines, wildflower meadows, lakes and woodlands
- Jimmy's Farm - as seen on TV and home of the rare breed Essex Pig. A working farm open for visitors 7 days a week with Nature Trails, Woodland Walks, Beautiful Garden's, Farm Shop, Adventure Play Area and Field Kitchen
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