John Constable was a British painter in the early 19th century, known for his beautiful landscapes. Perhaps his most famous painting is The Haywain, a luscious depiction of the English countryside along the River Stour in a small village called Flatford. This painting, along with several other Constable works, hangs in the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square.
Last week, four of us enjoyed a great hike to Flatford to visit the site that inspired the setting of The Haywain. After taking the train to Manningtree, about one hour outside of London, we followed signs that took us through a marsh and past some fields filled with sheep. Eventually we reached the small village of Flatford, where the National Trust owns several properties, including the cottage depicted in The Haywain. Today, the scene looks like this:
The 7 mile walk continued on a loop, eventually taking us to the picturesque little town of Dedham. The weather was perfect, and we really experienced some of the beautiful English countryside that inspired Constable.
And our day wouldn’t have been complete without some tea and scones as we finished our walk!