- Walk in the landscapes that inspired Gainsborough and Constable
Landscapes that leap from the palettes of John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough, idyllic English villages, and medieval churches will fully repay the explorer walking by lazy streams, over gentle undulations, salt marshes, and shingle shores beneath Suffolk's open skies.
We visit Aldeburgh, home for many years of composer Benjamin Britten and of the eponymous international music festival. We walk in a national nature reserve and step back in time in villages of half-timbered homes and moated manor houses.
One of the highlights is a river trip from Orford with its 12th century castle built by King Henry II.
Sunday Overnight: The Brudenell
We stay in Aldeburgh, the home of the renowned Music Festival founded by Benjamin Britten who lived for many years in the town. At the top of the Town Steps, leading off the High Street and up the cliff, there is a wonderful view over the roof tops and out to sea. Our hotel overlooks the shingle beach, where fishermen still sell their daily catch from huts, and is a short walk from the River Alde, which inspired Britten’s opera Curlew River.
Monday Overnight: The Brudenell
We begin our walk at Dunwich, formerly East Anglia’s busiest town with nine churches and an important boat building industry and harbour, home to an impressive fleet of royal ships. It has now nearly all eroded into the sea and little remains apart from the eerie tolling of church bells from beneath the sea – or so local lore has it. We walk through a National Nature Reserve where we may be lucky enough to hear a Bittern booming or see a Marsh Harrier. Following lunch in the former artists’ colony of Walberswick, we follow the River Blyth through whispering reed beds to Blythburgh in whose impressive church Oliver Cromwell once kept his horses!
Tuesday Overnight: The Brudenell
Wednesday Overnight: The Swan
Thursday Overnight: The Felix
Friday Overnight: The Felix
After breakfast, depart at your leisure; it's a taxi ride to Cambridge Station.
(Single Supplement $565.00)
Hotels - Where we stay
The Brudenell Hotel is really rather special. Situated at the southern end of Aldeburgh, Suffolk, close to the Yacht Club, it is a haven of peace and relaxation.
The hotel’s décor has calming colours, including cool sea-blues and sunshine-yellows, making it warm and welcoming. The bedrooms are all furnished to a very high standard and are decorated in a light, airy and relaxing style, with views of the sea or the River Alde and its surrounding marshland - some of the finest in Suffolk. All have private bathroom, hair-dryer, tea and coffee-making facilities, iron and w-fi access.
The Swan Lavenham
The Swan Hotel in Lavenham is perhaps one of England's most iconic hotels. It dates back to the 15th Century when it played a key role in Lavenham's wool trade. In this quintessentially English country hotel ancient oak beams and inglenook fireplaces blend beautifully with rich furnishings and fabrics. The historic Old Bar boasts a wonderful collection of memorabilia, including a wall signed by British and American airmen stationed at Lavenham Airfield during World War II. Most rooms have original Tudor features and all are equipped with hair-dryer, tea and coffee-making facilities, iron and w-fi access. The addition of a brand new hotel spa, due to be completed in March 2015, will offer a luxurious relaxation area for guests including treatment rooms, relaxation suites, aromatic steam room, hot stone sauna and outdoor vitality pool. Weavers House Spa Treatments can be booked in advance and details are on the hotel website.
Set in over three acres of landscaped gardens, this grand old villa has been refurbished and re-decorated in contemporary form, with a courtyard, parterre garden and a sun terrace where you can take Afternoon Tea.
The large bedrooms are styled with a minimalist décor and each ensuite bathroom features a walk-in Grohe Rainshower shower as well as a bath. Beds are made with the finest Egyptian cotton bed linen and every room has a hair dryer, mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities, laptop safe, Satellite TV, a data port for non networked laptop connections and a Direct Dial telephone system. The hotel also has wireless internet hotspots in both public areas and bedrooms.
Start planning your trip
What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation
- Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
- A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
- Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
- Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, culture, peoples, flora and fauna
- Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
- All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
- Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
- First-class accommodations with cultural and historical interest
- All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
- Wine with dinner
- On-trail snacks and refreshments
- All gratuities at hotels and restaurants