Your holiday summary

Holiday type Special interest holidays
Art & archaeology
Country United Kingdom
Travel type Make your own way
Price range From £289
Travel partner Travel Editions
Duration 3 nights
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0330 333 6761

Great artists of East Anglia

Two of Britain's greatest arts, John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough, were born within 10 miles of each other on either side of the Suffolk-Essex border. The landscapes they grew up around became the inspiration for some of their greatest works, and you will explore this beautiful area alongside seeing some wonderful pieces of art.

Your host and guide is Simon Gallup, a retired school master and Blue Badge guide for the area. He has been a guide for the National Trust at Flatford for over 10 years and has been based in Constable Country for most of his life. Tour highlights include Gainsborough's house in Sudbury, Lavenham, Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich, St Mary's Church in East Bergholt, Flatford Mill and Dedham with the Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum.


  • Two nights bed and breakfast at the Holiday Inn, Ipswich, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • First night private dinner with wine in the hotel restaurant
  • Second night dinner in the hotel restaurant
  • Light lunch at the Essex Rose Tea House
  • All talks, visits and entrance fees
  • Coach transfers and tour manager throughout
Not included

  • Single room supplement
  • Extra nights on bed & breakfast basis
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities
Day one

Arrive independently at the Holiday Inn Ipswich from 15.00. This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and a talk by host Simon Gallup.

Day two

This morning we visit the Gainsborough House Museum, the only museum in Britain devoted to a single artist that occupies the place where they were born. Gainsborough (1727-1788), was one of the greatest painters in the history of British art and a large selection of his paintings, drawings and prints are on display at the musuem - there are more on display here at any one time than anywhere else in the world. Gainsborough was the first important British artist to consistently paint landscapes and it provided the ideal subject for his poetic vision, and while he sold some of his landscapes, he found portraiture more lucrative. At the height of his career, from the 1760s onwards, the demands for his portraits were such that he suffered from overwork. Afterwards its onto Lavenham, one of the best preserved medieval villages in Britain boasting some 320 listed timber framed buildings, many of them protected by English Heritage. This is a unique village created 750 years ago by Henry III when he granted Lavenham market staus, which began the most prosperous period in the village's history. Traders flocked to the village to take advantage of its thriving wool trade, and by 1524 Lavenham was ranked the 14th richest town in the country thanks to the famous Lavenham Blues cloth. Lunch (not included) is taken in Lavenham. Our last visit of the day is to see a major display of oils and drawings by Gainsborough and Constable at Christchurch Mansion. Later dinner is taken in the hotel restaurant.

Day three

Today it's off to East Bergholt to see where Constable was born and the unique bells at St Mary's Church. We will visit Flatford Mill to see the setting on the banks of the River Stour where Constable's best loved pictures such as 'The Haywain' were painted. You will also see Willie Lott's house, Valley Farm and the boatyard, which was the background to the 'Boat Building'. After lunch at the timber framed Essex Rose Tea House (included) at Dedham, we visit Castle House, the home of the former President of the Royal Academy - Sir Alfred Munnings, who was renowned for his paintings of horses. Return to the hotel at approximately 17.30.

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 33 passengers.
Holiday Inn, Ipswich

Located four miles out of Ipswich town centre, the modern Holiday Inn Ipswich offers a bar, restaurant, indoor pool, gym, spa and comfortable, stylish bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV and telephone.
This offer has no departures. [NEED SOME CONTENT HERE].
3 results

We have never stayed in a Holiday Inn before and found the room very satisfactory. The staff were all delightful. I have marked good rather than excellent as the first night the food was rather dried up and the puddings ran out which was eventually righted. The meals otherwise were very good Simon was an excellent guide
Jul 2013
Mrs Cornick

A very enjoyable and well-paced tour. Simon Gallup is an excellent guide, extremely knowledgeable and allowing people freedom to follow up their own interests.
Sep 2011
Dr W

Our guide Simon was helpful and informative. The visits were interesting and well organised
Sep 2011
Mrs C Acres
3 results