Dedham Vale AONB Cottage Holiday Guide

Flatford Mill in the Dedham ValeSet in Essex/Suffolk border country in the Stour Valley, around mid-way between the historical town of Colchester and the coastal town of Ipswich, the Dedham Vale is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty through which the River Stour flows.  This part of East Anglia also comes within Constable Country, an area so called because of its links with the painter John Constable. 

Find cottage rentals in the Dedham Vale AONB

A break in the beautiful Dedham Vale AONB will appeal to those looking to enjoy a cottage holiday in an unspoilt tranquil area where you can enjoy outdoor activities and explore an unspoilt mostly agricultural lowland landscape with scenic river, stream, meadow and woodland scenery.


What makes the Dedham Vale AONB So Special

The landscape of the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley is so beautiful that is has inspired artists such as John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough who made the area famous with their quintessentially English works of art.


Pretty Villages Dotted throughout the Dedham Vale AONB

The Dedham Vale is home to some picturesque quaint villages like Dedham, East Bergholt, Boxted, Nayland, Stoke by Nayland and Stratford St Mary which are found dotted throughout the area, next to fields and farmlands.  Not a village as such, but also within the Dedham Vale AONB is the National Trust’s Flatford Mill, where the famous painter John Constable lived and drew so much inspiration from.

In terms of places within the Dedham Vale with the most facilities for visitors these include:

  • Dedham; this large village is home to tea shops, country inns, cafes and riverside walks.
  • Flatford Mill is also home to a large National Trust carpark and a café.  In season, it is also possible to take boat trips from here or hire a rowing boat.
  • Stratford St Mary is home to a couple of country inns.


Explore the Great Outdoors in the Dedham Vale

With beautiful unspoilt landscapes to discover, the Dedham Vale AONB is a joy to discover on foot, by bike or even on a rowing boat along the River Stour!  It is also a good area to enjoy wildlife watching, particularly looking out for birdlife attracted by the waterways.

Whether you opt to rent a holiday cottage in one of the larger villages like Dedham or opt to rent a lodge or a rural retreat in the countryside, we hope you've found our hints and tips on what the Dedham Vale offers for visitors helpful and that you have a wonderful time.