Our tours run through the Stour Valley and Dedham Vale, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – one level down from a National Park.
Although only an hour or so from bustling, cosmopolitan London, the Stour Valley is a timeless slice of English landscape & history. Most of the countryside alongside the route is not accessible by public footpath and apart from the occasional fisherman, we’ll meet few other people until we get to Dedham.
There is plenty of wildlife to see along the river – including herons, kingfishers, swans, buzzards, several varieties of dragonflies and plenty of freshwater fish.
Down at the estuary there are reedbeds and birds of prey such as marsh harriers. We will see evidence of otters and watervoles – the very lucky few may even see one.
Along the river there are several magnificant water mills and we get to see them from the best vantage point – on the river!
Suffolk built its ancient wealth on wool. Some of this wealth was spent on beautiful flint-built churches that you’ll see on the tour – Stoke by Nayland, Stratford St Mary and Dedham.
There’s also some grand houses – the one with the best prospect of the river is Smallbridge Hall. Your guide will tell you the juicy history of this impressive Tudor mansion.