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The Riverbanks of Suffolk & Essex

The Riverbanks of Suffolk & Essex

The sheltered waters of the river estuaries give access to ancient villages, waterside hamlets, wildlife and historic sites - best viewed from the deck of a boat.


The sheltered waters of the river estuaries give access to ancient villages, waterside hamlets, wildlife and historic sites - best viewed from the deck of a boat.

The river banks and villages of Suffolk & Essex have been made famous by two great artists – John Constable (born 1776) and Thomas Gainsborough (born 1726).  Here time has stood still despite modern farming practices and urban development.  The coastline of this region is probably best viewed from the deck of a boat as the mosaic of reed beds and marshes makes the approach from land difficult. Fortunately there are plenty of boat trips cruising the sheltered waters of the river estuaries and giving access to ancient fishing villages, waterside hamlets, wildlife-rich wetlands and historic sites dating back before the Romans.




Monday - Morning departure from Dorset to Sevenoaks, the quintessential English market town with a great variety of charming shops and cafes for lunch. Continue to Colchester this afternoon.

Tuesday - Morning to Mangapps railway museum, a private collection of memorabilia dating back to the 19th century with many rescued railway buildings, locomotives and rolling stock. We hope to take a trip on the line. Lunch is taken in Burnham on Crouch an historic and attractive yachting town of olde world charm. This afternoon board a 2 hour boat cruise on a traditional Thames Barge from Maldon on the River Blackwater - an area with rich wildlife and fascinating history.

Wednesday - Enjoy the sights and scenes along the River Orwell as we join a 2½ hour boat cruise from Ipswich Quayside to Pin Mill, taking in the most beautiful wooded stretches of the river - regaled with tales of smugglers and the waterside scenes by the crew. This afternoon tour through Constable's unchanging countryside visiting East Bergholt, his birthplace. Later to Flatford Mill on the River Stour - the subject of his most famous painting.

Thursday - This morning sees us aboard the boat Jahan which cruises from Waldringfield on the River Deben for 2 hours - tea & biscuits included. An area of outstanding natural beauty which is brought to life with a skippers commentary. Time for lunch in Woodbridge, the gem in Suffolk's crown is a beautiful riverside spot. This afternoon we visit the inspirational Beth Chatto Gardens, built from scratch in 1960 from bogland and brambles, it features ecological planting working with nature to find the right spot for the right plant.

Friday - Homeward bound with a stop in Reigate for lunch. Return to Dorset late afternoon.

B, D

B=Breakfast, D=Dinner



A superb 4 star resort hotel set in 320 acres of countryside and boasting its own golf course and ornamental lakes. Each of the 114 bedrooms comes equipped with private bathroom with free toiletries and hairdryer, satellite TV, air-conditioning, tea tray, iron/board, fridge and free Wifi. Meals are served in the Brasserie 1 restaurant which offers a wide selection of choices. You can socialise in Bar Lacu offering beers, wines and fabulous cocktails. There is also a Starbucks coffee shop on-site. Guests can exploit the leisure facilities which includes an indoor pool, gym and sauna. You can also book a massage, facial, manicure or any other number of treatments in the luxurious Spa. Lifts serve all floors.


NB: Change of Hotel Venue - The Five Lakes Hotel has been aquired by new owners who are unable to provide our pre-existing booking on the same terms.  This holiday base has now been relocated to the 4 Star Holiday Inn in the village of Ash Green near Colchester, situated just 15 minutes drive from the Five Lakes and perfectly positioned not to affect the planned itinerary.  Bedrooms are equally well equipped with all expected facilites typical of the respected Holiday Inn brand. No lift but only ground and first floor rooms. Traders Restaurant is spacious and bright and offers a varied menu in relaxed and informal surroundings.  The adjacent bar is a great place to socialise - or in fine weather you can choose to eat or drink on the outdoor terrace.  There is a large indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi, a well equipped gym, sauna and steam room.



TOUR PRICE: £539.00 Per Person

Single room supplement : £150.00


Price includes: All coach travel, 4 nights hotel accommodation, Half board meals, 3 x River Cruises, Entry to Mangapps Rail Museum, Entry to Beth Chatto Gardens.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Beaminster Area Convenient local point in Beaminster to be advised
Blandford Area Convenient local point in Blandford to be advised
Bournemouth Area Convenient point in Bournemouth to be advised
Branksome Area Convenient point in Branksome to be advised
Bridport Area Convenient local point in Bridport to be advised
Britannia Inn Britannia Inn, Fortuneswell, Portland
Charlestown The Alexandra Inn, Chickerell Road, Charlestown
Chickerell Bluebird Garage, Chickerell Road
Corfe Castle Convenient point in Corfe Castle to be advised
Courtlands Portland, Courtlands bus stop
Dorchester South Station Dorchester South Station bus stop
Dorchester TOT Top O'Town Car Park (by cafe), Dorchester
Easton Easton Square, Portland
Ferndown Area Convenient local point in Ferndown to be advised
Foords Corner Foords Corner bus stop, Wyke Regis
Jestys Avenue Bus stop end of Jestys Avenue on Littlemoor Road
Littlemead Broadwey, Littlemead bus stop (Swan Inn)
Lodmoor Hill Lodmoor Hill Bus Stop (near Post Office)
Lyme Regis Convenient local point in Lyme Regis to be advised
Lyndale bus stop Wyke Regis, Lyndale Bus Stop
Nottington Broadwey, Nottington Corner bus stop
Poole Area Convenient local point in Poole to be advised
Poundbury QMSE Poundbury Queen Mother Square bus stop
(Coach heading into Dorchester)
Queens Avenue Dorchester, Bus stop end of Queens Avenue
Radipole Spa Hotel bus stop, Radipole
Redlands Redlands, Opposite Garage
Ringwood Area Convenient local point in Ringwood to be advised
Rodwell Rodwell Traffic Lights, Rodwell Rd/Rodwell Ave
Sgt Bunn St Bunn Bakery, Lanehouse Rocks Road
Sherborne Area Convenient local point in Sherborne to be advised
Southwell Portland, Southwell, Opposite Eight Kings Inn
St Edmunds Church St Edmunds Church, Lanehouse Rocks Road
St Johns Church Weymouth, St Johns Church, outside Dentist
St Nicholas Church St Nicholas Church, Buxton Road, Weymouth
Sturminster Newton Area Convenient point in Stur. Newton to be advised
Swanage Area Convenient local point in Swanage to be advised
To be advised To be advised - Approx. 2 weeks before travel
Upton Area Convenient local point in Upton to be advised
Value House Value House Car Park
Victoria Square Victoria Square bus stop, Portland
Wareham Area Convenient local point in Wareham to be advised
Westwey Road Westwey Rd, Magistrates Court, Weymouth
Weymouth Bluebird Weymouth, Outside Bluebird Office,
K1 bus stop
Wimborne Area Convenient local point in Wimborne to be advised
Wool Area Convenient local point in Wool to be advised
Wyke Smuggler Smugglers Inn, Wyke Regis
Yeovil Area Convenient local point in Yeovil to be advised
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