FOLLOWING being named in a prestigious list as one of the best locations to live in the east of England, many people may be planning a trip to Dedham Vale.

This area of timeless natural beauty is right on our doorstep and, with the weather heating up this week, what better place to make your first trip out?

We have compiled a list of all the best things to do in the picturesque village so you can make the most of your visit.

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Dedham Boathouse

If you’re only going to do one thing on your trip, make it this. Many people flock to Dedham purely to rent a boat and row down the beautiful River Stour, and it’s clear to see why.

Those taking part will revel in the views of the lush, rolling fields of Constable Country by water.

Gazette: Image: Cheryl HollandImage: Cheryl Holland

Flatford Mill, made famous by artist John Constable, is just a mile and a half row along the river if you are feeling energetic, while there are refreshments available for land-lovers who don’t fancy it.

Le Talbooth

If a larger meal is something you are after, then look no further than the award-winning Le Talbooth.

Its picturesque setting beside the River Stour makes dining in the village a delightful affair.

The riverside terrace and lawn in the heart of Constable Country boast a natural backdrop which would inspire any artist, while the food isn’t bad either!

Gazette: Le TalboothLe Talbooth

Afternoon Tea

After a spot of rowing or roaming the delightful streets, you’re sure to have built up an appetite.

Tiptree tea room at the Essex Rose is run by the famous Essex-based jam company and they certainly know how to perfect afternoon tea.

Tasty scones paired with the best jam around, just ask the queen, is a match made in heaven.

The beautiful, 16th century building is open seven days a week for all interested.

Fancy a few drinks?

Two of the pub highlights include The Sun Inn and The Marlborough, where you can drink away from April 12.

Looking for a beer garden to catch up with loved ones you have missed over the last few months? The latter provides a walled garden for soaking up the spring sun, playing board games or having a few ciders.

The Sun Inn also doubles up as a hotel and provides everything you’d expect of a traditional, rustic pub – including a wood-panelled lounge and roaring fires.

Gazette: The Sun InnThe Sun Inn

Walk the famous route

An exploration of the surrounding countryside is essential. Simply cross the River Stour, find the footpath opposite Dedham Boating Club and follow the river east.

From here it’s an easy, and beautiful, trek across lowland landscapes to the pretty hamlet of Flatford – you may even catch the cows.

Don’t leave without finding Willy Lott’s House, which appears in one of Constable’s most famous paintings ‘The Hay Wain’.

Gazette: Image: Terry SpiresImage: Terry Spires