Felixstowe now in Constable Country

STRETCHING the truth is one thing but trying to convince holidaymakers that Felixstowe is the heart of Constable Country is taking it a bit too far.But Shearings Holidays placed an advert in a national newspaper insinuating just that.

STRETCHING the truth is one thing but trying to convince holidaymakers that Felixstowe is the heart of Constable Country is taking it a bit too far.

But Shearings Holidays placed an advert in a national newspaper insinuating just that.

The advert, which appeared in the Daily Mirror, offered holidaymakers a five-day break in Constable Country staying at the Marlborough Hotel in Felixstowe of all places.

Perhaps Constable's sketches of the North Sea lashing against the cliffs and of Charlie Mannings' amusement park are still to be discovered.


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The great painter could well have visited the seaside town as a child and may have been very fond of the place – but we shall never know.

And those people who have already booked their mini break, are going to be rather disappointed if they expect to find themselves in the centre of Constable's heartland.

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For as the holidaymakers pull back the curtains of their room at the Marlborough Hotel expecting to see Willy Lott's cottage and the rolling green Dedham Vale, they will instead be presented with a vista of crumbling pier and the fierce grey North Sea crashing onto the pebbles.

With a bit of luck they may be able to catch sight of the idyllic setting of Flatford Mill if they carefully balance on the tip of Landguard viewing point and look west.

Harwich, Wrabness and Stutton Ness may slightly hamper their view but as long as they are blessed with 30-mile vision with the x-ray deluxe extra to see through the docks and towns that stand between them, then they may catch a glimpse of Dedham Vale.

While the visitors stay for five days in Felixstowe they do have a day trip to Constable Country 30 miles away – albeit for just one day.

Korina Parker marketing manager for Shearings Holiday said: "We are very careful how we publicise holidays and try hard not to mislead people.

"Every holiday needs to have a name that is reflective of the execution and highlights the most desirable part of the break.

"All our customers are aware of this when they make the booking and full details of the holiday and excursions can be found in our brochure."

Janice Fuller, assistant manager at the Marlborough Hotel, said: "We didn't name the package Constable Country that was the choice of the tour operator.

"All our guests are aware of our location prior to their arrival."

The holiday package also include trips to Bury St Edmunds, Lavenham and Aldeburgh.

John Constable was one of the great English painters of all time. He was born in East Bergholt where his father owned water mills and windmills.

In 1795 he went to London to study painting and four years later became a student at the Royal Academy art school and made painting his profession.

Constable married Maria Bicknall in 1816 and they had seven children.

His best known paintings include the Hay Wain, Dedham Vale and The Cornfield, which are all on display at the National Gallery.

It is not the first time that Felixstowe has been misplaced with people having a habit of thinking the resort is somewhere other than Suffolk. Last year a national newspaper map placed it in Essex, and the web site of the international Blue Flag awards moved the town to neighbouring Norfolk.

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