If you are spending any time on the north Essex/Suffolk border in the future, then you might want to make a stop in scenic Dedham Vale, which is part of the borough of Colchester which is Britain’s oldest recorded town. The Dedham Vale is home to the Munnings Collection at Castle House. This collection is noteworthy as it is the biggest assemblage of Sir Alfred James Munnings’ artwork in the world. It consists of drawings and paintings alike. If you’re an art enthusiast, then the Munnings Collection should be on your must-see list. Munnings was particularly well-known for his many equestrian and racehorse themed works. Not only is he a highly respected artist in Great Britain, but his works have also been appreciated in the United States and in many other countries around the world.

Sir Alfred Munnings

Artist Munnings was born in Suffolk in October of 1878. He passed away in July of 1979 at the age of 80. He resided in Castle House for a significant portion of his life — roughly 40 years. When he passed away, he lived at the Castle House. He purchased the residence in 1919. He lived there with his wife, Violet, also known as Lady Munnings. The Munnings Collection is located inside Castle House, which has a stunning Constable Country locale on approximately 40 idyllic acres. Munnings lovingly referred to Castle House as being his dream home.

A visit to the Munnings Collection at Castle House is something like walking into a fascinating time capsule. The décor of the Georgian and Tudor structure is made up of Munnings’ actual furnishings, which have been restored to their former glory. Castle House is surrounded by picturesque gardens. Visitors to the Munnings Collection are allowed to enjoy strolls through these gardens. If you visit the Munnings Collection, you can even have a relaxing beverage, snack or lunch at the Garden Café. The café is open to visitors all throughout the year. Visitors can also step inside his studio. Munnings’ studio was where he created many of his most well-known pieces. Some of his art tools are even exhibited in the studio.

The Munnings Collection at Castle House also regularly hosts exciting new exhibitions. One 2014 exhibition is called ‘Sketches From France, 1918.’ This exhibition focuses on World War I and the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. Another 2014 exhibition is called ‘Violet — The Artist’s Wife.’ As its name indicates, it focuses on the life, duties and actions of Lady Munnings.

If you travel to Dedham Vale and the Munnings Collection by car. Complimentary guest parking is available at the museum. Groups of between 10 and 100 individuals are also permitted to visit the Castle House. www.siralfredmunnings.co.uk

Boutique Hotel Accommodation in Dedham, Essex

We are lucky to have The Munnings Collection on our doorstep in the village of Dedham. Castle House was bought by Sir Alfred Munnings in 1919 and described by him as ‘the house of my dreams’, he lived and worked there for the rest of his life. The house is now home to the largest collection of paintings by the artist. Stay with us during April and May and we’ll include entry to Castle House (open from Wednesday to Sunday afternoons) but do give us a call if you want to know more or visit.


Three course dinner (full choice)
Overnight accommodation with full breakfast
£100 per person
To book please call: 01206 322795.

Maison Talbooth

Three course dinner at Le Talbooth (full choice from the a la carte)
Overnight accommodation with full breakfast
£165 per person
To book please call: 01206 322367.

*Upgrade to a Principal room for a supplement of £50 per person. These rates are based on double occupancy. Subject to availability in April and May 2014.

Milsoms Boutique Hotel & Brasserie Restaurant

Milsoms is a chic boutique hotel in Essex that consists of 15 rooms in total. All of the rooms are en suite. The various exciting in-room amenities include free wireless high-speed Internet access, free mini bars and satellite television. Other benefits of a stay at milsoms is the complimentary full English breakfasts, an on-site brasserie, bar, children’s menu, outdoor terrace and dining facilities. Milsoms boutique hotel Brasserie restaurant Hotel accommodation

Stratford Road, Dedham

For more information call: 01206 322795 or email [email protected]

Maison Talbooth Luxury Boutique Hotel & Restaurant

Maison Talbooth Hotel is yet another soothing and luxurious Essex hotel. The boutique hotel is made up of 12 spacious suites, all of which are equipped with comfortable king size beds. The suites also include free wireless high-speed Internet access and complimentary mini bars. Other pleasant features of Maison Talbooth are a heated swimming pool, on-site restaurant, pool house, hot tub, serene day spa and tennis court. Maison Talbooth luxury boutique hotel Fine dining restaurant Luxury hotel accommodation.

Stratford Road, Dedham
Colchester, Essex
For more information call: 01206 322367 or email [email protected].

+ Sue Bunting

Tue 15 Apr 2014, Milsom Hotels