Official Visitor Website

Follow in the footsteps of Thomas Gainsborough

One of the greatest painters in British history, Thomas Gainsborough found his inspiration in the rural landscapes surrounding his home in Sudbury.

Image of Thomas GainsboroughAn image of Thomas Gainsborough from an exchange exhibition in Amsterdam

Thomas Gainsborough, throughout his youth and when he returned to Sudbury later in life, sketched and painted many of south Suffolk’s most beautiful sights.  From pastoral scenes to pictures of the heritage waterway which was then, very much a working river.

Today you can walk in the footsteps of Thomas Gainsborough on the Managing the Masterpiece walks which takes you from Sudbury along a 6-7 mile walk through Sudbury and the surrounding countryside.

The water meadows have never felt the touch of a plough or been treated with chemical fertilizers, so are much like they were in the day of Thomas Gainsborough.  This is a haven of biodiversity and home to many animals, insects and birds. Watch out for kingfishers skimming across the water, harmless grass snakes and water voles.

On the meadow walk you will also be able to see fascinating reminders of Sudbury‘s industrial past, such as old railway bridges; and relics from its agricultural past, which was of such interest to Thomas Gainsborough. To truly follow in the footsteps of the great painter, why not visit Suffolk, take a sketchbook with you and create your own landscape masterpiece?

View and download the trail Gainsborough_Trail_Leaflet.


Then don’t miss a visit to Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury, his old family home and now a museum of his work in the centre of Sudbury.