Follow in painter’s footsteps during guided town walks

Visitors to Sudbury are being offered the chance to follow in the footsteps of the town’s famous artist Thomas Gainsborough.

Sudbury Tourist Information Centre (TIC) is launching a new programme of guided walks in and around the town in celebration of its historical and cultural diversity.

The first walk, entitled Strolling in Gainsborough’s Footsteps, will see professional guides acting in character and dressed in 18th century costume.

It will take in some of the town’s most historical streets and those taking part will explore where Gainsborough – who was the youngest son of a weaver – and his friends and family members lived, worked and played.

They will also learn how his paintings, completed during his lifetime from 1727 to 1788, have shaped many aspects of the town as it is today.

Sudbury tourism officer Susan Gale said: “This really is a fantastic guided walk, which not only takes in the historical and natural beauty of the town, but is also very informative.

“It gives participants a rare opportunity to learn more about the life and times of Gainsborough and how his legacy made such a huge impact on the town.”

The centre’s walks are due to begin early next year and each will have different themes and cover a range of eras in the town’s history.

“The walks will cover the Victorian age and the old workhouse which is now Walnuttree Hospital, the importance of the silk industry in Sudbury and the Dickensian age, as the town has historical connections with Charles Dickens,” said Mrs Gale.

Tickets for Strolling in Gainsborough’s Footsteps are now on sale at the Sudbury TIC, located in the town library on Market Hill.

They are priced at £3.50 and the walk, which takes place on January 19, at 11am, is expected to take around two hours to complete.

Tickets include reduced entry price into Gainsborough’s House Museum and free tea or coffee at Painters restaurant.