Our visit to washington DC

When we started on our plans to celebrate 200 years of Constable’s Wivenhoe Park, the one frustration was that the ‘real thing’ was hanging some 3,600 miles away in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Having researched and learnt so much about Constable’s time in the Park, gazing at a print, however beautiful, just wasn’t enough and when my family suggested a trip to the East Coast of the States, a stay in Washington was at the top of the list.

Since Wivenhoe House hotel opened in 2012 we have been in regular contact with experts at the Gallery who have been incredibly supportive of all the work we have done at the hotel to promote the work of this wonderful artist and were delighted to welcome me to the Gallery.

Heather - National gallery of art

Even before I headed over to the painting, the Gallery was a sight to behold, their collections are beautifully presented and you could easily spent at least one day devouring all the wonderful artwork, but with ‘Wivenhoe Park’ so tantalising close and featuring on all the posters advertising their British collections, I couldn’t wait to  see it.

And there it was, sitting proudly in Gallery 57 on the Main Floor of the West Building, next to some wonderful paintings by Turner. Despite the fact I was accompanied by two lovely ladies, Meagan and Gwen  from the Gallery, the security guard obviously caught a glint of the passion in my eye and stayed close as I gazed at the painting, attempting to etch on my memory every brushstroke and detail.

I was delighted to tell Meagan and Gwen  that the view portrayed in the painting hadn’t changed all that much,  except for the growth of the trees over the passage of time.  I presented them with a small selection of gifts from Wivenhoe House and the University of Essex and assured them of the same warm welcome if they came to visit us.

The rest of Washington DC proved equally special, from the White House to the Giant Pandas in Washington Zoo. All the main attractions are free so we recommend it as a great place to visit and will definitely be returning, the National Gallery of Art alone is definitely one to head back to.


find us, however you travel
By car:

When using a SATNAV please enter the location WIVENHOE, Colchester (do not use a postcode as this will direct you to the wrong side of Wivenhoe Park).

Take the exit marked Colchester (A133)
Follow the A133 towards Clacton
Please follow signs for WIVENHOE
You will see a black sign on your right which says, ‘Wivenhoe House & The Brasserie’, turn right here into PARK ROAD
The entrance for Wivenhoe House is shared with the University of Essex, but PARK ROAD leads you through Wivenhoe Park and you will be able to see our beautiful house from the road on your right
CONTINUE to follow the signs for WIVENHOE HOUSE and it will lead you to us.

If you would like any help with directions, please do call us on 01206 863666 and a member of our team will be able to assist you.

By train:

Colchester station, Colchester Town station, Wivenhoe station and Hythe stations are all between 10-15 minutes from Wivenhoe House by car. Trains run between London (Liverpool Street) and Colchester station every 10-20 minutes. The journey takes around an hour. Also connect with Colchester from Norwich, Ipswich, Felixstowe & Harwich. Some trains from London (Liverpool Street) also stop at Wivenhoe Station. When travelling from the Clacton/Walton direction, alight at Wivenhoe or Hythe Stations.

By plane:

Stansted airport is approximately 45 minutes from Wivenhoe House by car. Helicopter pad coordinates are 603200/223900.