Stroll in Thomas Gainsborough's footsteps on his 295th birthday

Sudbury Guided Tour_Silk Weavers Piece Garden

The guided tour takes place on Saturday May 14. - Credit: Sudbury Town Council

Plans for a guided tour to celebrate 18th century Sudbury on the 295th birthday of painter Thomas Gainsborough have been revealed.

Sudbury Town Council has partnered with Guide East to host the tour, which takes a look back in time to the 18th century and important places that shaped Gainsborough and his work, on Saturday, May 14.

The tour will take people around significant locations for Gainsborough, including the independent meeting house on Friars Street, where the painter was baptised in 1727, the water meadows which ignited his passion for landscape painting as well as the school grounds where he was educated.

Gainsborough Tour_Heritage Open Days Sudbury_Photo Rachel Price

The tour will visit Gainsborough's House, which is currently undergoing redevelopment. - Credit: Sudbury Town Council / Rachel Price

Dickensian Guided Tour_Sudbury_photo credit Rachel Price 2

Tour guides will be in character and costume for the event. - Credit: Sudbury Town Council / Rachel Price

The tour will also take a trip to Gainsborough's House, which is currently undergoing redevelopment.

Mayor of Sudbury, Sue Ayres, said: “During the closure and re-development of Gainsborough House, it’s even more vital we mark the occasion of Gainsborough’s Birthday who is not only Sudbury’s most famous son but is globally recognised as one the of the greatest portrait and landscape painters of all time."

Town centre manager, Rachel Price, said: "As a town we are incredibly proud of our rich cultural, industrial and natural heritage.

"This tour is not only a celebration of the contribution Gainsborough made to the world of great art, but the contribution 18th Century Sudburians made to the many industries that still thrive locally today and form such an important part of the town’s heritage.

Costumed tour Sudbury_William Wood House_photo credit Rachel Price

Tickets for the tour are £7.50 for adults, £4 for children with under4s going for free. A family ticket can be bought for £20. - Credit: Sudbury Town Council / Rachel Price

Guided Tour Sudbury_Meadow Lane

The tour is in partnership with Guide East. - Credit: Sudbury Town Council

Most Read

"This tour is very much about ‘strolling in the footsteps of Gainsborough’ and immersing ourselves in the Sudbury Gainsborough would’ve known in his formative years and on his return to the town."

The tour will be led by blue badge guides, "in costume and in character."

Founder of Guide East, Claire Partner, said: "Join our costumed characters, Seth and Annie, (aka Claire and Ian of Guide East) as they lead you on a guided walk of Sudbury that follows in the footsteps of our great painter, Thomas Gainsborough.

"Seth, a local pub landlord, and his wife, Annie, are delighted to show you the Sudbury that would have been familiar to Thomas Gainsborough as they also tell you about his family, his birthplace, his early years in Sudbury, and of course more about the great painter himself."

The tour will be taking place on Saturday May 14, from 11-12:30, with tickets costing £7.50 for adults and £4 for children (under 4's go free), with a family ticket available for £20.

Limited tickets are available online here, in person at the Sudbury tourist information centre (Goal Lane), over the phone on 01787 372331 or by emailing:

Step Into The Sudbury Story_Guided Walk_Photo Sue Longhurst

The tour will stop off at significant spots for the painter. - Credit: Sue Longhurst / Sudbury Town Council