Aldeburgh is an attractive town on the river Alde and enjoys breathtaking views both seawards and following the river Alde inland down towards Orford. It's name comes from Alde Burgh meaning "old fort" and the town’s history is inextricably linked to the changes time and Mother Nature have wrought to the coastal map.
Aldeburgh was once an important Tudor port and its shipbuilders were responsible for Francis Drake’s ‘Golden Hind’. But the River Alde silted up, taking its toll on the town’s fortunes, and coastal erosion swept away the heart of its old town. Some historic buildings have survived the centuries, such as 400-year old Moot Hall (below), a Noman Church and a martello tower. For more information on these strange buidings please see our article on Martello Towers
, and to book at stay in the Landmark Trust's Martello Tower
please click on the link.
Aldeburgh had to wait until the 19th Century fashion for beaches and craze for sea air brought back visitors in quantity establishing it as a popular seaside resort.
Aldeburgh is famous for many things - good food, great fish & chips, Aldeburgh Music, Maggi Hamblings' Scallop on the beach, as well as a vibrant art and music scene. There are several Art Galleries in Aldeburgh including one from Caroline Wiseman based in the iconic South Lookout. Keep an eye on Art Exhibitions
for details of current Exhibitions.
Aldeburgh is also famous as the birthpace and home of composer Benjamin Britten. There are many reminders of his life about the town and you can visit St Peter and St Paul's Church in the town where he is buried.
One of the most controversial monuments of Benjamin Britten is 'The Scallop', created by local artist Maggie Hambling. This sea shell sculpture sits on Aldeburgh's beach to the north of the town. There have been petitions to have the shell removed as some see it as a blot on the landscape which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but others feel it is a perfect reminder of Britten and a good tourist attraction!
Far from being a 'look, don't touch' piece of art, visitors are encouraged to sit on the Scallop and watch the sea. Britten himself loved the view so much he took a walk on the beach every afternoon.
For weekend seadogs Aldeburgh has a very active yacht club and teaches sailing to juniors and adults. There are also two popular golf courses, all-weather tennis courts, a boat lake and, of course, excellent bathing.
Aldeburgh’s strong local community shares activities and knowledge with the visitor, providing poetry and arts and craft residential courses. The pretty high street has craft, food and antiques shops, reflecting local passions, as well as a myriad of pubs and an independent cinema. One shop well worth a visit is The Amber Shop
. With branches in both Aldeburgh and Southwold, here you will find a delightful and vast collection of all things amber, including jewellery (example pictured above) and ornaments.
For a list of shops in Aldeburgh please see Shopping in Aldeburgh
Dunan House B&B, Aldeburgh
This large and spacious B&B accommodation is located in a peaceful location just a short walk from the sea and town centre. Breakfasts are delicious and prepared using the very best of home-grown and local ingredients. There are fantastic views across the marshes to the river and beyond, and families are warmly welcomed. Please click on the link above for more information.
Every June a classical music festival takes place at nearby Snape Maltings. This festival was founded by Britten along with Eric Crozier and Peter Pears in 1948. It has taken place ever since and is a fitting tribute to the three. For details on the Festival see Aldeburgh Festival
and Aldeburgh Music
Aldeburgh certainly won't disappoint those looking for an active break. The River Alde itself offers opportunities for sailing. There are centres nearby that offer horse riding and even llama trekking. Bird watching is another local past time with RSPB Minsmere and Havergate Island both close at hand. Please see RSPB in Suffolk
Another of Aldeburgh's claims to fame is one to sample at mealtimes. The town's fish and chip shop has been owned by the Cooney family since the 1970's and was described by 'The Times' as 'possibly the finest on the East Coast'. What better way to end an active day than with a portion of fish and chips?!
There are a number of excellent hotel and accommodation options to choose from in Aldeburgh, such as - The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh
which is literally a pebble's throw from the beach.Cottages4You
have over 270 cottages available for hire across Suffolk.The White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh
which has 38 cosy and inviting bedrooms, and some with sea views as far as the eye can see.Best of Suffolk
who offer self catering accommodation in stylish holiday cottages along the Suffolk Coast and countryside.
Finally, the nearby Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel, Thorpeness
, with its 36 rooms, some overlooking the Meare, gardens or golf course.
For a list of accommodation and things to do in Aldeburgh, please also see:A Guide to Aldeburgh HotelsAccommodation in AldeburghAldeburgh AttractionsVisit Aldeburgh
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