- Credit: Archant
Aldeburgh . . . quirky seaside cottages, long stretches of sighing shingle beach, rolling waves and, of course, fresh fish and chips
Aldeburgh is world-renowned through its association with composer Benjamin Britten, founder of the Aldeburgh Festival (June 9 to 25) now celebrating 50 years at Snape Maltings, but it attracts visitors for many other reasons, not least its timeless seaside charm and creative spirit.
Along the seafront the pastel-coloured 19th century villas are a familiar sight, as well as the fishermen’s huts selling fresh fish, crab and mussels. Further along the beach you’ll find Suffolk artist Maggi Hambling’s famous Scallop sculpture. Why not head over for a ‘selfie’?
The town is something of an artistic hub, with regular cultural events including annual festivals for film, food and drink, and poetry.
There’s a fabulous array of galleries along the high street, which entice you to wander inside, as well as a vibrant mix of boutiques, gift shops, restaurants and, of course, plenty of places to stop for an ice cream.
After visiting the beach, why not head to Aldeburgh Cinema? This beautiful 19th century independent picture house has a full programme of latest releases.
Nearby, Snape Maltings is also well worth a visit. There you will find the concert hall hosting regular events, as well as a selection of shops, art galleries, plus cafes and restaurants to enjoy.
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You don’t have to venture far for the shops, as most are in the centre of the town. For fashion, you’ll find popular high street chains such as Fat Face, Joules, Jack Wills and Crew Clothing. But if you’re looking for something a little more individual, head to Tilley and Grace, an Aladdin’s cave packed full of trinkets and gifts, Collen and Clare, Fleur and O&C Butcher.
No visit to Aldeburgh is complete without sampling some fish and chips, so don’t be surprised when you see a big queue outside. The Aldeburgh Fish and Shop is one of best places to head for a chip supper and has fed celebrities such as singer Ed Sheeran and actor Tom Hiddleston. This year, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the shop is teaming up with the Aldeburgh Festival by sponsoring the Bandstand on the Beach. So what better time to pay a visit?
The Lighthouse Restaurant, a winner in the EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards last year, is also a great choice for lunch or dinner with a delicious range of a la carte cuisine created using local, seasonal produce.
From a fan . . .
Suffolk Magazine reader Mike Gordon wrote to us after a recent trip to Aldeburgh.
‘My wife and I are avid readers of Suffolk and I would love to register my thoughts about our visit to Aldeburgh today. It was simply a joy in every respect, so good to be able to park in the main street with little concern about traffic wardens, an immediate sense of a buzzing community with a wide cross section of visitors many being young, adding to the vibrancy of the environment.
The variety and quality of shops is now as good, if not better than, I can recall over the past 20 years – art galleries, a superb fish shop in the main street, as well as the many wonderful huts along the coastal road selling seafood and fish. Also superb delis cake shops, clothes, shoes, etc,etc. In fact, Aldeburgh has it all! And such a relaxed atmosphere.
‘We returned to Colchester with a boot full of goodies thinking that the whole trip there and back had taken a mere three hours. Without letting on to my wife I even managed a pint of Adnams before leaving! So, congratulations to all who make Aldeburgh such a brilliant place to visit.’ Mike Gordon, Boxted