Aldeburgh, Suffolk, is a charming Victorian seaside town renowned for its rich history and natural beauty. It offers an idyllic setting for a beach staycation in the UK, with a plethora of delightful activities to indulge in both in Aldeburgh itself and its picturesque surroundings.
From its humble beginnings as a seaside retreat in the Victorian era, Aldeburgh gained international recognition through the presence of the esteemed composer Benjamin Britten, who made the town his home in the 1940s. Britten’s legacy lives on through the annual Aldeburgh Festival, a renowned cultural event that draws world-class artists to this tranquil corner of Suffolk every June.
While Aldeburgh has become a popular seaside destination, it diverges from the typical notion of a bustling resort with arcades and piers. Instead, Aldeburgh offers a more understated and authentic coastal experience, distinct from the lively atmosphere of destinations like Southwold or Blackpool. The charm lies in the town’s simplicity and the unspoiled character of the Suffolk coastal towns.
If you have planned a visit to Aldeburgh and seek inspiration for things to do, we have curated an exceptional list of the finest attractions and activities in Aldeburgh and its enchanting surroundings. This comprehensive guide ensures that you make the most of your Suffolk holiday, ensuring you don’t miss any of the region’s hidden treasures.
Search out the Scallop
The Scallop is an imposing steel sculpture standing at an impressive height of 4 meters on Aldeburgh Beach, is a remarkable creation by esteemed Suffolk artist, Maggi Hambling. Its form resembles that of a scallop shell, intricately adorned with the profound inscription, “I hear those voices that will not be drowned,” extracted from Benjamin Britten’s iconic opera, Peter Grimes.
View the Martello Tower
By venturing southward from the bustling high street of Aldeburgh, along the slender expanse of shoreline adjacent to the River Alde, one’s gaze will be captivated by the remarkable sight of the Martello Tower, reminiscent of a colossal sandcastle.
Enjoy a captivating experience at the esteemed Aldeburgh Festival
The Aldeburgh Festival, a prominent English arts festival, occurs annually in June at the renowned Snape Maltings. Esteemed international artists are invited to participate in this world-renowned event, showcasing a diverse program of musical concerts and captivating artistic performances.
Take a trip to the beach
If you are visiting Aldeburgh during the summer season, a notable highlight is a visit to Aldeburgh Beach. Renowned as one of the finest beaches in Suffolk and indeed the entire UK, it offers an exceptional coastal experience.
Take a stroll to Thorpeness
The village of Thorpeness, located adjacent to Aldeburgh, is accessible via a scenic 2-mile coastal path. This delightful route, featuring a flat terrain, meanders alongside the beach, offering one of the most accessible walking experiences from Aldeburgh.
Take a trip around Aldeburgh Museum
The Moot Hall, an impressive timber-framed red brick structure situated in the heart of Aldeburgh, adjacent to the boating lake, is a captivating architectural landmark. Originally constructed circa 1550, it suffered neglect during the 19th century. However, a momentous decision was made to undertake its restoration, with the addition of two chimneys inspired by the kitchen chimneys at Hampton Court Palace, further enhancing its grandeur.
Small time sailing
An enjoyable activity for families in Aldeburgh is sailing boats on the boating pond. Whether you bring your own sailing boats or simply observe others, it provides a delightful experience. For those without their own boats, a convenient option is to visit the nearby Lifeboat Station, where a charming shop offers a selection of sailing boats for purchase.
Explore the Red House
The Red House, formerly the residence of Benjamin Britten, now serves as the headquarters for the Britten Pears Foundation and welcomes visitors from March to October each year.