Aldeburgh and its close neighbour Thorpeness have to be ranked with the very best seaside holiday destinations in the UK. A stay in a Suffolk Cottage Holiday’s Aldeburgh self catering cottage will always be a treat. A year round programme of music at Snape Maltings, sailing on the river Alde, RSPB reserves in Aldebugh and Thorpeness, National Trust properties, the sea and awe inspiring Suffolk skies, the active will always find something new and exciting to do. If you are more of a thinker then you can simply relax in a deck chair on Aldeburgh or Thorpeness beach and enjoy.
The shingle beaches of Aldeburgh and Thorpeness are decorated by bright flowers, the marshes awash with lapwing, snipe and godwit. Aldeburgh has a fine heathland golf course from where there are panoramic views of the lowland heaths and Alde Estuary beyond. Popular as a healthy seaside resort since the 18th century, Aldeburgh has retained its Edwardian elegance and charm, whilst now boasting some excellent galleries, shops, restaurants and pubs.
World famous for its association with Benjamin Britten, arguably this country’s greatest composer, Aldeburgh is an excellent holiday location for all generations, providing opportunities for sailing, golf, bird watching, walking and an eclectic series of arts events including annual Documentary, Literary and Poetry Festivals.
You can stay close to the beach and the High Street amidst the hustle and bustle of holidaymaker activity - 195 High Street (5) or 207 High Street (6), Dart Cottage (4), Fishermans Cottage (4), Eldoret (5), Raymond Cottage (6), Melody Cottage (6), Elmbank (8), Eldoret (9) or even closer to the beach at Seahorse Cottage or Gallery Cottage (both sleep 2), Mariners Cottage (4), Pebble Cottage (4), The Old Library (2), The Yacht House (10), Edinburgh Cottage (5), Neptune House (6), or Petersmede (8) which enjoys uninterrupted sea views. Aldeburgh is not a large town so you will never be far from the sea and the river. A few yards up the hill (5 minutes from the beach) are The Studio (6), Pantiles (5) and Fern Court Lodge (6), whilst The Pink House (4) and 15 Mariners Way (5) are beyond the church.
Just 1.5 miles up the coast from Aldeburgh is utterly unique and totally fascinating. Designed at the beginning of the 1900s at the height of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Thorpeness was created as a holiday retreat for the middle classes. Here there are some lovely larger houses (sleeping between 10 and 14 people, ideal for a family gathering or a group of friends) Shorecote, Sea View, and Alexander House and Spinneys are all close or overlooking the sea.
In the centre of Thorpeness is the Meare, a wildlife rich 65 acre lake, with rowing boats, canoes and punts for hire. Thorpeness also has a Country club with tennis courts and 18 hole heathland golf course, a good pub, village shop and restaurant.
Just a few miles north is Dunwich, once the third largest port in the country, now a tiny fishing village and neighbour to Minsmere, RSPB's best known bird reserve. With spectacular views over the village and the sea is Bridge Cottage (sleeping 6).
Aldeburgh and Snape will forever be associated with Benjamin Britten, the internationally renowned Suffolk composer. Halfway between the two is Friston. There has been a settlement here since the 1st century. Friston (meaning Frisian in old English) has always been a farming village, although many cottage are now used as holiday homes. Its church stands on the hill overlooking the wide and attractive village green. Friston’s most famous building is the old post mill; at 55 feet, it is the tallest post mill in England. A great base for visitors to Aldeburgh, concert goers, walkers and cyclists. Stay at Japonica Cottage (sleeps 3), or Keepers Cottage (4)
Close by is Sternfield. This tiny hamlet consists of little more than an a large country house, some traditional Suffolk cottages and a couple of farms, one of which Red House Farm includes three converted barns: Stable Cottage (sleeps 2 and has disabled access), Reindeer Cottage, (4) and Christmas Cottage, (4) - for larger groups take a look at Red House Barns (10) - with a large living room where the entire group can socialise and eat together. Just a 100 yards down the road is The Thatched Cottage (6) or at certain off peak periods may be booked as a sleeps 4. Just a couple of miles away is Saxmundham, an old Suffolk market town. Saxmundham has the advantage of being on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line with a good train service to London, Norwich and Cambridge. A fascinating little town it has good pubs and restaurants, a museum, art and crafts shops and a traditional Suffolk longhouse Varley House (9).
At Snape Bridge the river narrows outside the famous Snape Maltings Concert Hall where there is a complex of shops and restaurants and three lovely pubs. Both Box Cottage and Whitewalls sleep 4. Further up the hill is The Writers Studio (2), a delightful single storey property, whilst close to Snape Church and the common is Vincent Studio (2). Snape is the perfect for dog walking with a number of lovely riverside and heathland paths, one of which - The Sailors Path - leads to Aldeburgh. All listed Snape cottages accept a dog. A mile or so down river from Snape is Iken, one of the prettiest stretches of river in Suffolk, stay at Yarn Hill Barn (6) and enjoy some superb views.
BLAXHALL AND TUNSTALL
Just down the road from Snape are two rural villages. Blaxhall is really convenient for those who want to be close to Snape but be a bit quieter. There is a good village pub called The Ship where you can dine well. Stay at 1 Tudor Cottages (2) but take a torch for coming back from the pub at night!
Tunstall gives its name to the vast forest which provides invigorating walks with or without your dog. Also great for cycling and there is now an MBT - a mountain bike trail. For living in style with an extended family or group of friends and the fun of an outdoor pool in the summer stay at Sheppards Farm Barn (10) - with The Granary Sheppards Farm (12)
For lots more information on what to see and do in the Aldeburgh area go to Visit Aldeburgh.