Aldeburgh is in Suffolk on the southeast coast of England, about 15 miles from Felixstowe and 18 miles from Ipswich. We have visited Aldeburgh about five times now - on our own, with our young daughter and with friends. As we live in London, it's a complete change of pace and lifestyle which is exactly what we want now and then! However, we are always a bit surprised by the complete difference to the city, like the places that serve dinner from 6-8pm as this seems so early to us. But how nice it is to go somewhere where people smile at you for no reason as you walk past them and even say hello - unheard of in London! And I'm sure we're one of many city-dwellers that head to Aldeburgh for the odd weekend - unfortunately we aren't one of those who have our own holiday home here!
The main street in Aldeburgh is extremely pleasant for a stroll, and although there is the odd chain store (Fat Face, Joules, and a Co-Op supermarket) there are also several independent shops - although they do tend to be a little on the pricey side. There is a good bookshop and a nice jewellers, to name but two, as well as a few shops selling quirky gifts and trinkets.
In terms of eating and drinking, there are a few nice pubs up the main drag, several with outdoor seating, as well as a large-ish branch of the pizza chain Prezzo. Most of the pubs and hotels also offer food, and there are a few other restaurants - Lighthouse and 152 Aldeburgh, both of which aren't very cheap, but worth a visit if you fancy splashing out. Munchies Café is perfect for bacon butties (made in the biggest buns I've ever seen) and gorgeously fresh pain au chocolat and coffees. There is also the lovely little Ives ice cream parlour which serves a medley of assorted flavours, from orange choc chip to ginger and honey. And finally, if you enjoy queueing, there are two fish and chip shops on the high street which always seem to have queues of 30-40 people outside them. It's only fish and chips, but they like them....
There is also a tiny cinema which has been around for almost 100 years and has, I think, just the one screen. No big multiplexes here!
The high street runs parallel to a stony beach which is great for kids to have a play, even if there is no soft sand to sink into. Although you wouldn't get me in the water for any amount of money, there are usually some brave folk having a swim - on my last visit two elderly ladies were having a brisk dip, putting us younger scaredy cats to shame! If you want to sample the catch of the day, check out one of the little huts on the beach that sells fresh fish.
A few miles up the road is Thorpeness, which boasts a man-made boating lake, a nice pub and a little antiques shop. At two miles up the coast, it's very walkable if you fancy stretching your legs and walking off those fish and chips! If you are staying a few days and have a car, there are plenty of other little towns to visit both on the coast and inland. Snape Maltings, with its lovely array of galleries and shops, is a must if you have the time.
The huts along the beach in Southwold (about 20 miles away) are worth looking out for - they are picture postcard perfect and you'll struggle not to get your camera out for a shot. Alongside the typical English seaside town amusement arcade is the charming and quirky Under The Pier show - a small arcade housing a bunch of unusual slot machines - here you can experience a fly's eye view of the world (beware of the swat) or enjoy your own private solar eclipse, as well as many other unusual pursuits! The pier was built in 1900 and has just been put up for sale, so if you have a spare £6m knocking about, this could all be yours.
In terms of accommodation, there are many bed and breakfasts dotted around, although we have always opted for self-catering, and there are lots of holiday homes and cottages on and around the high street. Prices vary and are not cheap, but this isn't a cheap area so expect to pay quite a bit for a weekend break. The self-catering accommodation we've stayed in has always been of a really high standard.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and head somewhere pretty and friendly, Aldeburgh is a great option. It's great for romantic getaways, weekends with friends and for a break with the kids - with the lovely high street, nice beach and plenty of walks and activities to enjoy in neighbouring towns, it's really got it all!
Aldeburgh is a popular seaside town on the Suffolk coast, which is situated close to Snape, Orford and Thorpeness. It sits on the River Alde at 52° 9' North, 1° 36' East.
One of the things that Aldeburgh is most famous for is its Fish and Chips, which are fantastic! There are two Fish and Chip shops in Aldeburgh, which are both owned by the same family and these attract queues of people outside in the Summer. However if you fancy something different to eat, Aldeburgh also has a number of other eateries - Prezzo (Italian chain restaurant); a Chinese takeaway; Ice Cream Parlour; Pizzeria and Grill to name a few. It also has a wine bar, a handful of pubs; a Deli and a number of independent shops if you feel like browsing. There are also a few branches of popular high street banks, in case you need them (HSBC and Barclays).
There are many B&B's in the surrounding area and three seafront hotels - The Brudenell, The White Lion and The Wentworth. These are all open for dining to people not staying in the hotel too.
During the summer months, Aldeburgh does become extremely popular and it can be difficult to find parking. This does die down in the winter months, but it can seem a little like a ghost town when all the holidaying families have gone home. However, in the height of Summer the stone beach is packed with visitors enjoying the sun with an ice cream!
On the beach there is a stainless steel sculpture, which has been a controversial addition. 'The Scallop' was created by a local Artist, Maggi Hambling and is dedicated to local composer, Benjamin Britten. This has been subjected to graffiti since it was erected in 2003, as many locals believe that the beach is not the place for this man-made piece of art.
Every year in August, Aldeburgh turns into a carnival town. A fair visits and sets up by the seafront, there is a float procession along the high street followed by fireworks in the evening. Every year a new Carnival Queen is appointed.
I am lucky enough to live near to Aldeburgh and visit it regularly. It really is a lovely place, although personally I prefer it in the quieter months!
Aldeburgh really is the most wonderful, old fashioned, sea side town. With a pebbled beach that is easily accessed and a beautiful stretch of sea, it would be easy to while away several tranquil hours or even days and weeks!
There is a lovely hotel on the seafront with excellent sea views and lovely locally poduced and sourced food, great for a stay or just for a lovely meal. In addition to this there are many fantastic B&B''s as well as self catering accomodation so plenty of places to stay for a holiday or short break.... which I would urge any of you to do!
There are shops along the main high street, mostly unique and boutiques though all the essentials can also be purchased.... just not in the usual Tesco/ Sainsburys (a bonus in my opinion!)
Best of all, in my opinion, is the fantastic fish and chips shop where you can buy fish or battered sausage and chips to munch on whilst sitting on the sea front, watching the sea! An experience that just can't be beaten.
Aldburgh is a beautiful, old fashioned seaside resort and not for those of you who want excitement and events every minute of the day... but for those like me who just want to chill out and relax in style... this is the place!