Aldeburgh guide

A traditional seaside escape

Check out our handy ‘know before you go’ guide to make your visit a huge success!

Aldeburgh is world-renowned thanks to its connection with Benjamin Britten, the founder of the Aldeburgh Festival, which takes place in June every year. Pastel-coloured 19th Century holiday villas line the promenade and to the east, the pebble beach with fisherman’s huts selling the daily catch.

Did you know?

The town gets its name from ‘Alde’ and ‘burgh’ meaning ‘old fort’ and is a former Tudor port given borough status by Henry VIII himself. The town and its shipbuilders were responsible for the creation of several famous vessels; Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind and the Virginia Company’s Sea Venture, to name but a few. 

Aldeburgh has a rich cultural identity and is home to the Aldeburgh Literary Festival, multiple galleries and iconic sculptures as well as the Aldeburgh Music Club started by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears in 1952. 

Keep your eyes peeled for some of the well known people who call Aldeburgh home, from former Manchester United and Ireland midfielder Roy Keane to Peter Sinfield, founding member and lyricist for 70’s prog rock band King Crimson. 

The town is famous for its outstanding fish and chips with the local fish and chip shop, owned by the Cooney family having received rave reviews from national publications. 

The Martello tower in Aldeburgh is recorded as the largest in the UK, being made up of four towers joined together, it has been converted into holiday accommodation and is a unique place to stay when visiting the town. 


shopping in aldeburgh things to do in aldeburghwhere to stay aldeburghwhere to eat in Aldeburgh


Location


Aldeburgh Highlights

1. The High Street offers delightful opportunities for browsing

O&C Butcher Outfitters in Aldeburgh

Clothes boutiques, antiques and arts, an independent book shop and cinema plus a huge variety of culinary temptation, from the rightly-renowned fish and chips, to fine bistro dining, pizzas and, of course, seaside ice cream! Be sure to pay a visit to O&C Butcher - the 130 year old clothes store has all you will need to kit yourself out for a weekend on the coast, selling brands including Barbour, Gant, Oui, Massai, Sebago and Gabor. Your pooch can even be treated to a new coat too!


2. Follow in Benjamin Britten’s footsteps and visit The Red House

TTDA - The Red House - Exterior

Suffolk’s iconic composer and his partner once lived and worked here. The Red House is now the home of the Britten-Pears Foundation, where you can discover where the musical magic took place. The Studio where Britten composed is open to visitors all year-round, as is the Gallery, the historic Library and the Gardens. The site is open annually from March to October with special events programmed in November to December.


3. Pay a visit to Aldeburgh’s historic Martello Tower

Towns & Villages - Aldeburgh - Martello tower

These squat, 19th Century fortifications formed a defensive line along our coast to keep the invading Napoleonic armies at bay. Thankfully they never had to be put to the test.  For a unique place to stay, one of these derelict military defences has been transformed into a holiday rental. The clover shaped building is full of original features and you can take in the sea views from the rooftop. 


4. Take in a film at the Aldeburgh Cinema

TTDA - Aldeburgh Cinema - Auditorium

Aldeburgh Cinema has been screening films continuously since 1919 when the auditorium was built onto the back of a 19th Century High Street store. Never a ‘posh picture palace’ the cinema has a glorious atmosphere - it breathes history - “A fantastic arthouse cinema!” (The Times) . The auditorium retains a number of original features, including a number of beautiful art deco lights.


5. Visit the Scallop

Towns & Villages - Aldeburgh - Scallop

Wander North along the beach and visit the four-metre high 'Scallop' designed by celebrated Suffolk-born Maggi Hambling, made entirely of steel by Aldeburgh craftsmen Sam and Dennis Pegg. The sculpture is inscribed with the words “I hear those voices that will not be drowned” from Britten’s famous opera Grimes, which are intended to be read against the magnificent Suffolk sky.


6. View world-renowned art

TTDA - Aldeburgh Beach Lookout

Isolated on the pebbled beach of this Suffolk seaside town, the Aldeburgh Beach Lookout and Art House welcomes a new artist, poet, performer, musician, thinker each week as artist in residence. Each Weekly artists residency culminates in an exhibition of brand new work. The art house hosts an exciting programme of exhibitions and there's a hand-picked collection of pieces available to buy.


Aldeburgh Beach Guide

TTDA - Aldeburgh Beach - boats

The delightful pebble beach at Aldeburgh is a favourite for a day at the seaside on The Suffolk Coast.

The beach is backed by a promenade and pretty pastel-coloured villas, and is just a short walk from the High Street. Predominantly shingle, make your way past the fishing boats and the beach slopes steeply towards the sea. 

For more information and to plan your day at Aldeburgh Beach, check out our Aldeburgh Beach Guide.


Useful information

Check out the Find My Nearest website for helpful information on parking, public toilets, leisure centres, libraries, train stations, cinemas, theatres and museums. 


Public Toilets and Baby Changing Facilities in Aldeburgh

Fort Green Car Park, Aldeburgh, IP15 5DD

Crag Path, Aldeburgh, IP15 5DS

West Lane, between The Terrace and High Street, Aldeburgh, IP15 5AP


Useful Links

Aldeburgh Business Association


How to get to Aldeburgh - Public Transport

With Suffolk on Board you can plan journeys using public transport from and to a town or village, named station or stop, or point of interest.

As many destinations along the Suffolk coast are rural there can be limited public transport services on many routes, but there are journey solutions through various local community transport services that will get you to where you want to go/your final destination. These tend to need to be booked in advance but you can find out more and plan your journey at Suffolk on Board. 


By Bus:

Local bus services run to Woodbridge, Ipswich, Thorpeness, Framlingham and Leiston

Timetables and further information can be found at www.suffolkonboard.com

By Train: 

The nearest train station is located at Saxmundham with services provided by Greater Anglia to Ipswich and London Liverpool Street. All train tickets can be purchased via the Greater Anglia Website or the app available on Android, iPhone/iPad and Windows Phone.


Car Parks in Aldeburgh

The most convenient ways to find parking places in East Suffolk are either via Find My Nearest, and where parking fees apply the council’s RingGo parking service .

The free RingGo app allows drivers to locate a parking place before starting their journey, receive navigation to it, see how busy car parks are within an area, pay for your parking session and extend it if you need to. Signing up to RingGo is as easy as entering your car’s registration and your payment details.  Find out more about registering and using the service on the RingGo how it works page. 


Car Parks in Aldeburgh

Slaughden Quay, Aldeburgh, IP15 5DE

Fort Green, Aldeburgh, IP15 5DR

King Street, Aldeburgh, IP15 5BS

Oakley Square, Aldeburgh, IP15 5BX

Thorpe Road, Aldeburgh, IP15 5BH


Car Parks for Larger Vehicles and Campervans

Slaughden, Aldeburgh, IP15 5DE

Thorpe Road, Aldeburgh, IP16 4NR (in southern half only, as signed)

For further details visit Larger vehicles and campervans » East Suffolk Council


Travel Information & News

For the latest travel information listen to or visit BBC Radio Suffolk 

For local news, visit the East Anglian Daily Times of Eastern Daily Press websites.


Covid-19 testing in Suffolk

You can find useful information on Covid-19 testing on the Government website here;

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/get-tested-for-coronavirus/

Local information on how and where to get a PCR test if you have symptoms can be found on Suffolk County Council’s website here;

https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/getting-a-test/covid-19-testing-in-suffolk/

Local information on how and where to get a rapid lateral flow test if you do not have symptoms can be found on Suffolk County Council’s website here;

https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/getting-a-test/covid-19-asymptomatic-testing/


WHERE TO STAY IN AND AROUND Aldeburgh

Things to do in Aldeburgh