Snape guide

Snape is a 'must-visit' destination for anyone who wants to sample the beauty and atmosphere the Suffolk coastal countryside has become famous for, whatever the season.

The unique and charming village, situated on the Alde Estuary is famously home to the world-renowned concert hall. The Maltings complex is home to an array of boutiques, galleries, arts centres, cafes, restaurants and grand performance spaces. From 1937 -1947, Snape Maltings was the favoured home place of Benjamin Britten, one of the most celebrated British composers in history. Today, musicians from all over the world come here to study and hone their musical skills. 

Every year in summer, Snape Maltings hosts a month-long festival of music, the Aldeburgh Festival with everything from jazz to choral, classical to contemporary being performed, and in September, the vast outside spaces are filled with the region's top food & drinks producers at the acclaimed Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival. 

Did you know?

Whilst Snape is probably best known for the Maltings, a vibrant arts centre in a building which would have originally been used for the brewing of local beer, centuries before the Maltings was built the Saxons occupied Snape. The discovery of a 17 metre long Saxon Burial ship in 1862 is evidence of this, along with spear heads, a cloak and fragments of jasper excavated alongside it. 

It is speculated that JK Rowling may have named the character Severus Snape after the town due to its links to Saxon history. 

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Snape Hightlights

1. Listen to world class composers

Towns & Villages - Snape - Concert hall (c) Matt Joly

Snape Maltings Concert Hall is the home of the Aldeburgh Festival founded by composer Benjamin Britten in 1948. Aside from the well-known June festival, this 832 seat venue also plays host to many concerts, workshops and performances of dance and literature throughout the year. Aldeburgh music has become established as a centre for talented young musicians from all over the world, and remains a world-renowned cultural mecca.

2. Visit the Maltings

Towns & Villages - Snape - home & garden

The Snape Maltings complex houses art galleries, restaurants, cafés, shops and stunning holiday cottages inside an intricate network of beautiful brick buildings. Unsurprisingly, it’s a favourite place for visitors and locals alike.

A visit to the House & Garden and Food Hall are a must - here you can purchase a range of Suffolk-made home furnishings and furniture and stock up on some of the region's fine fayre. 

3. Sail the River Alde 

Suffolk River Trips

Depart from the historic Snape Maltings Quay, where generations of Thames Barge skippers have plied their trade, hop aboard Tilly Too or Hagar with Suffolk River Trips. The round trip of about 45 minutes takes you through the narrows down towards Iken Cliff and gives you the chance to explore the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape

4. River Walks

Towns & Villages - Snape - River Alde

The River Alde at the Maltings is a haven for birdlife with its expansive estuary. Being tidal it’s a place of glistening mud and shallow open water, filled twice a day by the incoming tide and rich in wildlife during migrating months. Here's a selection of walks with varying distances: – Snape Warren along the river is a 2 mile return walk. – Sailors Path walk from the Maltings to Aldeburgh is a 12 mile return walk. – Iken Cliff walk is approximately a 2 mile return walk. – Iken Church walk is approximately a 4.6 miles return walk.

Download these useful Explorers Walking Guides for inspiration!

Useful Information

Public Conveniences and Baby Changing Facilities

Public toilets with disabled toilets and baby changing facilities can be found within the Snape Maltings complex.



Check out AccessAble's detailed access guides to Suffolk and work out if a place is going to be accessible to you.

The access guides cover multiple locations and venues across Suffolk, including places to stay, attractions, places to eat, stations, shops, trails and more. 

The access guides are 100% facts, figures and photographs, checked by AccessAble's trained surveyors in person, people who know everyone's accessibility needs are different and understand how important it is for information to be detailed and accurate.

How to Get to Snape - 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:

There are bus services from both Aldeburgh and Woodbridge to Snape, with a bus stop outside the Maltings. Bus timetables can be found at Suffolk on Board

By Train:

The nearest rail station is Saxmundham with services to Ipswich and onward connections to Lowestoft, Norwich, Cambridge and London Liverpool Street. Snape is a 20 minute car/taxi journey from Saxmundham.

All train tickets can be purchased via the Greater Anglia website or the app.

Katch logo

Katch is an on-demand bus service connecting the East Suffolk Line at Wickham Market rail station with Framlingham, Wickham Market and Snape. The service runs Monday – Saturday and on Bank Holidays.

Katch serves fixed stops along the route including the popular destinations of Framlingham Castle and Snape Maltings. Fares are in line with a normal bus service. You can book on the phone or via their new app.

For more details on the service, zones, fares, how to book and the mobile apps see the Katch website

Car Parks in Snape

Parking is available at the Snape Maltings Complex

Walking in Snape

Walking in East Suffolk has just become easier. In partnership with East Suffolk Council, walking app Go Jauntly has launched a collection of East Suffolk walks. 

Go Jauntly is a free community-based app to promote walking, wayfinding and nature connection. You can find local walks created by people who know and love them, discover the greenest walking routes from A to B, create your own jaunts and enjoy outdoor adventures with friends and family. 

Go Jauntly is available to download, for free, on the App Store and the Play Store.

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.