Exploring Aldeburgh for art, food & fashion
PUBLISHED: 12:04 10 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:04 10 July 2017
In many ways, Aldeburgh brings together the best of Suffolk, all in one spot. Fabulous shops, great food and drink, art galleries and the beach . . . . it's all there for exploring
What to see and do
A visit to Aldeburgh should certainly include artist Maggi Hambling’s Scallop sculpture on the beach, dedicated to Benjamin Britten. Love it or loathe it, it’s a talking point and always a good spot to get creative with your camera.
Life on the edge of the North Sea comes into sharp focus at Aldeburgh Lifeboat Station, where you can gain a fascinating insight into the history of the RNLI on this part of the east coast, as well as the work they do today.
There are several art galleries to peruse in Aldeburgh, appealing to a broad range of tastes, from seascapes to the truly contemporary.
You can take a model boat out on the boating lake close to the beach. Some local shops sell wooden boats for you to use, watch a film at the independent Aldeburgh Cinema, walk along the Sailors’ Path to Snape Maltings with its shops, café, and world-renowned concert hall.
Slip off your shoes and dip your feet into the sea. The gently sloping shingle beach is great as you don’t have to worry about driving home with sand between your toes.
Parking and toilets
Free parking at Slaughden Quay. Otherwise there’s paid-for parking at Fort Green, King Street, Oakley Square and Thorpe Road.
Aldeburgh has several public toilets. Find them at Fort Green car park, Crag Path and West Lane between the Terrace and High Street
Did you know?
Ship builders in Aldeburgh were responsible for Francis Drake’s Golden Hind (formerly known as Pelican).
As well as art, food and beachlife, Aldeburgh is known for its fashion, including some proud independent stores.
For cutting edge men and women’s clothes, accessories and shoes go to Collen and Clare. You’ll find cult brands such as Levis, American Vintage and DVF, as well as the shop’s own branded cashmere and merino wool sweaters.
For a more casual vibe go to Fleur, the home of easy-to-wear, classic clothing with a coastal twist from Maison Scotch, Sandwich, Part Two and others. This is the place to pick up pretty beach dresses and cute Victoria pumps. For heritage, you can’t beat O & C Butcher, which has been trading in the town since 1884. Across two floors, the shop sells high quality men’s and women’s wear, and staff are hot on their brands, which include Barbour, Hackett, Gant and Masai.
Eating and drinking
You really are spoilt for choice in Aldeburgh. How about cocktails and Indian cuisine made with local ingredients such as Sutton Hoo chicken, muntjack and day boat landed lobster at Sea Spice, one of the country’s only seaside Indian restaurants? You’ll find it within The White Lion Hotel, overlooking the beach.
Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop and its sister restaurant and takeaway The Golden Galleon, are famous UK-wide. They’ve been serving customers crispy dripping-fried fish and chips for over 50 years. Eat in or take them to the beach for the full experience.
If you want to cool down head for Ives, where there are more than 30 flavours of luxury UK-made ice cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt to choose from (www.ivesices.co.uk). Or take children along to The Ice Creamery, where the team whips ice creams and toppings of your choice on a freezer plate in front of you. The shop sells waffles, milkshakes and ice cream cookie sandwiches too. www.theicecreamery.co.uk
Stop for a break and a cuppa from the huge selection at 2017 EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards Best Café finalist Cragg Sisters Tea Room.www.craggsisters.co.uk
And dinner can be enjoyed at last year’s Best Customer Service winner The Lighthouse www.lighthouserestaurant.co.uk, or The Regatta, which has its own smokehouse www.regattaaldeburgh.com.
The White Hart is a welcoming place for a pint. You’ll find four Adnams brews on the bar, plus weekly changing guest beers, and during the summer there’s wood-fired pizza, cooked fresh to order, in the garden. Apart from filled rolls and bar snacks no other food is served here, but you can bring your takeaway from the fish and chip shop next door into the garden. Well-behaved dogs can go with you.w