Within easy walking distance of Chapel Barn along a disused railway now used as a public right of way, Aldeburgh is a small seaside town on the unspoilt East Suffolk coast. In the 16th Century it was a thriving port and shipbuilding area, becoming a fishing village and seaside resort in the 19tr Century. Aldeburgh provides an excellent base for those wanting a peaceful seaside holiday during which they can enjoy the miles of unspoilt shingle coastline, forests and heath lands of this remarkable area.
There are many excellent restaurants and pubs to suit all tastes and budgets – not forgetting the ‘famous’ Aldeburgh fish and chip shop. Notable town landmarks include the Moot Hall which, for the past 400 years the meeting place of Aldeburgh Town Council, the church of St Peter and St Paul, noted for its memorial window dedicated to the memory of Benjamin Britten and designed by John Piper. Britten, Peter Pears and Imogen HoIst are all buried in Aldeburgh Churchyard, as is Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, England’s first female doctor. There is also a memorial to the crew of the Aldeburgh lifeboat, who perished in 1899.
The composer Benjamin Britten was inspired by the vast skies and moody seas of the Suffolk coast, and in 1948, along with singer Peter Pears and writer Eric Crozier, he founded the Aldeburgh Festival.In 2006 Aldeburgh Music purchased Snape Maltings Concert Hall and rehearsal facilities along with redundant maltings buildings. The centrepiece of the new development - the Hoffmann Building - opened in May 2009, with further developments in winter 2009/2010. The aim is to create a meeting point for the world’s most talented musicians, reinforcing Aldeburgh as a powerhouse for performance, nurturing talent and creating new work, and bringing to life what had always been Britten and Pears’ vision for the site.
If there was ever a village that deserved to be called ‘fantastic’, it is Thorpeness, built at the start of last century by a wealthy Scottish barrister with a penchant for mock Tudor and Jacobean architecture. He also ingeniously disguised the village’s water tower as an overgrown house, the striking ‘House in the Clouds’.
J.M. Barrie fans of all ages can find his work realised at the Mere boating lake where islands and coves are given names taken from Peter Pan. It’s no wonder he was inspired by this magical place, which is great fun for kids of all ages.
A gentle 30 minute stroll down through North Warren and via the golf club will bring you to Thorpeness where you can enjoy the beach and lunch or teas at the Mere café.