Sunny shores and colourful carnivals - the visitor's guide to Aldeburgh

The annual Aldeburgh Carnival.

Aldeburgh is a colourful part of the Suffolk coast - Credit: Gregg Brown

As one of Suffolk’s most historic seaside towns, Aldeburgh has plenty on offer for visitors.  

The town was once a thriving Tudor port - and today it is known for its beautiful beaches and thriving local culture, making it one of East Anglia's prime tourist attractions.

On the. first day of lockdown restrictions easing, people headed to Aldeburgh to enjoy a day out or

There are often long queues for fish and chips in Aldeburgh - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Where is Aldeburgh and how do I get there? 

The seaside town of Aldeburgh is in East Suffolk, on the North Sea coast. 

The easiest way to get to Aldeburgh is by car - the town is located just off the A12, the main road for the area.  


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However, buses also serve the town from as far away as Ipswich.  

Those wishing to travel by train can only go as far as Saxmundham, on the East Suffolk Line.  

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From there, you will need to take a bus for the rest of the journey.  


How much is parking in Aldeburgh? 

There are five car parks in Aldeburgh and all are run by East Suffolk Council. 

The pay and display car parks cost £1.50 for a two-hour stay, £3 for four hours or £4 if staying more than four hours.

Some of these car parks have 30 minutes of free parking, although not all do. 

Neighbouring Slaughden also has a council car park but this is free to use. 

Aldeburgh High Street

Aldeburgh's High Street is full of independent retailers

What shops are in Aldeburgh? 

Aldeburgh has a thriving independent high street full of small businesses and local retailers.

It still has some big names including Tesco and East of England Co-op, as well as clothing retailers such as Seasalt and Fatface.

Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop has been highly rated by a top chef Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop has been highly rated by a top chef Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

I'm hungry - where can I get something to eat? 

Aldeburgh is full of fantastic places to eat and drink. 

None perhaps are more well known than the Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop and Golden Galleon, which often have huge queues stretching along High Street. 

If you'd prefer to skip the queues, the town has several high-quality sit-down eateries including The Regatta, The Lighthouse and French seafood restaurant L'Escargot sur Mer

Popular cafe stops include Munchies and Two Magpies Bakery. 

Aldeburgh's Brudenell Hotel is among the venues reopening next week

The Brudenell Hotel in Aldeburgh is one of the many places to stay in the town - Credit: The Hotel Folk

Where can I stay in Aldeburgh? 

Aldeburgh is full of pretty holiday cottages and Airbnbs, which are often very busy and booked up well in advance. 

However, the town also has a number of large hotels such as The Wentworth, The Brudenell and the White Lion

The Moot Hall conservation project in Aldeburgh was recognised

Moot Hall, home to Aldeburgh Museum - Credit: citizenside.com

Is there a museum in Aldeburgh? 

Aldeburgh has a town museum, based at the Moot Hall on the seafront.  

The museum celebrates the rich local history of the town and covers all periods of its history - from the Anglo-Saxons to the investiture of the town’s first female mayor.  

It re-opened in November 2019 after a major refurbishment project costing almost £750,000.  

Further towards the outskirts of town is a second museum, The Red House, which celebrates the lives of well-known local composer Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears.  

The house, its garden and gallery are all open for the public to visit.  

The annual Aldeburgh Carnival.

Aldeburgh Carnival is a colourful fixture in the town's year - Credit: Gregg Brown

When is Aldeburgh Carnival? 

One of the highlights of the social calendar in Aldeburgh is its bright and colourful carnival, which usually takes place in August.  

It features several days of events, including the traditional street procession and fair, as well as a road race in the town. 

Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus crisis, the event has not been held since 2019 - when it had a film theme to coincide with Aldeburgh Cinema’s centenary.  

It is hoped the carnival will return in 2022.  

The Scallop in Aldeburgh. Picture: SIMON PARKER

The Scallop is always popular with visitors - Credit: Archant

What is there to do in Aldeburgh? 

Aldeburgh stand out attraction is its long and beautiful beach, which stretches across the town. 

The beach is also home to Maggi Hambling's famous Scallop sculpture, which has always proved a popular viewpoint for tourists. 

Those looking for a good walk may wish to walk along the coastal paths and head up to nearby Thorpeness. 

The town also has a popular cinema, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2019. 

Aldeburgh has its own golf club for those looking to play a round and local gin distillery, Fishers, offers tours and a cocktail making experience. 

For those looking for a musical moment, the nearby village of Snape has its own concert hall which regularly plays host to a range of acts and shows. 

Former Ipswich Town boss Roy Keane has been linked with the top job at League Two Salford City Pictu

Roy Keane lived in Aldeburgh for a time while he was Ipswich Town manager - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

What famous people come from Aldeburgh? 

Aldeburgh has many famous names among its previous residents - including the first female surgeon in the UK, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who became the town’s mayor in 1908. 

Her sister, Dame Millicent Fawcett, was born in the town and was a well-known suffragist. 

Composer Benjamin Britten was a long-term resident in the town, as was crime author Ruth Rendell.  

Recent well-known residents in the town include football manager Roy Keane, during his time managing Ipswich Town FC, and actor Bill Nighy, who leant his support to the cinema when he appeared in its ident in 2019. 

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