Aldeburgh, Suffolk, UK.
A cultural and arts haven, this dinky Suffolk coastal enclave is
the ideal destination for those seeking a go-slow midsummer
getaway. Bordered by the North Sea, the town’s population hovers at
around 3,000 full-time residents, but the area draws crowds for its
food festivals, literary events and thriving arts community – not
to mention its gorgeous shingle beach.
Aldeburgh’s pretty townscape is studded with pastel-coloured and
timber-clad buildings, within which nestle artisan bakeries,
delicatessens and independent boutiques. After exploring the
characterful streets, head to Aldeburgh
Museum for an illuminating glimpse into the place’s past, then
swing by Fishers
Gin Distillery to enjoy a tour and tasting session.
Aldeburgh’s shingle beach, left, and a terrace of houses in
the town. | Photo credit: David Calvert / Shutterstock.com
The Red House. Once the home of legendary
composer Benjamin Britten, the beautiful farmhouse and its gorgeous
gardens are open to the public. You could easily while away a whole
day here, taking in the archive, gallery space, museum and outdoor
For sweeping coastal views, be sure to visit the Martello Tower, which stands on the beach
between the River Alde and the sea. The largest of its kind in the
UK, it was acquired from the Ministry of Defence by the Landmark
Trust in 1971, and is available to rent as a unique holiday
Where to stay?
Bed down at Brudenell Hotel, in part for its sea-facing
location, but mainly for its rooms, which hit the sweet spot
between stylish and snug. Think soothingly rustic furnishings and
classic country-house decor. Those who relish a restoration
project, meanwhile, should keep their calendar clear for September,
Suffolk is set to swing open its doors. Complete with a rooftop
terrace, bar and restaurant, the boutique hotel is on track to
become Aldeburgh’s hottest new hangout.
Aldeburgh’s Martello Tower, left, and a dish at soon-to-open
restaurant with rooms, The Suffolk. | Photo credit: Phil Silverman
Where to go for dinner?
Sea Spice. Perched on the edge of the beach,
this Indian restaurant lives in the basement of the famed White
Lion Hotel. The menu, a love letter to Indian cuisine, is packed
with fresh produce, pulses and pungent spices. Our favourite dish
is the fish koliwada – a whole fried tilapia with potatoes drenched
in a curry sauce. Dessert is not to be missed – the only hard part
is choosing from the line-up of Indian doughnuts, carrot pudding
and zesty sorbets.
And for a drink…
Everyone knows that a UK getaway demands a trip to an old-school
boozer and, thankfully, Suffolk is full of them. On a balmy
summer’s evening, skip to The Cross
Keys, for pitchers of Pimm’s.
Who to take with you?
Your main squeeze. If you’re prepared for it to be make or
break, that is… A recent survey revealed that a shocking 47 per
cent of couples split after their first trip away together. Swap
the airport chaos for a slower staycation, though, and you’ve got a
head start at making it into the 53 per cent.