Guide to Aldeburgh holiday cottages

Guide to Aldeburgh

Laura Kerslake 07 March 2023

Aldeburgh is perfect for the seasoned traveller who likes their beach holiday understated and cultured. With a long pebble beach, a seafront promenade lined with pastel-coloured houses, and a charming high street filled with smart stores, this area attracts visitors who adore its genteel and laid-back charm.   

Not only seaside and shingle, Aldeburgh also has a great selection of arts festivals throughout the year, mainly due to the influence of its famous composer son, Benjamin Britten, who started the trend with a classical festival in the 1940s. Added to that, a handful of excellent seafood restaurants, some friendly pubs, and a couple of delightful cafes will be sure to show visitors that Aldeburgh has so much more to offer than many typical seaside resorts.  

After a long stroll down Aldeburgh’s charming seafront, around the yacht club, and back, there is nothing better than to pay a visit to the famous fish and chip shop, frequently labelled the ‘best in the world’! People travel from far and wide to savour these culinary delights whilst sitting on the beach watching the tide slowly roll in.  

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Things to do in Aldeburgh 

From family fun to celebrating the town’s most famous son, Benjamin Britten, there’s plenty to do for everyone in Aldeburgh. From summer days on the beach to rainy days in the famous Aldeburgh Cinema, no matter when you visit this wonderful coastal town.   

The Red House  

Taken from the outside, this photo shows a gravel path leading between two white gates and around a tree to a grand looking red brick house.

You can’t visit Aldeburgh and not pay homage to its famous son, Benjamin Britten. Make sure you visit his former home and studio, The Red House. The home, which he shared with partner Peter Pears is open during the summer months. Nestled in a beautiful 5-acre garden, the farmhouse is home to their collections and archive, alongside a gallery space, museum shop, and outdoor café.  

The whole family will enjoy a trip to the Red House, with interactive exhibits, trails, and activities aimed at younger visitors.  

Opening hours: 11am–5pm Thursdays to Sundays from 30 March to 29 October

Price: Adults £10, under 16s free  

Aldeburgh Cinema  

A photograph of Aldeburgh cinema, a white building with wooden beams.

For over 100 years Aldeburgh Cinema has been entertaining residents and visitors to the town. This unique half-timbered movie theatre still has original features including Art Deco furniture. From larger releases to indie flicks, filmed art exhibitions, and theatre productions on the big screen, it’s a perfect way to spend some time whilst in Aldeburgh.  

Opening Hours: Performance dependent  

Price: Performance dependent  

Aldeburgh Treasure Trail  

A photo focusing on the Moot Hall. A red brick building with stone and wooden beams and a large chimney. It looks very old and weathered.

Families will love the Aldeburgh Treasure Trail, an excellent way to discover the area! A self-guided treasure hunt will lead you all around the town and offer fascinating insights into its history. Perfect for anyone aged 6 to 106, the loop trail should take around 2 hours to complete.  

Price: £9.99  

Places to eat and drink in Aldeburgh

The beautiful coastal town of Aldeburgh, Suffolk is all about good food made locally. Whether you’re looking to step out for a quick, hearty breakfast or want a sophisticated, sit-down dinner, Aldeburgh has something for every visitor.   

A portion of fish and chips with a fork in a cardboard tray, set upon a pebble beach with the sea in the background.

No trip to Aldeburgh would be complete without tasting some of the famous fish and chips. Aldeburgh is the king of fish and chips, boasting three amazing shops; The Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop, The Golden Galleon, and The Upper Deck. Each is slightly different with its own unique character, all with the same great taste with their freshly caught fish and locally grown potatoes. You can have them wrapped to enjoy at home or eat them the Aldeburgh way: sat on the sea wall watching the waves breaking against the pebbles. Either way, they’re delicious!  

The Lighthouse Aldeburgh  

A close up of a juicy looking steak with a few slices cut off it. It's placed on a wooden board with chips wrapped in newspaper and a vine of tomato. The whole board is sprinkled with salt.

Don’t miss The Lighthouse where fresh fish dishes and pan-fried scallops are popular choices; vegetarians needn’t worry as they offer a great selection of non-meat dishes too. As part of the landscape for over 25 years, locals and tourists flock to this popular spot.  

Food service hours: 12pm–3pm and 6pm–9.30pm daily  

The Mill Inn  

A photo of the Mill Inn pub. It's a whote building and there's a man sat outside enjoying the sun.

If you’re looking for hearty food washed down with a pint of local ale a visit to The Mill Inn is in order. Famous for its in-house American smoking oven, this popular Aldeburgh pub is a great place to try both traditional pub grub alongside specials such as King Rib Racks and Beef Brisket.  

Food Service Hours: Monday closed. Tuesday–Saturday 12pm–2pm and 6pm–8.30pm. Sunday 12pm–2pm.  

Aldeburgh beach life  

A close up of the sea lapping the sand and pebbles of Aldeburgh beach. There's also a beautiful blue sky with a few clouds.

Probably the most famous of Suffolk's beaches, Aldeburgh is a lovely shingle and sand beach which backs right onto the town. Whether you’re enjoying a winter walk along the shore with the pups, or a hot summer's day swimming and sunbathing, make sure you visit The Scallop, a sculpture that is a tribute to composer Benjamin Britten who walked almost daily along the stretch of coastline between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness.  

Dog friendly: Dog ban from 1 May to 30 September on the main town beach  

Lifeguard service: None 

Car parking: Car parks can be found at either end of the beach

Facilities: Public WCs are available at Aldeburgh Fort Green  

The best Aldeburgh walks

Aldeburgh to Thorpeness  

A view taken across a lake of the house in the clouds peaking through the trees. It's a very tall red and black water tower which is now a home.

This beautiful 6.5-mile circular walk takes you from Aldeburgh to the magical village of Thorpeness and back again. Enjoy the coastal path, and the famous sights you’ll see along the way: the Scallop, the Martello Tower, and the House in the Clouds. The journey back to Aldeburgh takes you along the old railway line.  

Length: 6.5 miles   

Difficulty: Easy   

Nearest parking: Fort Green Car Park, IP15 5DE

Access: Moderate - follows mostly footpaths, routes can be muddy in places, and there are short stretches along roads

The Sailors Path Loop – Aldeburgh to Snape Maltings 

A photo of a river winding through a field of reeds.

A longer walk – just over 12 miles – is to Snape Maltings. The Sailor’s Path was once used by stranded mariners who had to get to Aldeburgh from the River Alde and it takes you through woodland, marsh, and freshwater dykes, home to all sorts of wildlife including orange-beaked oystercatchers and cheeky otters.    

Length: 12.4 miles   

Difficulty: Moderate  

Nearest parking: Fort Green Car Park, IP15 5DE 

Access: Moderate - uneven terrain, gravel paths, and roads

Dog-friendly Aldeburgh

An image of a man and woman walking a medium sized dog on Aldeburgh beach. They're walking towards the scallop, a metal sculpture in the shape of a scallop.

Four-legged friends will love their Aldeburgh holiday. With our huge range of dog-friendly properties in the town, along with dog-friendly beaches close by and pubs and restaurants that welcome pups with open arms, Aldeburgh makes a perfect holiday spot for furry family members.  

Aldeburgh Beach is a lovely place to be able to walk your dog during the off-peak times of the year. Dogs are unfortunately not allowed on the main stretch of the beach from 1 May to 30 September, however, for the rest of the year, they are perfectly welcome so you and your pooch can enjoy quality time by the sea at any time of the day. Sizewell Beach is not far from Aldeburgh and allows dogs to roam on its sands all year round. This is perfect for people who come on holiday at peak times and want a good walk with their beloved family pet.  

For a well-deserved pint after exploring Aldeburgh, make sure you call into The White Hart, where dogs are welcomed with open arms and a doggy biscuit. For food and drinks in a warm and friendly atmosphere, take a trip to the Railway Inn, where dogs can join you while you eat and drink.  

Shopping in Aldeburgh

A photograph of Aldeburgh bookshop. A pink building with red framed windows and a large green awning. Books can be seen in the windows.

The town is centred around a Georgian high street which has seen very little change over the last century. With a brilliant selection of shops lining the streets, including popular stores such as Fat Face, Joules, Quba, and Crew Clothing, there are also some delightful little boutiques offering arts and crafts as well as those selling excellent local Suffolk produce, including Russell and Newnes, and Salter and King Craft Butchers.  

A favourite in the high street is the wonderful Aldeburgh Bookshop. Filled with a superb selection of all sorts of different genres, it is known as one of the best independent bookshops in the UK.  

Aldeburgh events and festivals  

Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival  

A photograph of three people being served food at a food truck by another two people.

Rated as one of the best in the UK, the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival brings together Suffolk’s best food and drink producers. From the Family Meadow to the Seafood Stage, there are cooking classes, demonstrations, and chances to sample and buy a myriad of tasty treats.  

Aldeburgh Festival  

A photograph of the Britten Concert Hall. It's a large red brick building with black accents.

If you are visiting in June, head to The Aldeburgh Festival, founded by Britten back in 1948. Hugely popular with both locals and visitors alike, this festival is an exquisite celebration of music, art, film and culture.  

Aldeburgh Carnival  

A photograph taken at Aldeburgh Carnival. It's a close up of a carnival float that looks like an old circus truck with bars. Inside there's a child dressed as a tiger, a strong man and a man holding a cut out elephant.

The award-winning Aldeburgh Carnival is thought to have been running for over 170 years so there’s no doubting its popularity! Held over three days in August, the carnival has a huge range of events to watch or participate in, from 10k races to live music, lollipop hunts to donkey rides on the beach, culminating in the Carnival Procession on Carnival Day. Perfect classic family fun!   

Where to stay  

A picture taken across the pebble beach at a row of houses in Aldeburgh. They are different shapes and sizes and are colourfully painted.

If you fancy visiting this holiday resort, why not do it from one of our coastal cottages? Head out to the beach from one of our family-friendly beach houses and return late in the afternoon for a tasty BBQ. Kids will delight in presenting their precious beach treasures to one another while parents indulge in a sundowner or two as the sausages sizzle on the grill.  

Or cheer up the winter months holed up in a cosy coastal cottage with a significant other and the dog, where days out walking the scenic coast and cosying up in front of a roaring fire are standard. Whatever you are looking for in Aldeburgh, peruse our collection and you’ll find it here. If you are looking for a place to stay for the carnival or food festival, or just want a few quiet days away, we'll have just the place for you.  

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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