A Winter Walk in Aldeburgh
I first visited Aldeburgh in Suffolk, England a few years ago when I attended the quite famous Poetry festival. It was a fantastic event and it takes place annually so if you have an interest in poetry then it’s well worth attending. You can read all the details at Poetry in Aldeburgh’s official website. You’ll be immersed in poetry for several days if you do but make time for a look around this beautiful town as well.
Recently, when we took a drive across to the East Coast of England I remembered how lovely Aldeburgh is. So, we packed a picnic and put Aldeburgh, Suffolk in the sat nav and off we went. Even on a rather grey winter’s day in January, it didn’t disappoint.
Soon, we parked just outside the town in the beachfront car park. It’s not free so don’t forget to buy your ticket at the machine but it is ideal as the starting point for an Aldeburgh walk. Of course, you can’t come to Aldeburgh without seeing the iconic scallop shell sculpture and it sits right opposite the park on the pebble beach.
The Scallop Shell Sculpture
This particularly beautiful scallop shell sculpture was designed by a local artist, Maggi Hambling as a tribute to a former local resident, the composer Benjamin Brittan. The sculpture is 4 metres high and if you look closely you’ll see that is actually two scallop shells interwoven. Also, notice the words, “I hear those voices that will not be drowned” which are from Britten’s opera Peter Grimes.
Aldeburgh Museum Moot Hall
Afterwards, it is a short walk along the beachfront path to the edge of town. Here you will see this old building, Moot Hall inside of which is also the Aldeburgh Museum. Moot Hall was built in the early 16th century and the museum showcases the town’s history since the Anglo Saxons.
Moot Hall: Practical Information
Closed in January
February and March: Weekends only from 1 pm until 4pm.
April to October: Every day from 1 pm until 4 pm.
Child (5 – 15) £1
Child (under 5) Free
Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) £7
Admission also includes unlimited visits for 12 months
Adjacent to Moot Hall is the local boating pond. Of course, it wasn’t very busy in January but I’m sure it is popular in the summer months. I enjoyed sailing small boats when I was young although mine often got stuck in the middle! Nearby you’ll also find a boules pitch so there are plenty of outdoor activities available here.
Snooks the Dog
Sat across from the boating pond, you can see a statue of Snooks the Dog. This bronze statue was erected in memory of a local GP and his much-loved dog. It has a rather colourful history since the original was stolen. A replica was then commissioned only for the original to turn up again. I’m not entirely sure but I think this is the replica.
RNLI Lifeboat Station
Men from Aldeburgh have manned the lifeboat since 1826 and it was moved to the town in 1851. In fact, the lifeboat is in regular service and was called out 7 times in 2019. You can visit the RNLI shop or take a peek through the glass-fronted boat shed.
Keep walking along the coastal path and you’ll get a glimpse of the picturesque streets of Aldeburgh. In the photo above you can see the pathway past the stage door of the theatre. Unquestionably, this town oozes charm.
Aldeburgh Beach Lookout
This fascinating building has a prime spot right on Aldeburgh Beach and I bet you get a fabulous view of the sea from the top floor. In fact, the Lookout is an artist’s studio and they have all kinds of events and exhibitions. They also take part in the poetry festival. What a fabulous setting for artists to work and showcase their talents.
Colourful Beachfront Houses
One of the things I love about Aldeburgh is the colour. Even on a cool winter’s day, I’m warmed by the splashes of colour while I walk around the town. The houses above face out to sea along the beachfront road but you can see coloured houses all over Aldeburgh, especially the High Street. It’s a very colourful place but in a tasteful way.
The Old Custom House
This quaint building on the High Street is actually a holiday cottage. It’s a listed building and thought to be one of the oldest buildings in the town. I love the unusual frontage. The front door appears to be on the upper level with high stone steps to reach it. I’ve never been inside but I’m fascinated by the layout. I’d love to know how it works on the inside. Originally the customs office was probably on the upper level with storage underneath.