The bustling Aldeburgh high street is home to many independent shops and restaurants. Self catering in Aldeburgh couldn’t be easier with everything you need on your doorstep. We have a wide range of over 140 Best of Suffolk Aldeburgh cottages for your next holiday or short break, so read on to book your perfect accommodation today and enjoy a short break or holiday to this stunning coastal town!
Aldeburgh is a beautiful unspoilt seaside town, lying within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is home to a well-known beach, numerous independent shops, a cinema and a host of pubs and restaurants.
Best of Suffolk’s first holiday cottage was called Aldeburgh Cottage, so the town has always been close to our hearts.
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Top things to do in Aldeburgh:
- Visit the Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop – based on Aldeburgh High Street, you’ll probably see the queue before the shop itself! However, the wait is truly worth it and is a perfect accompaniment to your seaside holiday.
- Relax on the beach – Aldeburgh’s beach is very well known and popular with all the family. In the summer, the beach is the perfect place to spend long lazy days in the sunshine. In winter weather, Aldeburgh adopts a dramatic and moody but beautiful feel, perfect for blustery walks.
- Walk the dog – Although dogs are restricted on Aldeburgh beach May-September, there is a mile of gorgeous dog-friendly beach to the North of Aldeburgh. Freely wander this spectacular stretch of beach from the Wentworth Hotel to Thorpeness. After working up an appetite, stop at the Dolphin Inn in Thorpeness to rest and recharge.
- At the north end of the beach is The Scallop, a tribute to the composer Benjamin Britten, created by local artist Maggi Hambling. It is inscribed with the words “I hear those voices that will not be drowned” from Britten’s famous opera ‘Peter Grimes’. Visitors are encouraged to sit on the sculpture and watch the sea. Britten loved the view so much that he took a beach walk every afternoon.
- For foodies, Aldeburgh Market is definitely worth a visit. The deli offers an extensive choice of fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy products from local suppliers. There’s also an award-winning restaurant if you’d like someone else to take cooking duties.
- Take a look around the historic Jubilee Hall. Built in 1887, it offers a range of musical and dramatic performances and is home to the Aldeburgh Literary Festival in March every year.
There’s very little documented history pertaining to Aldeburgh before the time of Henry VIII, although there is some archaeological evidence from the time of the Romans and Saxons. The town remained a little known fishing village until around 1500 when the shifting coastline provided a sheltered cove that fast became popular with import/export and ship building. In fact, two of Sir Francis Drake’s famous ships, The Greyhound and the Golden Hind, were built in Aldeburgh.
Unfortunately, as the River Alde silted up, this stopped large ships berthing and the town’s status as a bustling port declined. It remained as a fishing town until the 19th century when it became a fashionable seaside resort. To this day, boats still fish from Aldeburgh’s shore and sell their daily catch from the iconic black beach huts.
Aldeburgh was the first British town to elect a female mayor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and whose sister, Millicent Fawcett, was a prominent suffragist and advocate for female education and equal rights.
The iconic composer Benjamin Britten was born in Suffolk and was inspired by the vast skies and moody seas of the Suffolk coastline. In 1947 he moved from Snape and made Aldeburgh his home. A number of aspects of his life can be seen around the town, the most interesting of which is The Red House, which was his home with partner and tenor Peter Pears for nearly twenty years.
It is now open for the public to explore their home. Here you can learn more about Britten’s music or simply relax and enjoy the tranquil setting surrounded by gorgeous flora and fauna in the garden. There are exhibitions, recitals, discovery sessions, study days and come and sing events that take place across the year as well as family-friendly activities and trails.
While touring in 1947, Pears suggested that they should start a festival of their own in the small Suffolk seaside town of Aldeburgh. The Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts was officially born a year later and is devoted mainly to classical music but also includes other arts.
Aldeburgh Festival was initially hosted in local halls and churches, but due its rapid growth, a larger venue was required. Snape Maltings Concert Hall was converted from a Victorian maltings into an 832-seat venue and opened in 1967 by the Queen and is now the permanent venue for this annual event.
From 1967 to 2015 Britten and Pears continued to reclaim more buildings on the site to establish their vision of a place for not only an international performance programme but also work with young artists, education and community engagement. At the same time, the Gooderham family were gradually creating an independent retail complex which they named Snape Maltings.
There is much more to discover at Snape Maltings than music; this renowned landmark also hosts other concerts, festivals, food events and art exhibitions. On site there is also a number of award-winning independent shops, offering everything from eclectic interiors to a wide range of boutique clothing. Snape Maltings is also host to monthly farmers’ markets, and the spectacular annual Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival, now one of the UK’s largest food festivals.
The Maltings themselves are set within an area of outstanding beauty popular with walkers, nature lovers and bird watchers. We offer a range of self-catering cottages located close to Snape Maltings, sleeping anything from 2 to 24 guests, so you can bring as many friends and family as you like!
The benefits of booking a Best of Suffolk cottage for your Aldeburgh Music stay include luxury standards at great prices, ideal locations, flexible lengths of stay, free wifi and housekeeping or cleaning services on request. (Please check property details to see exactly what each property offers).
More things to do in Aldebugh:
The High Street
Aldeburgh high street is an eclectic and wonderful mix of independent shops and familiar brands. Fashion enthusiasts can begin by browsing well-known clothing brands including FatFace, Jack Wills, Crew Clothing, and Joules. Following that, be sure to check out Collen & Clare for the best of timeless, easy to wear contemporary style from over 100 different brands. Finally, pay a visit to O&C Butcher – the 130 year old clothes store that has all you will need to kit yourself out for a weekend on the coast, selling brands including Barbour, Gant, Oui, Massai, Sebago and Gabor. Your pooch can even be treated to a new coat too!
Delightfully, there are also two bookshops in Aldeburgh! Firstly, Reed Books is a treasure trove of secondhand books ready to be explored. Furthermore, a large range of new books can be discovered in the equally charming independent Aldeburgh Book Shop.
The wonderfully historic Aldeburgh Cinema has been screening films since 1919 and is a truly integral part of the community. The cinema has a glorious atmosphere with the auditorium retaining a number of original features, including beautiful art deco lights. Watching a film here is a wonderful experience; you can even enjoy your favourite Adnams tipple, a good quality cup of coffee or tea, or some locally produced ice creams or snacks.
The Martello Tower
The Martello Tower is one of the largest and northernmost of 103 19th Century defensive towers built to resist a threatened Napoleonic invasion. Today, it has become a striking feature of the coastal landscape in Aldeburgh.
The South Lookout
The South Lookout is another feature very much part of Aldeburgh’s cultural significance. Aldeburgh Beach Lookout welcomes a new artist, poet, performer, musician or thinker each week as artist in residence. Each residency culminates in an exhibition of brand new work that’s always worth checking out.
Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival
The annual Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival is a spectacular event where over 100 food and drink producers from Suffolk come together. Delicious offerings include organic vegetables, sourdough bread, award winning beer and spirits from Adnams, cyder from Aspall and delicious street food. There are also two cookery demonstration stages hosting both local and well-renowned visiting chefs. This festival is a true celebration of Suffolk’s thriving food and drink scene!
Slate is a specialist cheese retailer and delicatessen with locations in Southwold and Aldeburgh. This shop is a treasure trove for cheese enthusiasts and foodies. You’ll find everything you need for the perfect cheeseboard from artisan crackers, crispbreads, honey, nuts, chutneys and preserves as well as authentic fresh pasta, antipasti and charcuterie.
Salter & King is a local butcher selling the most natural, wonderful free-range and organic meat from our loyal local farmers. They believe in a progressive approach to butchery, which often means using traditional and long-forgotten cutting and handling techniques, but it also means excellent service, interesting recipes and different or unusual cuts of meat. Stock up on their shop-specialities, including meat balls, traditional-breed beef burgers, wonderful pies, sausages (preservative-free to order) and unusual cuts and support a fabulous local business!
The Lighthouse is a staple in Aldeburgh, loved for its relaxed atmosphere. and Head Chef Guy Welsh celebrates local ingredients in every dish on their mouth-watering Á la carte menus and, the lunch & pre-cinema menu.
The Seafood & Grill restaurant at The Brudenell is the place to head for coastal sophistication. Enjoy coffee here on the spectacular terrace right on the beach or delicious dinner in a more formal setting.
Cragg Sister’s Tearoom is a delightful vintage café with a love of all things tea, which they serve in their gorgeous mis-match bone china. Delicious scones, sandwiches, and cakes are a given, with vegan and gluten free options too! If you’re lucky, you may be able to make it to one of their supper clubs which are always unique and interesting, sometimes offering entirely foraged food.
Self-catering cottages in Aldeburgh offer the perfect base from which to explore the town and surrounding areas. If you’d like to be close to the sea, we have a great selection of seaside cottages in some of the best locations, some with sea views. Alternatively, we have plenty of cottages near Aldeburgh in the heart of the beautiful Suffolk countryside, providing stunning views, country walks and the opportunity to see local wildlife. Many of our Aldeburgh holiday cottages are pet-friendly, so your four-legged friends can join the holiday!
Lots of our Aldeburgh cottages have additional facilities such as swimming pools, wi-fi, open fire, ground floor bedroom and bathroom and low occupancy discounts are possible. We have a number of luxury and unique holiday cottages, romantic retreats, barn conversions and historic Grade II listed holiday homes. Aldeburgh is also perfect for a romantic couples break and we have a number of high quality self-catering cottages that sleep 2 people.
The Best of Suffolk team are all local to the area, so if you need a little advice on where to go and things to do, we can help! We know the best places to eat and drink, fun things for children to do, options for older guests and even where your dog is welcome.
If you’re looking for weekend bolt hole or a longer stay to fully explore the area, then a Best of Suffolk holiday cottage is perfect for you.
Looking for something a little different?
We have a number of unique Aldeburgh coastal cottages, such as:
The Fish Store – as the name suggests, this cosy holiday home used to be the fish store for a successful fish shop on Aldeburgh High Street, above which is its sister property Meant To Be. The Fish Store has been beautifully renovated and is the perfect base for two people.
The Vintage House – if you’re a lover of vintage, this is the place for you! The house has all its original furniture from 1928, carefully restored and with added mod-cons and the usual Best of Suffolk creature comforts.
Moot Green House – you can’t get much closer to the beach with this beautiful Edwardian holiday home! Situated right on the seafront terrace, Moot Green House offers unrivalled sea views and a modern, relaxing atmosphere throughout. The entrance faces Aldeburgh’s Moot Hall, which dates back to around 1550 and now serves as the town’s museum. One of our best Aldeburgh coastal cottages.
Home Reach – a luxurious eco-sensitive holiday home, which provides wide-open views of meadows and the Alde estuary, Home Reach has a lovely nautical theme throughout. The House is upside down, with bedrooms downstairs, allowing for the spectacular views to be enjoyed from the first floor living space and deck.
Little Wissett – A super social holiday home on the edge of Aldeburgh, sleeping 8 people. Little Wissett is a spacious open plan holiday home, all on the ground level. The house is set in a tranquil part of Aldeburgh, but only a short walk from the town centre and beach.
Foxglove House and Marsh Harrier – On the outskirts of Aldeburgh, these two holiday homes sit approximately 100 yards from each other and offer accommodation for up to 20 people. Built in 2017, these self-catering properties offer views across the River Alde and space to socialise with a degree of privacy.
Magenta – the beach is literally your front garden at Magenta, located on Aldeburgh’s Crag Path. The Juliet balcony with French doors and bistro table with two chairs mean you can really make the most of this prime location. The attention to detail in every corner of this Aldeburgh holiday cottage stands out. Guests can enjoy the latest technology, including an iPad with Spotify access to a seemingly endless library of music to suit every taste – playable through the integrated sound system throughout the house. Magenta is a truly memorable destination.
Did you know you can reserve and hold a cottage for 24hrs for a small refundable fee? This gives you time to confirm with family and friends without committing to the full cost. Please contact us to find out more.
If you can’t find the booking dates you’re looking for, please contact us. We can often override the system and fit a booking to your needs.