Tried and Tested: Shell Cottage

Welcome to the latest edition of the Best of Suffolk ‘Tried and Tested’ blog series, featuring Shell Cottage – a charming, period seaside holiday cottage ideal for families and centrally located on Aldeburgh’s High Street.

Tried and Tested Shell Cottage

In this edition, Shell Cottage was put to the test for a ‘mums and kids’ weekend by our Finance Manager Claire and her son Sam, and our Marketing Manager Abi and her son Monty.  Sleeping five over three bedrooms, Shell Cottage could not be more ideal for a family or friends getaway.

With two boys to entertain over the long weekend that love fresh air, they hit Aldeburgh beach, explored Orford Castle, played games in front of the fire, and enjoyed a spot of breakfast out!  All this from the ideally-located and fully-equipped Shell Cottage which they were delighted to call home for their fun-filled weekend.

Shell Cottage Aldeburgh

The central location of Shell Cottage in the quaint coastal town of Aldeburgh is one of its biggest attractions.  You can reach the beach and sea within a minute or two by foot, yet are positioned on the High Street with all the shops, cafés and restaurants you could want!

What’s Tried and Tested?

#TriedandTested is a long-running blog series that sees members of the Best of Suffolk team ‘try and test’ our stylish places to stay with their families and friends, and share their experience with our guests. We all live in, and love spending time exploring, Suffolk.  We also love sharing our top tips with our guests.  It means we can recommend anything from pubs near properties, to local walks, to nearby play areas based on our own extensive experience.

All the photos we take during our stays are captured on our mobile phones, without any professional photography equipment.  What you see, is what you get, and we have such confidence in our properties that we share all aspects of our stays with you.  After all, there’s nothing better than a personal recommendation when it comes to a holiday!

Let’s see how Claire, Abi and the boys got on when they ‘Tried and Tested’ Shell Cottage.

Shell Cottage, Aldeburgh

Shell Cottage Aleburgh

Located in the heart of Aldeburghs popular High Street, Shell Cottage is Ideal for those wishing to be close to the towns excellent shops, cafes and restaurants and of course, the beach!

Set over two floors, Shell Cottage has a large open plan living/dining room with wood-burning stove, a shower room, a kitchen and a lovely little patio on the ground floor.

Upstairs there’s a double bedroom, a twin bedroom, a single bedroom and a bathroom. The cottage is decorated throughout in light blues and beiges that create a restful environment.


Location, Location, Location!

Aldeburgh beach

The biggest selling point of Shell Cottage is the ideal location.  Aldeburgh is a wonderfully traditional seaside town on the Suffolk Coast with pastel-coloured 19th century villas lining the promenade and local fishermen selling their produce from their fishing huts on the pebble-strewn beach to the east.

Shell Cottage is positioned in the heart of Aldeburghs popular High Street, near to shops, cafés and restaurants.  Pop out for breakfast, lunch, tea or all three!  Nip out for those essentials to the Co-op which is within easy reach, or enjoy locally sourced artisan produce from Slate Cheese or Aldeburgh Market. Within a minute or two you can reach Aldeburgh’s pebbled beach on foot.  You’re also just a short stroll from Aldeburgh Cinema, an independent cinema showing a range of films.

Shell Cottage: First Impressions

Shell Cottage is a deceptively spacious three bedroom cottage located in a prime position in Aldeburgh. Nestled on the high street a short walk from a generous selection of shops and eateries, we found the property really easily.  The key safe was simple to use and we were greeted by a warm and cosy cottage.  We couldn’t wait to get in and explore!

Shell Cottage Aldeburgh

Welcome Pack Treats

When we arrived we found the cottage to be tastefully decorated in soft neutral tones for a relaxed feel with many beautiful original features.  Entering into the large open plan living/dining room we were greeted by a welcome pack with treats and information to enhance our stay.

Shell Cottage Welcome Pack

Cooking Up a Storm

We began our stay with a quick stop for provisions from the nearby Co-op supermarket for a first night dinner in.

Down the short hallway from the sitting room is the well equipped kitchen featuring oven, hob, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine and a multitude of cupboards and drawers providing a good selection of cutlery, crockery and ovenware.

Claire Kitchen Shell Cottage

Making full use of this we prepared a relaxed dinner of pizza and salad while the boys were busy choosing bedrooms upstairs.  A shower room is off the hallway featuring a large cubicle with rainfall shower head, basin and toilet. Opposite is a storage area under the stairs leading to the first floor.

Family Dining

The spacious dining table seats up to six and is generously proportioned for us to spread out and enjoy our meal with the wood burner lit in the background.

Dining Table Shell Cottage

Cosy Sitting Room

We retired to the comfortable lounge area featuring two large leather sofas perfect for curling up on, for an evening of games by the fire.  Also available is a flat screen TV, CD/DVD player and stereo dock.

Sitting Room Shell Cottage

Time for Bed!

Upstairs we found a king room, a twin, and a single bedroom, and a bathroom featuring bath, basin and toilet; all featuring lovely original latched doors.

Shell Cottage Double Bedroom

The king and twin are front aspect, with the single to the rear facing rooftops and the sound of the sea.  Sam and I shared the twin, Abi had the king and Monty enjoyed the sunken single room!

Shell Cottage Single Bedroom

Aldeburgh Beach

Following a relaxed start the next morning we took a short walk to the beach, passing Libardi’s Gelato & Coffee hut by the boating lake and turning south along the promenade to work up an appetite for our brunch.

Aldeburgh Beach

The boys absolutely loved racing up and down the beach, skimming stones, and climbing the tree!  The moody clouds didn’t matter as we wrapped up warm.

Aldeburgh Beach Sam Monty

Aldeburgh Café

After all that fresh air and exercise, there was only one thing for it….food!  We headed to Aldeburgh Cafe which is a 10-15 minute walk or a short drive from the High Street.

Aldeburgh Café

This café is a lesser-known hidden gem on the outskirts of town overlooking fields and marshland.  The cosy and welcoming café offers a wide range of delicious and varied breakfast and lunch options.  We went for the ‘build-your-own’ breakfast option, and each got to choose our favourite breakfast items, all served cooked to order.

Breakfast at the Aldeburgh Café

Home from Home

After fully re-fueling we returned to the cottage for a cup of tea and round two of games spread out on the lounge floor before venturing out in the car to the charming village of Orford.

Board Games at Shell Cottage


A quintessentially English fishing village on the bank of the River Ore, Orford has something to offer to everyone from walkers, sailors, cyclists, bird lovers, gastronomists, music and art lovers, those interested in history and food, or simply wanting to relax.

Orford Quay

The village is home to an eclectic mix of eateries with cosy country pubs serving local beer and great food; a riverside tea room; Ruth Watson’s Crown and Castle; the award winning Pump Street Bakery; The Butley Orford Oysterage providing fresh local seafood and an outstanding village shop.

Orford Quay

We took the short drive to Orford from Aldeburgh and parked up near the Quay. It’s well-known as a crabbing hotspot, and had it been slightly warmer we would have indulged in the traditional British pastime ourselves!

Orford Quay

Orford Castle

Orford Castle

Orford Castle is well worth a visit.  Built by Henry II in the 12th century and now owned and maintained by English Heritage, is now home to the Orford Museum.

Orford Castle

Orford Castle itself is an unique polygonal tower keep built by Henry II. Despite the outer wall being lost over time, the castle itself is remarkably intact where visitors can fully explore the basement rooms, lower and upper halls, side rooms and kitchens.  It also has a host of interactive features, such as audio tours, dressing up and models.

Orford Castle Monty Sam

We highly recommend the audio tour which had the boys engrossed in every room.

Top of Orford Castle

We enjoyed exploring all the way up to the roof and magnificent views across the town, coast and countryside.

Views of Orford

The Jolly Sailor, Orford

Jolly Sailors Orford

The afternoon was finished off in The Jolly Sailor, a charming traditional beamed pub close to the quay where local beers are on offer alongside the usual wines and spirits.  Sat by the fire it was wonderful to warm up after a chilly winter walk around Orford!

Family Friendly Aldeburgh Holiday Cottage

After all that exploring it was just a short drive back to the very comfortable family friendly Shell Cottage.  Kids and adults alike were comfortable, had plenty of room and every creature comfort we could have wanted.

Shell cottage fire

Two tired-out boys enjoyed a movie night on the sofa in front of the fire, after a delicious meal of fish and chips from Aldeburgh Fish and Chips, just around the corner.

Aldeburgh fish and Chips

If I Had More Time, I Would…

…Take a walk around Aldeburgh Marshes.

Aldeburgh Marshes

Once known as the Vale of Slaughden, Aldeburgh Marshes offer a different take on a coastal walk.  Head south down the High Street along the shingle track towards the yacht club and Martello Tower at Slaughden Quay, before turning inland towards the raised bank along which there is often a variety of bird life.  Go down the wooden steps at the bend in the river and across a meadow back towards the western side of town. Look out for samphire in season! This walk is approx 4 miles.

…Take a Fishers Gin Tour.

Fishers Gin Tour

Fishers Gin is the ‘spirit of the coast’ and brewed on Aldeburgh seafront.  Take one of their tours to find out about the botanicals sourced on the Suffolk coast, about their still called Watson and the distilling process.  Also have the unique opportunity to brew your own botanical ‘tea’, followed by a tasting of the finished product!

…Take a Ferry at Orford.

Butley Ferry

Be spoiled for choice with not one, but two ferries from Orford.  One from Orford goes across to Orford Island where you can discover some of Britain’s secret military history.  The beach there is popular with fishermen.  The other ferry from Orford goes to Butley – ideal for discovering more footpaths. The Butley Ferry dates back to the 16th century making it one of the oldest ferries in Great Britain.

The Verdict: Shell Cottage

Shell Cottage is an ideal home-from-home for any family visiting Aldeburgh.  It could not be more perfectly located, with pubs, restaurants, shops and the beach all such a short walk away.  Enjoy having everything on your doorstep for a hassle-free holiday, giving you more time to enjoy your well-deserved break.  The open-plan living and dining area has been designed with families in mind and creates a wonderful space that’s cosy in the winter.  The kitchen is so well-equipped you could happily rustle up all your meals at Shell Cottage, but with all those pubs, restaurants and cafés on your doorstep perhaps you won’t have to?!

The bedrooms are all very comfortable, and two bathrooms means there’s no drama getting a family of five ready for the days activities.

Why not take a look at Shell Cottage availability and prices today?