Aldeburgh, a favourite sea side escape for artists, musicians and families yearning for those special holiday breaks of yesteryear, is a pretty Victorian coastal resort. The inspiration for much of Benjamin Britten's music and centre for his creation - The Aldeburgh Festival - the little town still plays host to concerts, film, theatre and poetry festivals.
In the heart of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Aldeburgh is an ideal location for bird watchers, walkers and of course sailors. The estuary, marshes and shingle banks are home to a wide variety of wildlife and there are sailing and yacht clubs at nearby Slaughden as well as the famous Aldeburgh and Thorpeness heathland golf courses just a few minutes from the town.
In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the great port of Dunwich dominated the East Coast. Its excellent harbour sheltered many ‘great ships’ and fishing boats. Aldeburgh, with no haven, was an insignificant fishing village. But as storm followed storm, the fortunes of Dunwich declined, while to the North of Aldeburgh a haven was opening up. By 1500, Aldeburgh was emerging as a port and the town became more prosperous.
Fishing and boat building form part of Aldeburgh's history and are still very much part of the town today. Pretty sailing boats dot the shingle shore line making many a painter and photographer reach for either their brush or camera. Bouys and nets complete the picture and from minute huts fishermen still sell their catch that they have just landed. Lapwing, snipe and godwit strut along the sea shore oblivious to the hoilday maker with their bucket and spade.