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Aldeburgh (pronounced /ˈɔ:lbrə/ (ALL-bre)) is a coastal town in east Suffolk, England. It has a long pebble beach, fresh seafood, several curious landmarks and an interesting history of survival against being swept away by the North Sea.

Get in[edit]

By car

Aldeburgh is approximately 30 miles northeast of Ipswich.

By bus

Bus 64 and 65 each run half hourly services from Ipswich.

By train

The nearest railway station is Saxmundham, a 15 minute drive west of Aldeburgh. It sits on the line between Ipswich and Lowestoft, operated by Abellio Greater Anglia.

By plane

Aldeburgh is far too small to have its own airport. Even Ipswich, the nearest city, does not have a commercial airport. The nearest airports with regular scheduled flights are Norwich International Airport (IATA: NWI) 45 miles to the north. And London Stansted (IATA: STN) airport, a hub for several european low-cost airlines, 75 miles to the west.

Get around[edit]

With a distance of 2.5 km between the Scallop and the Martello Tower, Aldeburgh is small enough to walk around.


The Scallop
Moot Hall
Boating lake
Fort Green Mill and beach
Martello Tower

The following sights are ordered from north to south

  • The beach. stretching north past Thorpeness and south into Orford Ness, is almost exclusively shingle (pebbles), except for small tracts of rough sand between breakwaters.
  • The Scallop. is a 2003 stainless-steel sculpture dedicated to Benjamin Britten, who used to walk along the beach. The four-metre-tall piece is made of two interlocking broken scallop shells. It is meant to be enjoyed both visually and tactilely, and people are encouraged to sit on it and watch the sea.
  • Moot Hall. The 17th-century timber-framed Moot Hall was used for council meetings and now houses the local museum (£1 admission in July 2010) describing Aldeburgh's history.
  • RNLI station. The lifeboat station houses a RNLI houseboat which can be viewed from the outside by the public.
  • Fort Green Mill. The curious Fort Green Mill is a four-storey windmill converted to residential use.
  • Martello Tower. The unique quatrefoil Martello Tower is the largest and northernmost of 103 defensive towers built between 1808 and 1812 to resist a Napoleonic invasion. The Landmark Trust now runs it as holiday apartments. The Martello Tower is the only surviving building of the fishing village of Slaughden, which had been washed away by the North Sea by 1936.


  • Walk through and around the marshes along River Alde near the marina and Martello tower.
  • See the site and read the plaques describing the history of the nearby fishing village of Slaughden, which was washed away by the North Sea by 1936. Near the Martello Tower at Slaughden Quay are the barely visible remains of the fishing smack Ionia. It had become stuck in the treacherous mud of the River Alde, and was then used as a houseboat. In 1974 it was burnt, as it had become too unsafe.
  • Sail a model boat in the model boat pool.
  • In June, attend the Aldeburgh Festival at Snape Maltings.


Buy fresh locally-caught seafood from the fishing huts along the beach near the Moot Hall.


  • The Fish and Chip Shop226 High Street. described in The Times as "possibly the finest on the east coast".



  • Martello Tower. Holiday home run by the Landmark Trust, sleeping 4. £500 - £2000.
  • 1 The White Lion HotelMarket Cross Pl, Aldeburgh IP15 5BJ +44 1728 452720. Check-in: 14:30, check-out: 11:00. Seafront townhouse with stylish, modern rooms, a casual bar and brasserie, plus free hot breakfast. £145.


Go next[edit]

Visit Ipswich, or take a ferry to Orford Ness for marshland hikes and recent military history.

In June, attend the Aldeburgh Festival at Snape Maltings.

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