Now you have chosen Suffolk as your county of choice you just have to choose the location of your perfect holiday home.
Aldeburgh is a charming coastal town with a wonderful pebble beach and reputedly the best fish and chips in Suffolk. It is full of culture, has its own cinema and a host of boutique shops and art galleries.
Aldeburgh has a very rich and varied history dating back to Roman-Saxon times and was once the centre of a thriving fishing industry. During the reign of Henry VII Aldeburgh became an important centre of ship-building and this continued into the reign of Elizabeth I. The Pelican and the Greyhound, both ships of Frances Drake, were constructed in Aldeburgh. Whilst ship-building in Aldeburgh is no longer it’s major source of income the fishing industry is still going strong and visitors to the town can visit the huts on the beachfront to purchase the freshest fish and shellfish Suffolk can offer.
Aldeburgh has played host to many famous people over the years. Composer Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears lived and worked here from 1942. One of Britten’s most famous works, Peter Grimes, is based on the work of another Aldeburgh resident, the poet George Crabbe. In 1948 Britten founded the Aldeburgh Festival in Aldeburgh and several local Churches, it moved to Snape later when the malting houses were converted to the now world-renowned concert hall.
Probably the most famous female resident of Aldeburgh was Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. She was the first women to openly gain a medical qualification in Britain and a prominent leader of the Suffragist movement. In 1908 she became Mayor of Aldeburgh, the first woman in Britain to hold such a position. The critical care centre at Ipswich Hospital is named after her to recognise her achievements.
Take a stroll around Aldeburgh to see if you can spot the blue plaques commemorating Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Benjamin Britten and four others who contributed to the world of writing, film and women’s rights.
If you are looking for a village location, then the iconic Thorpeness is the place for you. Famous for its old-world charm, quirky buildings and scenic boating lake Thorpeness is a five-minute drive along the coast from Aldeburgh.
Thorpeness was originally known as Thorpe but following a flood in November 1910 it was reduced to a muddy field and so the landowner Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie decided to “keep it and build a holiday village” He renamed the village Thorpeness and building work started. The Country Club opened in 1912 and was originally called The Kursaal, the first properties in the village were leased shortly afterwards. Today the Country Club is owned by Thorpeness & Aldeburgh Hotels Ltd. and regularly hosts weddings and social events. The tennis courts are regularly busy during the Summer.
The Meare at the centre of the village was hand dug during the Winter of 1912 – 1932 and has a maximum depth of 2ft 6inches. It contains 64 acres of safe shallow water. The Meare became known as the home of Peter Pan with its’ islands containing Wendy’s House and the crocodile. The author of Peter Pan J.M Barrie was a friend of Mr Ogilvie and a regular visitor to the village and the Meare. The first Thorpeness Regatta took place on the waters of the Meare in August 1912 and continues today. The Meare is the only part of the village still owned by the Ogilvie family.
The House in the Clouds which dominates the village is 70ft high. Built as a water tower it was coverted to a fairytale house. It had a capacity of 50,000 gallons and was capable of pumping 1800 gallons of water a hour from a well in the re-erected Aldringham mill. Today the house is privately owned and is a magical place in which to stay.
Other beautiful Suffolk locations
From Thorpeness head a little deeper into the Suffolk countryside to discover our self-catering properties in located in the following locations………………
Ideally located just off the A12 just under a twenty minute drive from Aldeburgh the village of Marlesford is the ideal location to use as a base when travelling to explore all that Suffolk has to offer. It is located just a two mile drive from the village of Wickham Market which has a listed watermill, beautiful Church and convenient shops.
Saxmundham is a bustling market town located just a fifteen minute drive from Aldeburgh. It is home to a railway station which has a regular service to Ipswich, Lowestoft and London. Saxmundham has a wide variety of shops including beauticians, hairdressers, florists and a large Waitrose store.
Located just under a ten minute drive from Aldeburgh, Snape is home to the Snape Maltings concert hall where the Aldeburgh Festival is held annually. Snape Maltings is the perfect place from which to take a walk across the marshes, why not see if you can spot barn owls, hobbies and marsh harriers, all of which are regularly seen hunting above the marshes.
Knodishall is a quiet village located just a ten minute drive from Aldeburgh. Knodishall has a pub, the Butchers Arms which is pet friendly and the perfect place to relax and enjoy locally produced food.
Fressingfield is located in rural Suffolk, twelve mile east of Diss in Norfolk. It features three Churches and an Elizabethan Guildhall – now a restaurant. A vineyard is to be found in the centre of the village.
Located close to Saxmundham, Kelsale is known for its rolling clayland farms, deciduous woodlands, extensive hedgerow network and sunken lanes. A small quiet hamlet it is less than twenty minutes drive from Aldeburgh.
Sizewell is best known for it’s power stations, Sizewell A is currently in the process of being decommissioned but Sizewell B with it’s distinctive white dome is one of the county’s biggest employers. Sizewell beach offers visitors the chance to walk amongst dunes as well as alongside the sea.
First mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086, Aldringham was formally a market town. The oldest building in the village is the Parrot and Punchbowl pub which was heavily involved in smuggling in the two centuries after it opened. Aldringham is just a three minute drive from Thorpeness to where Aldringhams’ windmill was moved to in 1923.
Located just under a twenty minute drive from Aldeburgh, Middleton is a small village with just one pub owned by Southwold’s Adnams brewery. It offers easy access to the famous Minsmere reserve.