A Coastal Town’s Mystique

The old and the new sit easily side by side in this beautiful town on the east coast of England. Established as a borough in 1529, Aldeburgh was formerly a Roman settlement, then a small fishing village before prospering when the coastline opened up and brought trade and shipbuilding to the town. The North Sea connects across time, lapping now, as then, along the undulating shingle shoreline. 

Nature’s Art – Large piece of driftwood upon the beach.

I was here with my family for a quick break during school half-term and we were blessed with unexpectedly warm sunny days. It was heavenly and rejuvenating to enjoy this blissful weather, to feel so alive. 

Aldeburgh is famed for its music, literature and arts and it is the birthplace of the composer Benjamin Britten. He founded the famous Snape Maltings, ‘- a place of energy and inspiration, one of the world’s leading centres of music’ –  which is located nearby but we couldn’t seem to tear ourselves away from the sea views! 

No fears, there was more than enough to enjoy along this unique coastline. The hotel was a few steps from the beach, and it was fun to slip-slide along the shingles as we explored the area! From the waters edge we had a tantalising view of  the picturesque houses in all their various colours. Two-thirds are now holiday homes for private or rental use which must have an impact on the town as a whole.

The Mill Inn

‘The Mill Inn’ is a local pub dating back centuries and its dark beams and low ceiling provided an atmospheric setting for lunch. I sat back and imagined the shenanigans of the smugglers who frequented this establishment!

The Front of the historic Moot Hall

Opposite the pub is the striking and historic Moot Hall, which now stands proudly near the beach but at the time of being built would have been a mile from the coast. This wonderfully striking 16th-century building was the town hall and amazingly this is still its main purpose, as well as housing the town’s museum.

Set to one side is a stone seat, perfect for reclining and enjoying the view. My husband noticed the rusty sign above; the alcove was a place for people in the stocks to take a break before activities resumed! Luckily I could enjoy the long distance views in the knowledge that a calm and peaceful day lay ahead of me! 

Me enjoying a break in the sun on the stock stone seat.

The unusual clock on the building is actually a sundial and the motto translates as ‘I count only the sunny hours.’ Sounds ideal to me! 

Two incredible landmarks flag the most northerly and southerly points of Aldeburgh; one a magnificent historic relic from the Napoleonic era (1799-1815), the other very much of the modern world.

The Martello Tower marks the southern point of Aldeburgh beach and is one of 18 towers built along the Suffolk and Essex coastline to keep Napoleon out. This is not the first such tower I’ve encountered from visits to the coast and they are always an awesome sight, sitting by themselves, standing forty feet high with thick walls and wide roofs. I am sure they would have been an impressive sight to any potential invader.

The Martello Tower

In sharp contrast is the gleaming white dome just north of Aldeburgh.  The dome is a nuclear reactor – named Sizewell after the village nearby – and is one of 15 nuclear reactors in the UK.  I am in equal measure awed and unnerved whilst looking at the power station!

In between are the coastline and its treacherous waters. Here the sea harbours miles of sandbanks which are often swept by fierce gales which present a real danger to shipping and particularly so during the town’s heyday of its busy seaways in the 19th and 20th-centuries.

 Therefore it’s no surprise a lifeboat station has existed on the shore for over 150 years and its existence still plays a major part in the lives of the inhabitants. It was awe-inspiring to learn about the brave deeds of the men and women (all volunteers) of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). In the early years the wooden boats were powered by sail and oars and in 1899 one such rescue ship was overturned by a giant wave soon after being pushed out to sea. Tragically seven out of the eighteen crew died as they were fatally trapped beneath the hull. 

The aft of Aldeburgh’s Lifeboat ‘Freddie Cooper’

The modern-day lifeboat is an All-Weather Lifeboat (ALB) named  ‘Freddie Cooper’. This remarkable boat has been launched out to emergency situations seventeen times in the past two years whilst the inflatable lifeboat has been on thirteen missions. The courage required cannot be underestimated as the weather is often appalling and the crew face massive waves, reaching an incredible and daunting ten metres (thirty foot). Since its inception the lifeboat crews have saved the lives of nearly 700 people!

No travel post would be complete without a mention of the replenishments along the way and we treated ourselves to several  culinary delights throughout our break. As well as the pub, we enjoyed the first ice-cream of the year outside. Resting against the edge of a small wooden boat we enjoyed the delicious and rather large small scoop of maple and walnut ice-cream. The evening meal at the hotel was sublime; a delectable feast and we savoured every morsel. For dessert I could not resist the Crêpes suzettes with Grand Marnier, oranges and vanilla ice-cream

There are of course always gulls by the seaside and Aldeburgh was no exception; their evocative call creating a rush of happiness within me. I felt at home! At exactly the place I was meant to be!

Black-headed Gull – winter plumage
Black-headed Gull – Summer Plumage

Beaches are a haven of discarded objects, and the nautical theme from the array of boats around us continued as we came across this huge anchor resting on the shingle; the red and golden hues of its rusty exterior blended in perfectly with the coloured pebbles.

Thank you very much for joining me on this brief tour of my visit to Aldeburgh and I hope you found it enticing and enthralling; as you can tell I was, and am, thoroughly smitten with the town and outstanding coast! I will be back!  

136 thoughts on “A Coastal Town’s Mystique

    1. Georgina, lovely to meet another fan of Aldeburgh – it is very much the same – idyllic and always a delight to visit! I come back much fitter after negotiating the pebbly beach! 😀

    1. Thank you so much and it was a new place to me but one I can’t wait to visit again. Reckon there is a lot I didn’t have a chance to see this time. I hope you can get there sometime!😀

    1. Inese, the afternoon light was incredible, and I felt so lucky it was perfect for taking photos! I did wonder how many pebbles are on the beach and they were attractive … lots of people out collecting them, including a young waiter from the restaurant. They were then creatively used as table numbers! 😀 Do you collect pebbles for art work? I have seen some of these and they are astonishing and intricate!

  1. I rather wish I’d stayed in Aldeburgh rather than Lowestoft when I was over that way for a writing week. Seems full of interest and intrigue, and with a fascinating history.

    1. Roy, although I’ve never been to Lowestoft I think I’d prefer Aldeburgh as a holiday place. However, it might just be too great and become a distraction from writing!😀 As it was we were not ready to go home at all after just a few days! It was wonderfully relaxing and there was so much yet to explore!

      I hope you had a successful week writing. Was it part of a course? What is Lowestoft like?

  2. wonderfully encouraging
    taking a holiday post, Annika!
    a beautiful place to be yourself.
    perhaps i’ll make it there someday.
    much sooner, though
    i will continue having
    a holiday 🙂

    1. David, there is something special about certain places where you can be just yourself and this was one such place! Heavenly and one I really wasn’t ready to leave so soon. I do hope you can visit there one day … so peaceful and perfect for your musical interest! Are you on holiday at the moment? I hope you’re having a wonderful and rejuvenating time! 😀

    1. Thank you so much, Alison and so happy you enjoyed the post! 😀 It does seem to be a bit of a hidden gem and I was astonished at its international reputation for music excellence! Hope you’re having a lovely start to the weekend!

    1. Janet, sometimes one has high expectations of a place and it doesn’t live up to those … as you can tell this was NOT the case with Aldeburgh. I’m delighted you liked the photos and post — really hope you have a chance to visit sometime! 😀

  3. I too wouldn’t be able to tear myself away from gazing at those lovely seaside views! Your capture of that golden light on the sand and sea is very peaceful. I suppose it’s nice to find out that the poor people subjected to the stocks did have breaks from their punishment, though I imagine it couldn’t have been very enjoyable.

    1. I totally agree with you … the respite from the stocks was a small mercy before the punishment resumed.

      As the rain and storms have resumed here in the UK I’m often drifting in my mind to those views from Aldeburgh … such serenity! Pure bliss!

  4. I’m breathing easier after reading your beautiful post Annika and having traveled virtually with you. The buildings are all so beautiful and your photos all tell a story. How wonderful! Thank you for transporting me to your seaside escape xx 💙💦

    1. Miriam, I love how we both wrote seaside posts … yours so beautiful and serene! Alas, the weather for us is still far too chilly for swimming!

      Aldeburgh is very special and the combination of history and the coastline makes this an idyllic location to holiday! Lovely you came along on this virtual outing and that your feel the photos each told a story – that’s exactly what I looked for in them! 😀

      Here’s to breathing easier and finding those zen moments and thoughts of gratitude in every day. hugs xx❤️

  5. I have come back to your posts several times and have placed Aldeburgh on my “to visit” places. I felt the wind and smelled the freshness of the sea. Many thanks for a post that had me coming back again and again…

    1. Wow! 😀 Rebecca, I’m honoured you enjoyed my post about Aldeburgh so much and have come back to it many times! Thank you so much! It is a very special place with a great mixture of culture, history and heavenly coastline! So glad you could feel the natural elements of the sea and wind … during the storms of the past few days I’ve often closed my eyes and imagined myself back there. I really hope you manage to visit one day … I remember it wasn’t that long ago you were in Cley! Happy Travels – both virtual and for real! 😀❤️

  6. Love these images, Annika! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Ahh, to see the landscape without snow must be divine—sorry, sarcasm. I just heard we’re supposed to get another mountain of snow this coming weekend. Sigh.

    Have a great week! Enjoy some sun and warm for me 😀

    1. Julie, I really feel for you! It’s now March and you’d think there would be some let up for you all! The very warm weather has gone now and been replaced by storms but it was heavenly to feel the warmth of the sun, to walk along the shore, listening to the waves. I felt completely rejuvenated! Spring will come your way soon!!

      Wishing you a brilliant week too … hoping the mountain of snow decides to fall elsewhere! Take care & keep warm, my friend. xx😀

  7. Aldeburgh looks like a perfect spot for a nice break with family! I am happy you were able to enjoy all its charms in such a beautiful weather. Thank you for taking us there!

    1. Helen, it is one of the most idyllic and charming coastal towns I’ve visited in England – so wonderfully serene, full of history and the views are amazing! I was glad to bring a tiny part of it here to my blog. Lovely to have you visiting as well! 😀

  8. Oh what a beautiful place this is, thank you for sharing it and its history with us Annika.. We have been blessed with some wonderful weather in February, I always love your travels and your perspectives .. The 16th Century buildings a bonus.. Not to mention the Sundial and you sunning yourself ..
    Hope your Sunday is a peaceful one.. Raining cats and dogs here at the moment with wind picking up..
    Take care Annika.. Love and well wishes ❤

    1. Sue, we were blessed with such beautiful weather for the trip (and thereafter!) However the current storms are making up for lost time! I hope your garden isn’t getting too battered and survives the weather.

      I’m so glad you enjoy my travel posts; I love writing them and it ensures that I pay closer attention to the places we visit. Aldeburgh has such a splendid combination of history and charm of a coast town, all within a few steps of each other! The sundial clock is wonderfully unique and it doesn’t look centuries old! I thought it was very considerate of the town to place the seat in a cosy alcove of the wall, perfect for watching the sea view … then realised the water would have been much further away! Perfect sun-trap! I hope you have a lovely week, Sue and that the sun soon comes out again for us. Love & hugs xx ❤️

      1. Thank you Annika… that was the week that was.. lol now the Sun a distant memory as those high winds and rains lash down.. Thankfully no damage here abouts, although some early daffodils have taken a bashing..
        I have been absorbed in some reading this week, while my painting is drying .. before I continue working on it.. Oils may be nice to work with, but as I am discovering, I much prefer my Acrylic paints.. 😀 Enjoy your week too Annika.. ❤ hugs

  9. “I count only the sunny hours” could be my motto. I’d never heard of a sundial like this – in England no less, known for its cloudy rainy days! 🤔 But perhaps we can take this saying metaphorically. We live our days as if each one is sunny, thus we count each minute as miraculous and marvelous. 😍 And what a marvelous time you had on this beach break.

    1. Pam, I’m loving your thoughts and I am totally with you on taking the motto metaphorically! 😀 It’s so easy in the rush of everyday life to forget the miraculous nature of our lives, and even more blessed if in good health! Here’s to sunny times in our hearts and soul! ❤️

      (And yep, I never have figured why sundials are so popular in the country, we have one in our local churchyard … and even on sunny days can’t quite figure the time!)

  10. What a lovely little place. I have to admit that England has always been of secondary interest to me in terms of travel destinations, although looking through your photos might change that. I love that old town hall and inn. Aren’t they incredible buildings? What they must have seen in their time boggles the mind. And they look still so sturdy and steadfast today. Did you peek inside?

    1. Amanda, England, as with all countries, is full of variety and its history and old buildings are incredible. When visiting them you can sense this history, imagine the happenings of centuries before. Unfortunately the Moot Hall wasn’t open as it was too early in the season but we went into the pub and loved it. So cosy and snug, lots of low dark beams and very atmospheric…I took lots of photos! I agree, they look and must be very sturdy to survive so long – and will no doubt still be here in another few hundred years (as long as the land hasn’t eroded away!)

  11. What a wonderful getaway for you. My hubby was the coxswain of a lifeboat on the west coast of Canada. for a number of years. LOved all your pictures and what fabulous weather!

    1. Wow! Your know a lot more than me what is involved of the crew and I am in awe of your husband. Are they all volunteers in Canada as they are here in the UK? Oh, we had a fabulous healing break and were blessed with the weather … back to normal gales & rain this weekend! It’s warm and snug inside so don’t mind too much. Happy Sunday, Darlene!😀

  12. It’s like a step back in time, isn’t it? 🙂 🙂 The light looks glorious in your shots, Annika! Such a rich gold! Thanks so much for taking me along. 🙂

    1. Jo, it’s lovely to have you along … I’m so used to following you around on your walks! 😀 The light was astonishing and so ‘unenglish’ that we felt we’d travelled abroad … especially surrounded by so much history! Happy Sunday! 😀

    1. Andrea, I was lucky with the light and over the moon they came out so well on the photos … it was one of those breaks where everything was perfect! Our intentions of exploring further afield evaporated when we found so much along the coastline!

  13. What a fabulous post, Annika! Every photo is exquisite, down to the tiny gull. I LOVE Benjamin Britten, and had no idea he was from this town. Thank you for a lovely virtual tour with words and photos. 😍

    1. Jennie, I’m completely the opposite … I knew Britten was from the town but know barely anything of his music!I should rectify this! His passion for the arts is inspiring and shows the influence of one man! I’m so happy you enjoyed the virtual tours and photos … I love taking pictures of birds and the gulls were thankfully very accommodating! 😀

      1. Annika, our daughter sang in a children’s choral group, and they sang many of Britten’s songs. Otherwise I may not have known him. You have a remarkable talent for photography, I just love your posts. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Natalie and lovely to have you along on the tour! The mixture of landscape and history makes a compelling combination … and this is a place I was just not ready to leave. Wishing you a lovely Sunday! 😀

  14. Thank you for sharing your trip and taking me to a new place with your vivid description of the coastal town, so relaxing and rejuvenating! Those are beautiful shots, I love the one with golden colors all around and the sea gulls seem to be posing for you! 🙂 Stay blessed Annika and have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Balroop, I couldn’t believe how accommodating the gulls were … they barely moved for fifteen minutes and put up well with the photo shoot! 😀 The colours were more of the Mediterranean Riviera … so much so we thought we were abroad at one stage! I’m so happy you enjoyed reading about the trip and it was a heavenly break. Hope all is well with you and you’re having a special weekend! Back to gales here … normality resumes for England! 😀

    1. Jacqui, I imagine in the pre-publication ‘mayhem’ you could do with some calm and peace! It was interesting to see how relaxed everyone seemed, strolling peacefully, children playing on the beach, picnics by the shore! Heavenly and a trip where time slowed as we enjoyed every minute! Life should be more like that, I feel! Hope all is going well in the countdown to the release of your latest book.

  15. If I can’t be there, the photos and your words are the next best thing. Thanks for sharing your trip. It looks like a great place to visit, and I’m glad you had such a wonderful time.

    1. Ahh…that is so kind of you, Staci! 😀 Virtual travel has a lot of benefits and so glad you enjoyed the words and photos! It is a unique town with so much to offer … and we had a fabulous break … and could easily have stayed for much longer!😀

  16. Sounds like the perfect spring tonic Annika. Its a shame that so many of the homes are not lived in permanently. Moot Hall is quite a stunner. Imagine it surviving so many periods in history. And crepes suzette with ice cream… Bliss!

    1. Brigid, what surprised me about the Moot Hall is that it looks like it was built just a few years ago! 😀 In perfect condition and standing pride of place along the coastline. Even more amazing to know it is still used for its original purpose … alas the museum part was closed so early in the season.

      The break really was the perfect tonic after the long winter, and we were blessed with such beautiful weather (particularly as gales have returned here with ferocity!) The crepes were sublime … the restaurant had one of those dessert menus were you wondered would it be permissible to order the three courses from the sweet selections?! Happy Sunday! 😀

  17. I am so pleased you enjoyed your half-term break in Aldeburgh, Annika. We love visiting the town for lunch or just a walk along the shore. You certainly look relaxed sitting on the stone seat! I am glad we don’t subject people to sitting in the stocks anymore – what an awful punishment for mainly very trivial crimes.
    I hope your son enjoyed his seaside holiday and is refreshed and ready for all his revision and exams. Good luck to him! xxxx

    1. Clare, how lucky you are to be able to pop up to visit for just lunch or the day! 😀 Aldeburgh is idyllic and has such a peaceful and serene atmosphere. Oh, I imagine this would have been very different in the days of the stocks! Definitely a horrid punishment but I was surprised that they had a seat for the person to take a break now and then … in the middle of the awful some sign of kindness? Thank you so much for your good wishes to my son … in the midst of intense revision for non-stop mocks last week he had a wonderful half-term break! Easter will be spent in Sweden … and we’re taking all his books with us – somehow! Can’t believe how quickly the A-levels are upon us (it does feel like us – I’m the support crew all the way!)

      Wishing you and Richard a lovely week. 😀 xx

        1. Absolutely, Clare! 😀 Last week my son applied for his accommodation at university and for the first time I saw the reality of the upcoming move from home strike him! Poor lad looked rather pale and wan for a while!

  18. This was such an enjoyable visit along the coast with you. Loved the photos and descriptions. So much to see and do. Another place on my bucket list. Have you read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens? I could hardly put it down. A choir member in a book club said she had just finished it. A definite must-read novel. Thank you for bringing me such an interesting place to visit via your blog post. Bravo!

    1. Mary Ann, a pleasure to have you along on this virtual tour of Aldeburgh! 😀 I’m delighted you enjoyed the descriptions and photos – as always there is so much I want to say and show but need to try to be concise. I do hope you have a chance to visit, especially since it is so renowned for music and choral work – ideal for you!😀 Oh, Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens sounds amazing and is already on my list – thank you so much for recommending it. Hope you’re having a lovely start to the week and that Spring soon comes your way! xx

      1. Annika, you and your list of books to read! Amazing that you already have Where the Crawdads Sing on that list. Delia Owens crafts her novel in such a fashion that it is difficult to put it down once you commence reading it. We have patches of sun interspersed with snow so it’s safe to say that winter is not over. I have probably asked you before but I’ll inquire again: do you sing? Thanks for being patient if we have had this conversation already. My Chorale group will be hiring a new conductor for the next season after contract talks broke down. And one more question: have you been to Finland? Helsinki to be precise? If so, curious to hear your thoughts. Contemplating a trip there this summer perhaps. Happy spring to you as we still wait and watch.. 🙂

        1. How exciting that you may be going to Helsinki! I’ve never been to Finland but I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time and hope you can organise something. Oh dear, my singing is not great, I fear … although I was in a choir at school. Some of my cousins have extraordinary voices and could sing professionally but only do so in church. Sunny and Spring-like again this morning … it’s heavenly and makes one wake with joy! 😀❤️

          1. Those wonderful feelings of waking to spring-like weather. One day that will happen here. There is a winter storm watch with heavy snow predicted for the next three days. Singing in a choir is a wonderful ministry to have too. Trying to get my husband to pinpoint days for trips here and there is difficult. Soon. Finland has long been on my bucket list.

  19. Really beautiful place.

    You mention that Moot Hall was a mile from the coast in the 1500s. The Earth’s waters have been “intruding” like that all over the planet for who knows how many years. It’s not just a recent phenomenon.

    Have a fine weekend, Annika.


    1. Absolutely, Neil and it really reminds us how impotent we are in the face of nature taking its course. I imagine in its heyday this was the centre of Aldeburgh, which is nowadays set slightly further back. I’ve also travelled to places inland where there are rock carvings of boats, fishing etc and discovered that the sea has receded twenty miles from the location during the Bronze Age.

      Hope you’re having a great start to the week, Neil!

    1. Bette, a delight to share here … it was a perfect Spring tonic and our good intentions to travel further afield evaporated as soon as we saw the sea views and the history along the coast! Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday! 😀

  20. Oh how lovely. I so love historical towns, and this one looks homey and quaint. Don’t you just love to imagine life there in the 16th century? The weather looked magnificent and leant to the rustic colors in those photos. We have very few towns as old here. When we lived in Florida, we used to take bi-yearly trips to St. Augustine, which was a three-hour drive. It was the oldest town in America, almost as old as your Aldeburgh. Ponce De Leon first landed there, and then the town was tossed back and forth between owners, Spain and England. A giant 17th century fort sits smack dab in the middle of the town, Castillo de San Marcos. I mentioned it in a post a few years ago just before we moved back to Chicago.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to go on about St Augustine. Thank you for taking us along with you on your trip to Aldeburgh. I really enjoyed visiting through your photos.

    1. Lori, I’m so happy you mentioned St. Augustine!! 😀I loved the town when I was there two years ago … wonderfully striking and so different from the other towns I’d seen in Florida. I was so taken with the architecture and history – and the shops and restaurants! Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I’ll pop over and read your post about the town, thank you for putting in the link!

      These old towns carry so much history in their very existence, the buildings oozing with past memories, just out of our ability to sense them but so close. I definitely try to imagine what it was like then, so many centuries ago. Particularly sitting in the pub, wondering about the visitors from so long ago. We were blessed with beautify warm weather and with the afternoon sun the rustic colours suddenly appeared! Heavenly!

      So happy to have you along on this trip, Lori … and I’m sure if you visited it for real you’d love the town!😀

          1. I love your post about St. Augustine. All those streets I walked a dozen times made me wish I was there again. We never took a trolley. We parked and walked everywhere. Of course, we were younger then, too. 😉

            1. So glad you enjoyed that post. The trolley is a fun guide for tourist to quickly orientate oneself with the town and its attractions. I loved learning the history behind certain houses including the brief visit to one by Martin Luther King.

              1. Oh, I forgot to mention Fort Mantanzas. It’s off the intercoastal in St. Augustine. It was a fort built around the same time as Castillo de San Marcos. Did you go there? Fort Mantanzas was fun because you had to take a boat to get there and it had levels to climb a ladder to the top. When I went years ago it was free, even the boat ride. I don’t know if it’s still free.

    1. Robbie, thank you so much!😀 I do enjoy writing these ‘travel articles’ and it ensures I pay more attention than usual to my surroundings! We were blessed with unusually temperate weather and it was wonderful to snap away with my camera! I do hope you have a chance to visit sometime – are you coming to the UK soon? I remember you writing something about this at some stage.

      1. Hi Annika, we are going to Scotland this year and are flying via Amsterdam and not London, so no, we aren’t visiting the UK this year. We were looking at moving permanently but Brexit has put a bit of a spanner in the works.

        1. Oh, I’m sorry to hear the permanent move is not happening/been delayed – oh, it’s a nightmare with Brexit in the country and got to the stage where people don’t even mention it anymore! I have friends who have been trying to sell their homes for two years now but the market has collapsed and no one is moving until they see what happens. big big sigh.

          However, Scotland is amazing and I wish you all a fantastic time there!! My son and his friends are flying to Edinburgh for the weekend soon and as it’s a town I loved as a student I’ve told him all the best places to visit. Somehow he was’t too impressed with the mention of the National Art Gallery!😀

  21. I absolutely love coastal towns, although the US doesn’t have as many wonderful old ones as the rest of the world. I love the smell of salt air and the sound of the waves. Now I have wanderlust and there is no where for me to go. Love this post, thank you for sharing!

    1. Mackay, the sea seems to have drawn people to it since the beginning of time and the sound of the waves is healing, hypnotic. As for the air, the fresh salty tangy air is so refreshing – I stood for ages by the waters edge, listening, inhaling, feeling the air, not wanting to leave! Aldeburgh is a beautiful and unique coastal town and another here in England which I love is Whitby further up on the east coast. This is famous for its medieval abbey, beautiful harbour, as well as being the location for the Bram Stoker’s infamous Dracula. I do hope you find a way to travel soon and satisfy your wanderlust! 😀

  22. Sounds like a delightful place, Annika, and even more important, it sounds like you had a delightful time. Found the life-saving section particularly interesting since that’s what our son Tony does for the Coast Guard, except he flies a helicopter. –Curt

    1. Absolutely, Curt … I hadn’t realised how run down we were all feeling – it’s been a draining winter. We all brightened up considerably and had a wonderful break.

      Wow! Kudos to your son working for the Coast Guard – everyone in this job has my full respect. And a helicopter pilot to boot! Have you ever gone out with him? Can you fly one? It was heart-breaking reading about the losses of life at sea, then equally heart-warming to learn about the incredible rescues. At least the lifeboats of today are built for the task at hand and look robust and as safe as possible.

      1. To get to fly with Tony in his Coast Guard role, I would have to take a boat out into the water and sink it, Annika. 🙂 But I did fly with him when he was flying tourists over the Grand Canyon between the marines and the coast guard. And no, I can’t even imagine flying a helicopter. I do fly in my dreams on occasion however, sans helicopter or any other flying machine…

        1. I’ve always thought is must be amazing to fly over the Grand Canyon…and even more so when the pilot is your son!!😀 You had me in stitches with your first sentence …I wouldn’t recommend that at all!

  23. An interesting and quaint place you’ve taken us to, Annika! So very charming from your lovely photos. I really enjoyed this trip and thank you for sharing. Glad you had fine weather too! 😃 💖

    1. Iris, lovely to have you along on the trip! 😀 Quaint is the perfect word to describe Aldeburgh and I was fascinated by the history all around us! So glad you enjoyed the photos … at times like this I bring along my camera and happily drift away taking photos! Oh, the weather was a blessing and we’ve been so lucky with many days of summer warmth – a real tonic! Warmest wishes to you! xx

    1. Jan, it’s a joy to share my wonderful break and I was astonished myself by the history of the town … incorporated perfectly into the modern aspects of the town! As for the seat it is in the perfect location, south facing with views of the sea and protected from the sun! Perfect for visitors – I hope you have a chance to visit for yourself some day.😀

  24. That looks like a lovely place to holiday and to welcome some spring weather, Annika. I love the old buildings and to know that they’re still used and loved is amazing – the US doesn’t have quite that long a history and has very few structures going back more than two hundred years. Thanks for the tour of the town and for sharing your fun. ❤

    1. Diana, it was the perfect start to the school holidays, and by the middle of the week the temperature was up to a record-breaking 70 degrees Fahrenheit! Astonishing and I even got a head start on my tan!😀 It is wonderful how many very old buildings are in the UK, often in excellent condition … the pub still used for its original purpose and the Moot Hall must be the most unusual town hall in the country! Living here we take the historic buildings for granted a bit, with buildings dating from 1600 & 1700 not that uncommon – reading your comment I realise I should appreciate them even more. As always it’s a delight to share about my trip here and it let’s me relive the moments many times over! Have a lovely rest of the day and enjoy your Mini-Wri-Mo next month! 😀

        1. You’ll be spoilt for choice with both these – so many in the UK alone! Hope you have a chance to see them soon. 😀 ps. quite a bit cooler and cloudier today … grr! It was amazing to gardening / lunching outside in February but fear it was just a blip!

  25. Khaya Ronkainen

    Oh, Annika! I do love your travel tales. The town looks laid-back and charming. What I would give right now for a break in the sun. Lovely images! And good to have you back. ❤

    1. Khaya, we have had (until today) such incredible warm sunny days (over 21 degrees centigrade) and it has been wonderful, rejuvenating. I hope the sun comes your way soon! The time by the coast was so peaceful and healing … sometimes one needs a break away! The buildings are idyllic, and so many were being readied for the holiday season! Hope all is well with you and congratulations again on your latest chapbook release! xx

    1. Mae, that’s exactly why Aldeburgh is so special, lots of history coupled with a wonderful beach and superb cuisine! Yep, it was most definitely a very special trip – and I can’t wait to return! What coastal village are near you or that you’ve visited?

      1. I live close to the eastern seaboard of the US (it’s about four hours away). I’ve been to a lot of touristy beach towns, but have also driven through small villages on the way there. And my husband and I have headed further north to the boat harbors off Massachusetts. In September we’re going to Maine and hope to visit a number of their coastal villages.

        I spent a good deal of my younger days (decades) on a boat, bay fishing. I love coastal settings!

  26. What a charming town with such an interesting history. Romans, smugglers, sailors, a famous composer, fishermen, and Napoleon – seems everyone wanted that view of the North Sea. The buildings are lovely, constructed with nothing extra but still using a decorative style in the arrangement of bricks and timber and paint colors. I suspect it doesn’t bode well for the Mill Inn that it’s now so close to the sea, the sea having encroached on the land. I’ve never before heard of Aldeburgh so thank you for this fun visit with you.

    1. Haha! 😀 Exactly, Sharon – Aldeburgh has it all! I knew about Britten before we left but not much else, learning about the smugglers was the icing on the cake! I can’t help but smile at your comment that everyone wanted a view of the North Sea!! 😀 So true – luckily these days it’s a lot calmer all round, with merry visitors slowly winding their way along, picnicking on the shore!

      Many areas of the east coast of England are seriously affected by sea erosion and some smaller hamlets have been left to tumble into the sea. The Mill Inn is safe for now but the sea is not far away and only separated by the shingle embankment and a road.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment and a delight to have you along for the visit! 😀

  27. Many thanks for sharing this with us. I’ve been to the coast both north and south of there but have never been to Aldeburgh, so it was good to see what I’ve missed. I was brought up in Kent, where we also had shingle beaches and Martello Towers, so I can relate to what you experienced!

    1. Clive, I’m glad to have filled in the gap for you! 😀 It is well-worth a visit as you can tell … and I’m wondering where you went to north and south of here? Southwold for the latter? I’ve never been to the Kent coast and didn’t realise the Martello Towers were there as well but it makes good sense. Reading up about the towers following your comment I’ve just found out that this one in Aldeburgh is actually a holiday let!! For rental up to four people! That would make for an amazing stay.

      1. It certainly sounds worth the journey. Yes, in my uni days – I was at UEA in Norwich – we ventured as far as Southwold (home of Adnams so it was a kind of pilgrimage!). When our girls were little we had a fixed site caravan at Walton on the Naze (but not on the Martello site!) and ventured up to Manningtree and Harwich. And with trips to Woodbridge School and Ipswich for our younger one to play tennis it seems we skirted all around Aldeburgh. I’m not sure if it is still used, but there was a Martello at St Osyth that was a museum. I remember a school trip to one of the Folkestone ones too. I guess even the most spartan of surroundings can be converted into holiday lets!

    1. Mary, the crepes were divine … one of those occasions you have to close your eyes to fully savour the cascade of flavours! I even had my first Gin Cocktail with it which was very tasty and glamorous in the huge round glass! It’s been lovely to share a bit about Aldeburgh … learning a lot along the way!

  28. What a beautiful place! This would be a wonderful setting for a book, don’t you think? Thank you for taking me to my happy place, Annika. The ocean has always had a calming effect on my mind and body. I’d be imagining those smugglers shenanigans, too! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip and stunning photos with us. ❤

    1. Hehe … just what I was thinking when I was there, Jill! 😀 A perfect setting for a book and amidst the peace of the gentle waves and beautiful landscape my mind did start to drift… particularly when learning about the smugglers. I did find out about one author who has written about his time at Aldeburgh in the 1950s as he became drawn into Britten’s circle and involved in the festival. The book is ‘The Time by the Sea’ by Ronald Blythe.

      I am so glad you enjoyed the post and photos, Jill and hope that you will soon find yourself by the ocean and its harmonious healing energy. hugs xx

  29. Annika, you are a great photographer! I really enjoyed going on this visit with you. Coastal towns are so fun to explore. I grew up around water and always feel calm near the sea. I love that clock, too, although I doubt it would catch on at my house since my kids prefer the digital version. Hope you are well! 🙂

    1. Barbara, thank you so much and lovely to have you along! 😀 I do enjoy taking photos and as always it was a matter of having to choose just a few from so many! It isn’t until I return to the sea after being away for a long-time that I realise how much I miss it, how much I miss its vital, soothing and healing energy! You must feel so even more since you grew up by the coast. Do you still live near to the ocean? Or have a chance to visit often? Oh yes, the clock is fun but as with all sundials are often useless … particularly as there are so many cloudy days. We were very lucky on this visit! Have a great rest of the day! 🌻

      1. Thank you so much, Kavita … I was lucky to come across these on the beach and perfect to photograph and a beautiful combination with their colouring and the red afternoon sunlight!

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