In tune with the landscape T he unspoilt east Suffolk coast - Aldeburgh, in particular - is a lovely and inviting part of England, ideal for a long weekend or even a short day visit. There’s so much to embrace here not least by tucking into a big bag of fish and chips sitting heathland which takes in the spacious and inviting wilderness of Dunwich Heath while the neighbouring coastal towns of Orford, Walberswick and Southwold are only a hop, skip and a jump away. Plus there’s the eerie Tony Cooper on the joys of Aldeburgh and Snape Maltings
figures as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Yehudi Menuhin, Sviatoslav Richter and Mstislav Rostropovich as well as young stars in the making such as Elisabeth Söderström, Murray Perahia and Julian Bream. Britten (whose centenary fell in 2013), Peter Pears (the composer’s lifelong companion) and Imogen Holst (whose father, Gustav, wrote The Planets ) are all buried in Aldeburgh’s churchyard along with Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, England’s first female doctor. There’s also a memorial in the church to the brave crew of the Aldeburgh lifeboat who perished in 1899. Close to Moot Hall (and the picture- postcard boating lake) is Jubilee Hall, which hosted the first performance of Britten’s AMidsummer Night’s Dream in June 1960. Since that historic occasion, the opera has travelled the world and has been seen in every major opera- house imaginable. However, during the early years of the festival, it was only churches and local community halls such as the Jubilee that were available for concerts. But it all changed rather dramatically in 1967 when Britten and Pears created a permanent home at Snape, situated about eight miles inland fromAldeburgh.
stillness of Shingle Street, an isolated and enduring place constantly being battered by the cruel sea, but still close to comfort and life - and not too far from an Adnams pub either! Notable landmarks in Aldeburgh include the Moot Hall which for 400 years was the meeting-place of the Town Council and the church of SS Peter and Paul, noted for its John Piper- designed window dedicated to the memory of the celebrated and world- renowned Lowestoft-born composer, Benjamin Britten, who founded the Aldeburgh Festival in 1948 with singer Peter Pears and writer Eric Crozier. In the early days of the festival, they brought together such world-renowned
on Aldeburgh’s prom wall looking towards the North Sea. Beware, though, as you need to look out for big fat seagulls swooping in on you hoping for a quick bite. Aldeburgh has a proud and enviable heritage, too. In the 16th century it was a thriving port with a shipbuilding industry while it became a fashionable seaside resort in the 19th century. You’ll still find the fishermen selling their morning catch from the shacks on the beach. Fresh as they come - take some home! The area offers miles and miles of unspoilt shingle coastline and
Symphony Orchestra will be performing at the Aldeburgh Festival in June
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