Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Aldeburgh, Summer 2014

Here's a truth for you: August in England should be spent in Suffolk.  Without a windswept walk on the pebbled beach at Aldeburgh, gazing across the gray waters of the North Sea, or a brilliantly crisp outing on the boat, sailing up the Alde to historic castles and favorite pubs, summer isn't complete.  Our stay in Suffolk last week didn't go quite as planned - in large part because of the uncertainty surrounding my bag, which we weren't told had disappeared until Jon and I returned to London a day early to collect it from the airport - but I'm so glad we snatched glorious moments here and there from amidst the chaos and frustration.

I needed some clothes besides those I'd flown over wearing, so Jon and his mother and I drove from their little village to Aldeburgh on Sunday for lunch and a quick shop.  The remnants of Hurricane Bertha were just clearing as we arrived and the afternoon unfolded beautifully.  I dawdled behind them on the main road in town, snapping photos of the houses while they debated the relative merits of one ice cream shop over the other and, after we'd picked up a dress and a few essentials for me, we headed to the beach.

Aldeburgh, pronounced AHL-borough, is Saxon and means "old fort," but excavations indicate that the site was settled as early as Roman times.  Due in part to the shelter provided by the shingle spit of Orford Ness that separated the sea from the River Alde, Aldeburgh was a leading port in the 16th century and Sir Francis Drake's Pelican was built nearby.  (The Pelican was renamed The Golden Hinde in the midst of its voyage around the globe; you can now see a replica of the ship in London.)  When the Alde silted up and was no longer able to accommodate larger ships, Aldeburgh survived as a fishing village until, in the 19th century, it became a popular seaside resort.  It's maintained its Edwardian feel since then, and the town's pretty cottages and pebbled beach are still a major draw for locals and visitors alike. 












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9 comments:

  1. what a gorgeous place! i love all the colors!! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  2. It looks so beautiful here. I've never explored this area of England before....

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  3. So, so pretty! That last picture is awesome. I am looking forward to more :) Sorry your bag was lost, though. Gah that sucks!

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  4. The house in the first picture is so pretty. I'm in love with all the aqua shades!!

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  5. What! Those houses are adorable!!!! Sucks your bag was lost. What a nightmare. That beach is pretty too. I haven't seen the ocean in two years - the great lakes are fab, but they aren't really a substitute!

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  6. Completely gorgeous. I love any British seaside town in the summer months. You just can't beat it.

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