The shingle spit of Orford Ness runs north to Aldeburgh, the town giving its name to the river rather than the reverse. Places like Doncaster (The Castle on the Don) and Rotherham (village on the Rother) take their name from the waterway running through them, but Aldeburgh means “Old Fort” so is independent of the River Alde (which as we’ve seen soon becomes the Ore anyway).
The origins of that fort are unclear, as no archeological work can reveal its history. We know that it was here in Tudor times, for this was a busy port where Sir Francis Drake had ships (including the Golden Hind) built. A must for a visitor interested in history such as myself you might think, and you’d be right but for one thing.
That shifting coastline once again.
The town, like some English Burano is colourful and quaint, but it’s very easy to see that it’s not quite all there.
Aldeburgh has plenty of attractions left, but with only limited time available I could only fully do justice to two. Aldeburgh Fish and Chips is supposedly one of the best in the UK (though I suspect the accolade may be self-awarded!) and I wasn’t disappointed, but on a slightly more cultural level I found the shingle spit rewarding as I walked in search of the Scallop, a large sculpture by Maggi Hambling that stands as tribute to Aldeburgh’s most notable former resident; Benjamin Britten.