AROUND THE AREA

 

Snape is a very popular visitor destination, much of this being due to the outstanding Snape Maltings, home of Aldeburgh Music and its world famous concert hall — though really it is in the lost village of Dunningworth, within the Parish of Tunstall!  The Maltings provides a range of shops and eateries and frequently hosts special events such as a Farmer's Market and the Aldeburgh Food Festival as well as an outstanding programme of concerts, musical and artistic events.  See their web sites for further information.

 

Snape is located alongside the river Alde which is used for sailing, canoeing and other water based activities.   It meanders past Aldeburgh, after which this part of the river was named, then past Orford where it originally entered the sea.  Now however, the mouth of the river is some some five miles further south due to shingle which has accumulated over hundreds of years.

 

After Orford, where the river is known as the Ore, it splits to form Havergate Island and is joined by its tributary, the Butley River, before reaching the sea at Shingle Street.  The river is tidal and navigable between the Maltings and the North Sea — tide tables are available here. Sailing barges can often be seen alongside Snape Quay — such as when Father Christmas arrives every year one Saturday in December (this year on the 14th).

 

The area offers some lovely walks with wonderful views; the most popular are those starting from the Maltings and heading across to Iken on the south side of the river, or along the north side of the river to Snape Warren.  For those looking for a longer stroll you can walk down to Aldeburgh along the Sailor's Path — visit our "What else to do" page for details of this and other walks.

 

For those who prefer cycling, the roads around Snape are generally reasonably quiet, at least if you select your route carefully; they are also flat (even though cycling is a way of discovering that places aren't quite as flat as you thought when you drove through them!).  The Suffolk Coastal Cycle Route, a circular signed route from Felixstowe to Dunwich on quiet roads along the coast, passes through Snape.  It loops inland via the market towns of Framlingham and Woodbridge.  The full route is 88 miles (142 km) long, ideal for weekend tours, but there are many opportunities for detours and short cuts to make day rides.  Much of the route lies within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  For off-road cycling Tunstall Forest, a couple of miles from Snape, offers a great 10-mile Viking trail as well as numerous walking options for people, dogs and horses.  

 

There are a number of attractive villages and towns in the area including the seaside resorts of Aldeburgh and Southwold, and the historic and castled towns of Orford and Framlingham, the latter important in Tudor times to several of Henry VIII's wives and daughters.

 

Scattered in between the towns are a number of other popular places such as picturesque Walberswick and Thorpeness with its Meare — a purpose built boating lake which makes a great day out.

Snape Maltings with Barbara Hepworth's
unfinished sculpture "The Family of Man"
Havergate Island
Father Christmas visits on a December Saturday
Framlingham Castle
Thorpeness Meare
 

 

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