Reasons to visit Snape Maltings

PUBLISHED: 15:10 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:10 12 June 2017

Snape Maltings from the air

Snape Maltings from the air

Aldeburgh Music

Snape Maltings has charmed visitors for years - here’s why

Aldeburgh Music and Snape Concert Hall (photo: Philip Vile)Aldeburgh Music and Snape Concert Hall (photo: Philip Vile)

For those in the know, Snape Maltings has been a wonderful place to lose yourself for a day or two. For lovers of music and the arts it is the home of founder Benjamin Britten’s legacy, the beautiful setting for the world-famous Aldeburgh Festival and the site of some of the country’s most significant sculptures by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.

Alongside this hotbed of creativity has grown up a supporting network of independent galleries, cafes, shops, walks and cycle rides. For many years these two facets of Snape were separate, but a change of ownership in 2015, when Aldeburgh Music bought the whole site, has brought the whole enterprise under one umbrella, making it an even more complete destination.


Music is at the heart of Snape and a great creative campus has developed around Benjamin Britten’s vision; as well as the acclaimed festival which runs from June 9 until June 25, there are the Snape Proms and a calendar packed with performances by some of the world’s finest musicians. The campus is dedicated to bringing on talent, with initiatives like the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, musical residencies, the Open Space support network for emerging artists and the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme.


Britten Studio (photo: Philip Vile)Britten Studio (photo: Philip Vile)

Art has been a cornerstone at Snape since it opened and visitors can enjoy a huge spectrum of work, from the world-acclaimed sculptures to contemporary landscape paintings. There is a packed programme of exhibitions on show in the four galleries at Snape and a further two a few miles away in Aldeburgh.


The beautiful setting of Snape in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with the magnificent old Victorian industrial buildings standing in the coastal reedbeds of the River Alde estuary, offers opportunities for great walks and cycle rides, whatever the weather. The tidal estuary is rich in amazing wildlife, especially during the migration season.


You can quickly work up an appetite at Snape and when you do, you will be extremely well catered for. From excellent coffee and delicious pastries to fine dining and from farmers’ markets to the village pub there will be something that just hits the spot for you. And you can find a little treat or two to take home for later from the fabulous food hall.

The view from Aldeburgh Music (photo: Philip Vile)The view from Aldeburgh Music (photo: Philip Vile)


If a bit of retail therapy fits the bill you will adore Snape’s eclectic range of independent shops, offering a unique experience you won’t find on the High Street. Whether shopping for your home, your family or yourself there really is something for all tastes and purses and if it won’t fit in the car you can always get it online!


You can make more than a day of your visit by staying in Snape’s own accommodation, which ranges from a one-bedroomed cottage to a five-bedroomed house, sleeping up to ten people. You can even bring your dogs in some of the rooms.

Getting there

Snape is five miles from Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast, just off the A12 main road. It is also accessible by rail; the nearest train station is at Saxmundham. Parking at the site is free.

More information and opening times:

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