Route details, maps, pubs, features, local history and folklore for a wide variety of walks focusing primarily on Norfolk and Suffolk

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Sun, Sea, Beer and Chips

The White Hart Aldeburgh

A 13 mile circular walk from Leiston to the White Hart Beer Festival in Aldeburgh

Easter 2011 was a really warm and sunny occasion and what better way to spend a Good Friday and Easter Monday than a casual walk through to Aldeburgh where The White Hart pub was holding its 9th Annual Beer Festival. Over 30 ales from across the country plus a selection of real cider, this really had to have something for everyone.

Leiston to Aldeburgh Walk - Essential Information

Walk Statistics:

Start point
LeistonView in OS Map | View in Google Map
End Point
AldeburghView in OS Map | View in Google Map
Total Walk distance
13 miles
Walk difficulty

Walk Data

Date of Walk
Walk Time
12:00 to 18:30
Griffmonster, Kat
Weather Conditions
Bright sunshine, blue skies and very warm

Walk Notes

I have to admit this is the first time I have attended the White Harts beer festival but it certainly didn't disappoint. I was well impressed by the broad selection of ales, some of which I had never heard of before. Tabatha the Knackered had to be the best named beer of the festival, a spicy 6% ale and worth drinking just for the name! Below is a list of the ales that were on offer, which is an impressive list considering it is just a humble little pub at the far end of Aldeburgh.

Kelham IslandEasy Rider4.3% as excellent as ever tho I am sure this used to be a lot stronger than this
Anglo DutchTabatha the Knackered6.0% - worth having just for the name alone - spicy and warming but certainly not a session beer
TringRoyal Poacher4.1% drinable fruity beer
Empire Golden Warrior3.8% tasting notes said a sherbet aftertaste! Sure enough as it goes down there is a sherbet aftertaste!
AllgatesAll Black MildDid not try
NorthumberlandPit Pony3.8% hoppy session beer
DerwentParsons PledgeDid not try
WilliamsFraoch Heather Ale4.1% Interesting floral taste - dont think I would want more than one of these
IlkleyBest4.0% very drinkable golden bitter ale
LoddenHoppit3.5% hoppy session beer
LymestoneFoundation Stone4.5% a good example of an IPA - liked this one a lot
InveralmondIndependance3.8% fruit and malt
AngusMashie NivlickDid not try
MordueIPA5.1% golden ale but did not seem the strength
AvonSovereignDid not try
BridestoneAmerican Pale AleDid not try
PalmersIPA4.2% malt and fruity - very nice beer
PalmersCopper aleDid not try
QuantockWills neckDid not try
PottonVillage BikeDid not try
OakleafNuptu'aleDid not try
DalesideOld LegoverDid not try
Burton BridgeSovereign GoldDid not try
AdnamsBitterDid not try
AdnamsBroadsideDid not try
AdnamsExtraDid not try
AdnamsRoyal Wedding AleDid not try
Castle RockHarvest PaleDid not try
ElgoodsBlack DogDid not try
EverardsTigerDid not try
EverardsOriginalDid not try
FullersLondon PrideDid not try
Green JackTrawler BoysDid not try
Green JackMahseer IPADid not try
MeantimeLondon Pale aleDid not try
PurityUbuDid not try
PurityPure GoldDid not try
PurityMad GooseDid not try
TitanicWhite StarDid not try

One of Aldeburgh's key points is its two chip shops which entertain huge queues no matter what time of the year it may be such is their reputation. So, after a few beers then you cant really leave without sampling some chips. Even us locals have to wait patiently with the holiday makers to get our portion of chips n scraps but I can assure you it was well worth it. Sun. Sea. Beer. Chips. Most excellent.

Beer Festival SignBeer Festival drinkers
On the left Beer Festival Sign; On the right Beer Festival drinkers


A track at the bottom of Red House Lane in Leiston will lead onto a footpath through to Thorpeness where the former railway track will take you through to Aldeburgh. Continue through the High Street or Crag Path to the southerly end and walk along the shingle spit between the sea and the Rive Alde to get access to Slaughden Quay and the Martello Tower. Return is along the beachside path to Thorpeness then follow the cliff tops to Siewell. Here a path at the Cliff House caravan park will lead back through to Red House Lane.

Leiston to Aldeburgh

From Leiston take Red House Lane which is the last road on the left as you leave Leiston on the Aldeburgh road. This goes down to the Leisure centre from where a track leads past the school playing fields. Beyond this there is a footpath that crosses the track, take the right hand path which leads through to Thorpeness Golf Course. Keep a straight path through the course slightly bearing to the left as the path leads out into the open. Here it will then go through some undergrowth and through the cutting in the railway. Turn immediately right and follow the embankment. the path will join a track which comes out onto the Thorpeness road. Go straight over and continue following the path. There are Sandlings waymarkers to Mere to the left and the other turns right and onto the old railway track. Take this and walk all the way through to Aldeburgh. Pass the caravan park where the broad path narrows and comes out onto a road. Go straight across and there is a short section of path before you meet the main road into Aldeburgh. Cross this and go onto the private road down the side of the library. Walk through until the road bears right where a track on the left. Take this and continue straight on as it junctions with a road. When this road bears sharp right the town steps lead down into central Aldebrugh. Turn right and walk through to the southern end of Aldeburgh. The houses give way to a shingle track with boatyards. Continue along this to the Martello tower which is a landmark in the distance.

Aldeburgh to Sizewell

Follow the coast path through to Thorpeness. At low tide it should be possible to continue along the beach here but at high tide , due to recent erosion, access is not possible. In this case walk through to the private road and up onto Thorpeness Common. Walk across the common to the far end where there is a sandy slope back down to the beach. The Suffolk Coast Path continues along the base of the cliff but soon navigates back to the top through to Sizewell

Sizewell to Leiston

At Cliff House caravan park, take the path between the static site and the touring field. At the end of the path and then road go straight across onto some common land and bear to the right until it meets up with a farm track. Continue until there is a junction of tracks and paths. Take the immediate right path bordered by hedgerows. This leads to the rear of Halfway cottages. At the end of the cottages, turn sharp left then sharp right to cross the fields heading for the cottage and track at the far side. This track then leads back into Red House Lane

Beer Festival at the White Hart Aldeburgh
Beer Festival at the White Hart Aldeburgh


White Hart, Aldeburgh View in OS Map | View in Google Map

Image of pub
High Street, Aldeburgh

This Grade II listed building dating from the 18th century, is a single roomed bar with wood panelling and decorated with nautical memorabilia. Originally a reading room, it bacame an alehouse during the early 1800s. The pub offers Adnams ales plus guests and has occasional music and basic pub food.

Aldeburgh Chip Shop
Aldeburgh Chip Shop


Aldeburgh Chip ShopView in OS Map | View in Google Map

Aldeburgh is notable for its two fish and chip shops where each day you can witness the huge queues that are testament to it being described as 'the finest on the east coast' Both of the chip shops have been owned and run by the Cooney family since 1967 and they only use local potatoes and fresh fish and fry their wares in beef dripping to give it that extra flavour.

Fishing boats on Aldeburgh Beach
Fishing boats on Aldeburgh Beach


Below is the route depicted on the OpenStreetMap, Ordnance Survey Map and Google Map. Links to full page versions are found in the Essential Information

Summary of Document Changes

Last Updated: ... 2016-01-15


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