The theme is Tropical Paradise, say no more!

This year is set to be bigger and better than ever before. So, what’s on over the carnival weekend?

Where to Eat:

Whether you are looking for breakfast, brunch, or the best ice cream, it’s fair to say you are spoilt for choice in Aldeburgh.

• A lovely way to start the day is with a take-away flat white and rhubarb doughnut from Two Magpie’s Bakery (181-183 High Street), which opens daily at 8am. Take your haul and head to Crag Path, where you can drop down onto the beach for breakfast with a view.

• For something more substantial, you have a traditional choice in the form of The Lighthouse which has been going for more than two decades or the newly-opened The Suffolk Sur-Mer (152 High St), which is owned by Restauranteur George Pell. The menu is a feast for the eyes with Butley Creek oysters, dressed Suffolk crab and whole lobster which can be completed with a Pump Street Dark Chocolate Tart.

• Fancy fish and chips? Well, they go hand-in-hand with this part of Suffolk and there are two insanely delicious options at either end of the High Street. If one looks packed, head straight to the other! Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop (226 High St) and Golden Galleon (137 High Street).

• For an unforgettable gelato (they also do homemade Churros), head to Harris & James (159 High St). All home-made, the Bakewell Tart gelato is our idea of a good time.

Where to Drink:

Here are our top picks to wet your whistle…

• For hot drinks including a handsome hot chocolate, go to Munchies (163 High St). Dogs are welcome and they often leave out litter-pickers for beach cleans.

• The White Hart Inn offers a great selection of beers and ciders (there’s pizza too, if you’re peckish) and offers the perfect place to stand and watch the carnival floats go by!

• For a cold, sea-facing pint, you’ve got The Cross Keys (Crabbe Street) which attracts a young and buzzy crowd or The Brudenell Hotel (Brudenell Street) which provides something more formal. Both are near the Boating Lake where a lot of the fun will be happening, including a fun fair.

• G&T lovers, be sure to order a ‘Fishers and tonic’ – it’s distilled overlooking Shingle Beach and contains botanicals from the salt marshes of the river Alde. You can’t beat the original, but their smoked gin contains oak smoked botanicals from Pinney’s of Orford.

What to See:

Well, the carnival will provide plenty of colour but if you want to go off-piste…

You’ve got The Aldeburgh Museum, Maggi Hambling’s Scallop sculpture and the Martello Tower.

If you have a car you could drive to Snape Maltings (if you love interiors, you won’t want to leave) or Minsmere Nature Reserve is a fantastic coastal nature reserve that’s perfect for families.

Where to Shop

Yes, there are lots of household shops you will recognise but why not go local and explore the likes…The Aldeburgh Book Shop, Fleur, Tilley and Grace and The Aldeburgh Gallery. For flags to wave, whirly windmills and small toys, Alde River (196 High St) often saves the day.

Woman looking at bookshelves.
A woman's hand holding shopping bags.

The Kids Are Alright! Something for the little ones…

• Crabbing at The Quay. And if all the hauling of the nets spurs their hunger on, The Jolly Sailor is family friendly and offers good-old pub-grab.

• Walk/cycle/drive to Thorpeness which is only 2 miles away to take a boat out on the Mere. They will love spotting the crocodile and The House in the Clouds.

• Delphine’s is a wonderfully quirky diner with a menu the kids will love. Think milkshakes and ice cream floats!

The Curious Calendar

Here’s a taster of what to expect over the three days…

Saturday 19th August

Music lovers rejoice! Grab some food and drink from Moot Green and head to the beach to find a seat and listen as the sounds fill the shoreline.

The ducks for the impending duck race are on sale 10am – 4pm on the Moot Hall Green for the duck race which takes place both days at 4.30pm. £1 and the duck is yours!

At 8pm the East Anglian Kite Flyers are hosting an illuminated show!

There are rumours of a silent auction taking place so if you love a bid, keep your ear to the ground.

The prestigious Marmalde Ball kicks off in the evening, and we happen to be the proud sponsor. Stay tuned for the full story from the night in our journal soon.

Sunday 20th August

AKA Sports Day – from a mini 10k fun run to the egg boat race, treasure hunts and duck races, unleash your competitive side before the carnival begins.

Monday 21st August

Carnival Day! It starts at 3.45pm from the Moot Hall and heads down the High Street!

We are curious to know who is going to be crowed Carnival Queen 2023.

The lantern procession will take place in the evening. You need to take your own lantern, and these can be found in many of the local shops on the High Street.

Please hold onto your lanterns and use them for another occasion and be careful during the procession as the lanterns are made from paper and bamboo sticks and the lit candles make us somewhat nervous!

Paper lanterns being lit and floating into the sky.
A red paper lantern being lit.

3 Top Curious Tips!

1. Parking can be tricky with lots of road closures over the weekend. We tend to use the car park near the Yacht Club.

2. The queues for fish and chips can be very long so get in there early and avoid peak times.

3. The Aldeburgh Pharmacy (125 The High Street) is fantastic for any accidents and emergencies!


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