Suffolk has a rich history which spans across hundreds of years. Over that time a number of significant buildings, places and sights have left their mark. Lending its name to a Harry Potter character and home to a world famous concert hall, the village of Snape is bound to enchant and surprise you.
St Botolph’s Church can be found on the banks of the River Alde. An ancient site, there has been a church on the grounds where St Botolph currently sits for almost 1350 years. It is believed to be the spot where St Botolph first came ashore in the year 645 AD and founded a monastery - one of the first in East Anglia. The church itself dates back to the fifteenth century however parts of the nave date back even further to the twelfth century. In 1977 an archaeologist discovered a large Saxon cross embedded in the tower of the church. The cross was found to date back to the late ninth century and is believed to be a memorial to mark the site of St Botolph’s grave. Today you can find this cross in the west end of the church near the font.
A world famous concert hall, Snape Maltings is a must see for visitors to Suffolk. Whether you take a stroll to admire the assortment of sculptures onsite, stay for a concert or simply want to browse the gorgeous shops, there really is something for everyone. Benjamin Britten, the famous composer, lived in Snape and nearby Aldeburgh, and many concerts performed at Snape Maltings feature his work. Built in the 1800s, the original purpose of the Maltings was the malting of barley for brewing beer. At the time the River Alde was already a busy port, and became even busier transporting barley to London and Europe. In the 1960s the Maltings were purchased by local farmer and businessman George Gooderham. The Aldeburgh Music Festival was outgrowing the venue of Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh and Benjamin Britten was looking for somewhere to build a concert hall. Britten found inspiration in the Maltings and in 1967 the Queen herself opened the Snape Maltings Concert Hall for the start of the Aldeburgh Festival.
Soak up the scenery of Snape with a ramble around the countryside. There are several routes to choose from which will take you by the River Alde, through woodland and over heaths. There is the chance to spot a variety of wildlife such as otters, deer and marsh harriers. Snape Warren is a 2 mile return walk and The Sailors Path is a 12 mile return walk from Snape Maltings to Aldeburgh. You can also wander along the the Iken Cliff walk a 2 mile return walk, which becomes a 4.6 mile return walk if you continue on to Iken Church. Walks are a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of Suffolk and see the county change throughout the seasons as well.
Foodies rejoice - there are three exemplary pubs in Snape where you can treat yourself to a refreshing pint of something local and tuck into some truly fabulous pub grub. In the village of Snape you will find The Crown and the The Golden Key. Both pubs offer fantastic menus and welcoming atmospheres. As you tuck into lunch or dinner you will begin to feel right at home. Just down the road you can visit The Plough and Sail at Snape Maltings, which is the ideal spot for a meal after a walk around the river, or before a concert in the evening.