Award Winning Snape Maltings

14 November 2014

There used to be a malting operation in Snape. Snape Maltings as it was called since it opened in 1846 was a huge industrial complex covering seven acres. It ran for nearly 120 years, malting barley. In 1965, George Gooderham bought the Maltings and began the process of turning this once successful granary into a modern complex of a completely different variety.

First there was the Concert Hall. Then there was the Craft Shop which opened in 1971. Nearly a half century later, the Gooderhams continue to run the family business, still known as Snape Maltings. But it is no longer an old granaries business. It is close to being a magical destination on the Suffolk Heritage Coast and well worth a visit when staying at Broadland Sands.

As well as the shops and the Concert Hall, there are holiday apartments and award winning homes. The Maltings is open daily from 10am to 5.00pm from November 3 until March 30. The rest of the year it is open until 5:30pm.

This is not merely a shopping adventure. The Concert Hall which is operated by Aldeburgh Music offers music programmes year round. The Quay Gallery on the River Alde allows independent exhibitors and crafts people to display their arts and crafts. There are exhibitions and workshops all year long.

shutterstock_99293786If you prefer to simply bask in the bucolic beauty of the area, the estuary of the River Alde is rich with wildlife and birdlife. It’s a paradise for bird watchers. There are several walks orchestrated in the area including the two-mile return Snape Warren walk along the river and the twelve-mile return Sailors Path walk from the Maltings to Aldeburgh.

There are also river trips that run from late spring to early autumn. Three quarters of an hour long, the river trip takes you from Snape towards Iken and back again along the River Alde.

Then there is the food. The Food Hall offers some amazing tasting experiences that vary from month to month. Upcoming in December is the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival Christmas market. More than four dozen food and drink stalls will be at Snape Maltings on December 20. It’s free to attend and there will be lots of free samples.

Any day of the year, you can have a snack at Cafe 1885, the Granary Tea Shop, or the Plough and Sail Pub. The first Saturday of every month, there is a Farmers Market with local food and drink from Suffolk folk who bring their best seasonal fruit, salads and vegetables to market.

Take a peek at the frequent suppliers at this market: Apple Butter Company from Brundish, B Chocolates from Snape, High House Fruit Farm from Sudbourne, Kenton Hall Longhorn Beef, Norfolk Grain Brewery from Harleston…well the list is very long and these are a tiny sampling of what you will find at the Farmers Market.

Make a day of visiting Snape Maltings or make a holiday of it. Let the history and the attractiveness of the place wash over you. Experience some of the great tastes of Suffolk. Enjoy the arts and crafts of the area. Explore your own creativity.

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