The Red House
Golf Lane Aldeburgh IP15 5PZ
Down a quiet lane on the edge of the seaside town of Aldeburgh, the Red House was home to England's greatest twentieth-century composer, Benjamin Britten, and his partner Peter Pears for the last two decades of his life. The couple moved here in 1957, partly to get away from the gawpers in town (they lived right on the seafront) and were extraordinarily happy here, and it’s now home to the Britten-Pears Foundation, which promotes Britten’s music and legacy. You can visit the composer’s studio and a terrific exhibition on his life and work, housed in a purpose-built annexe, both of which are open to the public all year round. But if you’re here at the right time during summer you can also see the house itself, which is open for afternoon tours between April and October. Like all the best artists' houses, this has been preserved more or less as it was in when Britten died in 1976 (although Pears lived on here until his own death in 1986), and summer tours give a fantastic and engaging insight into the minutiae of the composer’s life and the circle of creative friends that gathered at his home. If you're in Aldeburgh during the summer it would be a sin to miss it. And true Britten-Pears enthusiasts can also visit the two men’s graves, tucked away in an unassuming corner of the churchyard of Aldeburgh’s St Peter & St Paul’s church, in the centre of town.