Hi guys, welcome to Tripsget! In this post, I wanted to share with you our itinerary for Essex and Suffolk day road trip from London visiting Colchester, Dedham and Aldeburgh. This road trip honestly has it all: history, stunning countryside (featuring one of England’s most beautiful villages) and even an evening by the sea.
For this trip, you will require a car (if you don’t have one, you can rent one via Rentalcars.com – we always used to rent there before we bought our tiny car).
Here’s what you can expect to find in this post:
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Essex & Suffolk day road trip from London: Colchester, Dedham & Aldeburgh – the route
As I mentioned, it’s much easier to have this trip by car. We are based in North London, so Essex isn’t that far from us. However, if you’re based in West London or South-West, getting to Colchester might take a bit longer.
Our route was as follows:
Colchester -> Dedham -> Aldeburgh
It took us around 1 hour 20 minutes to get to Colchester, then another 25 minutes to get to Dedham and then another 45 minutes to drive to Aldeburgh in Suffolk. From there, it was around 1 hour 45 minutes to drive back to North London (N2).
We also wanted to visit Lavenham; however, we didn’t want to drive late at night, so we decided to leave it for the next time.
Road trip to Colchester – the oldest town in Britain
Our first stop was Colchester – the oldest town in Britain. Colchester has a giant car park right in the city centre, so it was easy to find a parking spot. In total, we spent around 2 hours in Colchester. As we visited Colchester mid-June, Due to Covid-19, most of the landmarks and attractions were still closed, so we grabbed a pastry from a bakery and went on a walk around the town centre.
Colchester has been mentioned as a town already in AD77; however, it’s well known that people have been living on the same spot for much much longer. Colchester also has a stunning 11th-century castle in the middle of the city and a fabulous park.
Unfortunately, the Museum was closed, but usually, you would be able to see some fantastic Roman artefacts there.
Colchester is a very nice town to walk around, so make sure to spend some time just exploring the city centre.
The pretty village of Dedham
Our next destination of this Essex & Suffolk road trip was a village called Dedham. Dedham is one of the prettiest villages in England, and I’ve seen it on so many recommendation lists; hence, I added it as a stop on this road trip. Dedham was indeed stunning. A lot of houses featured timber-framed styling and some of that styling I have never seen before. Dedham has a lot of signature pink, red and orange timber-framed houses!
However, Dedham is not just a pretty village – it has a lot of historical significance. Dedham was home and place of work for the famous English painter Sir Alfred Munnings. The house, where he lived and worked was transformed into a museum, and during regular times, you can visit it! The Museum is about a mile away from Dedham village centre, but it’s a stunning walk – on the way, you’ll be able to see some of Dedham’s prettiest houses!
Just after visiting Dedham, we took a wrong exit and ended up in front of a stunning restaurant called Le Talbooth. As it was closed due to the pandemic (even though it was mid-June already), we just added it to our list of places to visit in the future!
Our next and final stop was Aldeburgh in Suffolk – a seaside town that was recommended on the list of the best coastal towns in Suffolk. It took us about 45 minutes to drive there from Dedham, and it was a beautiful and picturesque ride. We’ve never been to Suffolk before, so it was definitely fascinating to visit it for the first time. I loved Suffolk, so we will definitely be back on another road trip!
Aldeburgh is a proper touristic hotspot, as all the front line properties are either hotels or B&Bs; however, when we visited, it was almost empty. The only food option was a famous fish & chips store that had a massive queue, but was definitely worth the wait!
Aldeburgh has a stunning long promenade, and it’s a fabulous place to spend a day or a couple of hours on the beach, breathing fresh air and enjoying nature. Also, Aldeburgh is a fishermen town, and there are quite a few fish racks, where you can buy fresh seafood and possibly even oysters. The only downside – they close early, so you need to come in the first half of the day.
Summary of our Essex and Suffolk road trip: Colchester, Dedham and Aldeburgh
To summarise, I can say that I really enjoyed our road trip through Essex and Suffolk visiting Colchester, Dedham and Aldeburgh. This trip had a bit of everything – city exploration, village life and countryside and seaside. I wouldn’t change anything in our itinerary apart from, perhaps, leaving our home in London a bit earlier and being able to include stunning Lavenham in the road trip itinerary as well.