Ever since my childhood spent in Hastings, and student years in Brighton, the pull of the coast has always been strong, though these days it's the smaller towns and rural coast that draw me more strongly than the larger resorts. In particular, Norfolk and Suffolk, with there long flat expanses of sand and marsh, and delightfully old fashioned towns such as Blakeney and Southwold.
Another favourite is Aldeburgh. A town both quaintly nostalgic, but also with a strong creative streak, that has long attracted artists and musicians. The highlight of the town's calendar is the annual Aldeburgh Festival. Every year during the festival, artist, Caroline McAdam Clark and her husband Piers Feetham, transform their victorian home into a gallery, open to the public. The house itself is a work of art, with much of the ground floor and stairs decorated by Caroline with charming trompe l'oeils, of a nautical flavour.
Works of art fill every room, and a few years ago, Caroline and Piers extended the house with a light filled dining space overlooking the garden. The extension also comes into its own as additional gallery space, able to show larger pieces.
Even the garden, with its wonderful views across the rooftops towards the sea, gets roped in during festival time, with unexpected sculptures dotted amongst the borders.