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Southwold

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Southwold is an unspoilt seaside town in Suffolk.

Understand

Described in the Doomsday Book as a fishing port, over time a shingle bar built-up across the harbour entrance preventing the town becoming a major port. A fire in 1659 severly damaged the town and even today the town has many village greens where some destroyed areas were never rebuilt.

Today the town is well known due to the Adnams Brewery which is the town's largest employer.

Get in

By road

Southwold is about 35 miles from Ipswich and a similar distance from Norwich. 6 miles E of the A12 main road, 14 miles S of Lowestoft.

By train

  • Darsham Train station, Main Road (A12), near Darsham, IP17 3PN (9 miles SW of town). On the East Suffolk Ipswich to Lowestoft line. Station operated by and services run by Greater Anglia (updated Jun 2017)

By bus

It is not served by public transport so you may need to pre-book a taxi. Alternatively you can travel by train to Halesworth where there is a connecting bus service to Southwold.

By bicycle

The town is at the S end of Regional Cycle Route 31 which runs N to Beccles where it joins Regional Cycle Route 30 (to Lowestoft to the E and to Harleston and beyond to the W) as well as joins National Cycle Route 1 (Shetland to Dover) to Norwich and beyond to the N and Ipswich and beyond to the S.

Get around

The town is small enough to walk around by foot.

See

  • 1 Southwold lighthouse, ☏ +44 1255 245156, ✉ visitor.centre@trinityhouse.co.uk. No children shorter than 1.1m (really) Adults £4; Children £3; Family £12. (updated Jun 2017)
  • 2 Southwold Pier, North Parade, Southwold IP18 6BN, ☏ +44 1502 722105, ✉ admin@southwoldpier.co.uk. (updated Jun 2017)
  • 3 St Edmund's Church, Bartholomew Green, Southwold IP18 6JA. (updated Jun 2017)
  • 4 The Southwold Museum, 9-11 Victoria St, Southwold IP18 6HZ (Opposite Bartholomew Green, facing the main entrance to the Church), ☏ +44 1502 726097, ✉ southwold.museum@btconnect.com. 1 Apr-31 Oct daily 14:00-16:00. Free (donations appreciated). (updated Jun 2017)
  • 5 Alfred Cory Lifeboat Museum, Ferry Rd, Southwold IP18 6NB, ☏ +44 1502 723200. 1 Apr-31 Oct: M-F 10:30-13:00 & 14:00-16:30. Sa Su 10:30-16:30; 1 Nov-31 Mar: Fine weekends only 10:00-15:30. (updated Jun 2017)

Do

Walk along the pier and visit the lovely shops along it, or stop for lunch or a snack in the restaurant.

Walk to the river and take ferry over to Walberswick.

Shop in the many boutiques, gift shops, delis etc. There is a lovely Adnams Kitchen shop which sells a huge variety of wines, as well as unusual kitchen equipment. There is also a nice cafe at the back.

Take a walk on the beach.

Play golf on the very pleasant nine hole course. Visitors welcome and does a very good fish and chip meal.

Visit The Sailors’ Reading Room . Ship figureheads, pictures and portraits of local fishermen and seascapes, model ships and maritime memorabilia offer a fascinating history of Southwold’s connections with the sea .

Visit The Alfred Corry museum. The museum building is the 1923 ex-Cromer Lifeboat shed and it houses 'Alfred Corry', the Southwold No1 Lifeboat built in 1893.

  • Reydon Wood (Nature Reserve), Wood Lane, off B1126, near Wangford IP18 6SL (3 miles NW of Southwold. OS grid ref: TM480788), ☏ +44 1502 478788. always open. 16 hectare woodland good for birdwatching. Apr-Jul best time to visit. Dogs on leads. (updated Jun 2017)
  • Dunwich Heath & Beach, Coastguard Cottages, Minsmere Rd, Dunwich IP17 3DJ (10 miles S of Southwold), ☏ +44 1728 648501, ✉ dunwichheath@nationaltrust.org.uk. Dogs welcome. Tea rooms Parking: Cars £4.80; Motor homes £12.50; Motorcycles £3.50. (updated Jun 2017)
  • 3 Benacre National Nature Reserve. Nearly 400 hectares. Open water lagoons and reed beds (updated Jun 2017)
  • 4 Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Southwold, ✉ info@latitudefestival.co.uk. Mid July. Music festival (updated Jun 2017)
  • Southwold Arts Festival, ✉ info@southwoldartsfestival.co.uk. Running since 2014, the festival organises a wide variety of artists and events and various venues over the week. (updated Jun 2017)
  • 5 Denes Beach, IP18 6HQ. Quiet shingle beach (updated Jun 2017)
  • Murder Mystery Treasure Trail (Walking Treasure Trail). Purchase in advance (internet PDF download available). 2 miles & 2 hrs £6.99. (updated Jun 2017)
  • 6 Costal Voyager (Adrenaline RIB Boat Ride), Stage S35, Blackshore, Southwold Harbour IP18 6TA, ☏ +44 7887 525082. Book in advance. (updated Jun 2017)

Buy

  • 1 Adnams Southwold Store (Adnams Brewery), ☏ +44 1502 725612. (updated Mar 2017)
  • 2 Farmhouse Bakery, 77 High St Southwold IP18 6DS, ☏ +44 1502 722665. Breads, cakes & filled rolls (updated Jun 2017)
  • 3 Amber Shop (Shop & Museum), 15 Market Place, Southwold IP18 6EA, ☏ +44 1502 723394, ✉ theambershop@keme.co.uk. M-Sa 09:30-17:00. Su 11:00-16:00. Amber jewellery & items (updated Jun 2017)
  • 4 Co-op (Supermarket), 2 Market Place, Southwold IP18 6EE, ☏ +44 1502 723112. Daily 06:00-22:00. ATMs (updated Jun 2017)
  • 5 Tesco Espress (Convenience Store), 2 Queen St, Southwold IP18 6EQ, ☏ +44 345 610 2778. Daily 07:00-23:00. (updated Jun 2017)

Eat

  • 1 Lord Nelson, 42 East St, Southwold IP18 6EJ, ☏ +44 1502 722079, ✉ info@thelordnelsonsouthwold.co.uk. M-Sa 10:30-23:00. Su 12:00-22:30. A good pub meal and atmosphere. Pub is a multiple award winner. Very well kept Adnams beers. Packed to the ceilings on weekends and during the season, but no meal reservations. Dog friendly (updated Jun 2017)
  • 2 The Anchor Inn, The Street, Walberswick IP18 6UA (From Southwold, 8 miles by road, 2 miles on foot), ☏ +44 1502 722112, ✉ info@anchoratwalberswick.com. Food: Daily 08:30-10:00 & 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-21:00; Tea & Coffee: All day. a fine selection of speciality beers and wine, with traditional pub food, at low prices. Log fires and over 20 wines by the glass 
  • 3 Coasters (Restaurant), 12 Queen St, Southwold IP18 6EQ, ☏ +44 1502 724734, ✉ info@coastersofsouthwold.co.uk. Daily 09:00-14:30 & 18:00-21:00. (updated Jun 2017)

Drink

There are several wonderful pubs. Many are run by Adnams Brewery, which is based on East Green.

  • 1 The Harbour Inn, Blackshore, Southwold IP18 6TA (In the harbour), ☏ +44 1502 722381, ✉ harbourinn.southwold@adnams.co.uk. Pub: daily 11:00-23:00; Food: daily 12:00-21:00. Lovely inn, well kept Adnams beers. Fish and chips. (updated Jun 2017)
  • 2 The Ship at Dunwich, St. James's Street, Dunwich IP17 3DT, ☏ +44 1728 648219. Daily 08:00-23:00. Traditional family pub and restaurant, dog-friendly, serves Mauldon’s on tap from unique hand pumps. B&B double £100. (updated Aug 2020)
  • 3 The Sail Loft (Pub, Restaurant & Rooms), 53 Ferry Rd, Southwold IP18 6HQ, ☏ +44 1502 725713, ✉ info@sailloftsouthwold.uk. Tu-Th 10:00-17:00. F Sa 10:00-21:00 (bar to 23:00). Su 10:00-17:00. (updated Jun 2017)
  • 4 The Sole Bay Inn (Pub & Food), 7 East Green, Southwold IP18 6JT, ☏ +44 1502 723736, ✉ solebaysouthwold@gmail.com. Pub: M-Sa 11:00-23:00. Su 11:30-22:30; Food daily 12:00-21:00. (updated Jun 2017)
  • 5 The Bell Inn (Pub & Food), Ferry Rd, Walberswick IP18 6TN (From Southwold, 9 miles by car, 1 mile on foot), ☏ +44 1502 723109, ✉ bellwalberswick@adnams.co.uk. Pub: daily 11:00-23:00; Food: daily 12:00-14:30 & 18:00-21:00. (updated Jun 2017)

Sleep

  • 1 The Swan, Market Place, Southwold IP18 6EG, ☏ +44 1502 722186, ✉ theswan@adnams.co.uk. Georgian hotel refurbished in 2017, upscale place with great dining run by Adnams the brewers. Dogs only in garden annexe. B&B double £200. (updated Jul 2020)
  • 2 The Crown, 90 High St, Southwold IP18 6DP, ☏ +44 1502 722275, ✉ thecrown@adnams.co.uk. Food: M-F 12:00-14:00 & 18:00-21:00. Sa 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-21:00. Su 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-21:00. Contemporary style, owned and managed by Adnams Brewery. Comes with a fine wooden and red leather decor, several types of local beer on tap, alongside a very respectable 20 wines by the glass. (updated Jun 2017)
  • Sutherland House, 56 High St, Southwold IP18 6DN, ☏ +44 1502 724544. Historic restaurant with 5 rooms in 15th C building. No children under 17 or dogs. B&B double £140. (updated Jul 2020)
  • 3 The Blyth Hotel, Station Rd, Southwold IP18 6AY, ☏ +44 1502 722632, ✉ reception@blythhotel.com. AA 2*. Bar & restaurant (updated Jun 2017)
  • 4 Amber House (B&B), North Parade, Southwold IP18 6LT, ☏ +44 1502 723303, ✉ di@southwoldamberhouse.co.uk. (updated Jun 2017)
  • 5 Home@21 (B&B), 21 North Parade, Southwold IP18 6LT, ☏ +44 1502 722573, ✉ homeat21bb@gmail.com. Check-in: 16:30-18:00, check-out: by 10:00. No pets. No children under 14. Min 2 night stay from £100/night/room. (updated Jun 2017)

Connect

  • 1 Post Office, High St, Southwold IP18 6AA. M-Sa 09:00-17:30. Su 10:00-16:00. (updated Jun 2017)

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