Southwold is an unspoilt seaside town in Suffolk.
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 severely 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.
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.
- 1 Darsham 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 Darsham station is not linked to Southwold by public transport so you may need to pre-book a taxi. Alternatively you can travel by train to Halesworth or Beccles where there are connecting bus services to Southwold.
Southwold is served by First Norfolk & Suffolk bus services 99 from Lowestoft and 99a from Bungay and Halesworth, and by Border Bus services 146 from Norwich and 524 from Halesworth, both also serving Beccles.
The town is at the south end of Regional Cycle Route 31 which runs north to Beccles where it joins Regional Cycle Route 30 (to Lowestoft to the east and to Harleston and beyond to the west). This also joins National Cycle Route 1 (Shetland Islands to Dover) to Norwich and beyond to the north and Ipswich and beyond to the south.
The town is small enough to walk around by foot.
- 1 Southwold lighthouse, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. No children shorter than 1.1m (really) Adults £4; Children £3; Family £12.
- 2 Southwold Pier, North Parade, Southwold IP18 6BN, ☏ , email@example.com.
- 3 St Edmund's Church, Bartholomew Green, Southwold IP18 6JA.
- 4 The Southwold Museum, 9-11 Victoria St, Southwold IP18 6HZ (Opposite Bartholomew Green, facing the main entrance to the Church), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 1 Apr-31 Oct daily 14:00-16:00. Free (donations appreciated).
- 5 Alfred Cory Lifeboat Museum, Ferry Rd, Southwold IP18 6NB, ☏ . 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.
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.
- 1 Reydon Wood (Nature Reserve), Wood Lane, off B1126, near Wangford IP18 6SL (3 miles NW of Southwold. OS grid ref: TM480788), ☏ . always open. 16 hectare woodland good for birdwatching. Apr-Jul best time to visit. Dogs on leads.
- 2 Dunwich Heath & Beach, Coastguard Cottages, Minsmere Rd, Dunwich IP17 3DJ (10 miles S of Southwold), ☏ , email@example.com. Dogs welcome. Tea rooms Parking: Cars £4.80; Motor homes £12.50; Motorcycles £3.50.
- 3 Benacre National Nature Reserve. Nearly 400 hectares. Open water lagoons and reed beds
- 4 Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Southwold, firstname.lastname@example.org. Mid July. Music festival
- Southwold Arts Festival, email@example.com. Running since 2014, the festival organises a wide variety of artists and events and various venues over the week.
- 5 Denes Beach, IP18 6HQ. Quiet shingle beach
- Murder Mystery Treasure Trail (Walking Treasure Trail). Purchase in advance (internet PDF download available). 2 miles & 2 hrs £6.99.
- 6 Coastal Voyager (Adrenaline RIB Boat Ride), Stage S35, Blackshore, Southwold Harbour IP18 6TA, ☏ . Book in advance.
- 1 [dead link] Adnams Southwold Store (Adnams Brewery), ☏ .
- 2 Farmhouse Bakery, 77 High St Southwold IP18 6DS, ☏ . Breads, cakes & filled rolls
- 3 Amber Shop (Shop & Museum), 15 Market Place, Southwold IP18 6EA, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 09:30-17:00. Su 11:00-16:00. Amber jewellery & items
- 4 Co-op (Supermarket), 2 Market Place, Southwold IP18 6EE, ☏ . Daily 06:00-22:00. ATMs
- 5 Tesco Espress (Convenience Store), 2 Queen St, Southwold IP18 6EQ, ☏ . Daily 07:00-23:00.
- 1 Lord Nelson, 42 East St, Southwold IP18 6EJ, ☏ , email@example.com. 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
- 2 The Anchor Inn, The Street, Walberswick IP18 6UA (From Southwold, 8 miles by road, 2 miles on foot), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 09:00-14:30 & 18:00-21:00.
- Mrs T's Fish & Chips is on the harbour shore, open Tu-Th Su 12:00-15:00, F Sa 12:00-19:00.
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), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Pub: daily 11:00-23:00; Food: daily 12:00-21:00. Lovely inn, well kept Adnams beers. Fish and chips.
- 2 The Ship at Dunwich, St. James's Street, Dunwich IP17 3DT, ☏ . 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.
- 3 The Sail Loft (Pub, Restaurant & Rooms), 53 Ferry Rd, Southwold IP18 6HQ, ☏ , email@example.com. Tu-Th 10:00-17:00. F Sa 10:00-21:00 (bar to 23:00). Su 10:00-17:00.
- 4 The Sole Bay Inn (Pub & Food), 7 East Green, Southwold IP18 6JT, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Pub: M-Sa 11:00-23:00. Su 11:30-22:30; Food daily 12:00-21:00.
- 5 The Bell Inn (Pub & Food), Ferry Rd, Walberswick IP18 6TN (From Southwold, 9 miles by car, 1 mile on foot), ☏ , email@example.com. Pub: daily 11:00-23:00; Food: daily 12:00-14:30 & 18:00-21:00.
- 1 The Swan, Market Place, Southwold IP18 6EG, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Georgian hotel refurbished in 2017, upscale place with great dining run by Adnams the brewers. Dogs only in garden annexe. B&B double £200.
- 2 The Crown, 90 High St, Southwold IP18 6DP, ☏ , email@example.com. 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.
- Sutherland House, 56 High St, Southwold IP18 6DN, ☏ . Historic restaurant with 5 rooms in 15th C building. No children under 17 or dogs. B&B double £140.
- 3 The Blyth Hotel, Station Rd, Southwold IP18 6AY, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. AA 2*. Bar & restaurant
- 4 Amber House (B&B), North Parade, Southwold IP18 6LT, ☏ , email@example.com.
- 5 [dead link] Home@21 (B&B), 21 North Parade, Southwold IP18 6LT, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
As of July 2022, Southwold and its approach roads have 4G from EE, O2 and (in patches) from Vodafone, but no signal from Three. 5G has not reached this area.
|Routes through Southwold|
|Ipswich ← Saxmundham ←||SW NE||→ Lowestoft → Great Yarmouth|