Southwold Area Tourist Guide

Southwold is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations for so many reasons. It’s a place where truly special memories are made. Its eccentric pier, rows of colourful beach huts, striking lighthouse and traditional seaside architecture make Southwold a true picture postcard destination. The town and its surrounding villages are a real box of delights to explore.


Visiting Southwold is like taking a step back in time. Of course, you’ll find a few of the High Street chains including Joules, Jack Wills, Costa and WH Smith, but the High Street is brimming with fabulous independent boutiques, bakers, butchers, galleries and more.  Southwold takes ‘retail therapy’ to a totally different level.The Pier, the Lighthouse and Gun Hill are all a must when visiting Southwold. We challenge you not to come home from your visit without a photograph of a family member sitting on one of the cannons with the wind in their hair and the sun on their face!  If you fancy something more active, you can hire a bike and explore or even take a surfing or paddle-boarding lesson.  And let’s not forget our good friends at Adnams – Why not take a tour of this world famous brewery? You can make your own beer and even distill your own gin!For those who love being outdoors there’s no finer place. With fabulous walks by the beach, along the river or around neighbouring villages and areas of natural beauty.  RSPB Minsmere and the National Trust centre at Dunwich are a short drive away and are simply spectacular all year round.When choosing where to stay in the town of Southwold, we like to think that here at Suffolk Secrets we have the best selection of self-catering holiday homes around. Chic apartments for two in ‘Tibby’s Triangle’, grandiose town houses on South Green for large groups, and every kind of cottage in between. Browse our collection of Southwold holiday cottages here.


The quiet village of Reydon is Southwolds nearest neighbour. A good walk, short cycle ride or a bus stop away from the town, it offers a great alternative for holidaymakers wishing to enjoy everything that Southwold has to offer, but with slightly less hustle and bustle, especially during the Summer months. Reydon is growing in popularity with holiday makers and you can view our excellent selection of Reydon holiday homes here.  


The pretty village of Walberswick sits adjacent to Southwold, on the other side of the River Blyth. So close to Southwold, yet so different, Walberswick offers a tranquil setting for a Suffolk holiday. Enjoy endless walks along sandy beaches, relax in the fabulous local pubs, or get on your bike and explore the Suffolk coast and countryside.Of course, when preparing for a visit to Walberswick a bucket, line, net and a pack of smoked bacon are essential!  Walberswick is the crabbing capital of Suffolk! It was once known for it's annual event 'The British Open Crabbing Championships' but unfortunately this event had to be stopped in 2011 as it had become too big to cope with. It’s a good drive to reach Southwold from Walberswick as it sits on the other side of the river. The best way to get there is on foot via the Bailey footbridge or by rowboat ferry. The scenery along this walk is breathtaking and the wildlife is plentiful.  

Wangford and Blythburgh

Wangford lies inland to the north-west of Southwold and is about a 10-minute drive from the town. This pretty village has friendly pubs, a beautiful church and is easily accessible. View our Wangford holiday cottages here.Travel inland along the River Blyth and you’ll come to Blythburgh, home to one of the country’s finest medieval churches and a beautiful tidal lagoon that’s a haven for wildlife. View our Blythburgh holiday cottages here.


If you’re taking a holiday or short break in the Southwold area, a trip to Beccles is a pleasant way to spend a day. Located on the banks of the River Waveney, this charming town has a wonderful mix of pastel cottages, riverfront apartments and bold town houses. There is good selection of shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants, and there are spectacular views across the marshes from the grounds of St Michaels Church which takes pride of place in the centre of town.