What's Special About Southwold
Here at Suffolk Secrets, we have a genuine love for the area we are lucky enough to live and work in and we’re delighted to share it with our holiday makers. Here’s just a few reasons why we think that Southwold is such a special place.
Good Clean Family Fun
With colourful beach huts as far as the eye can see, its iconic pier and a beach just perfect for sand castles, Southwold is a paradise for UK family fun. ‘Southwold Pier’ beach has been recognised by Keep Britain Tidy for its cleanliness, safety and management and has been awarded a ‘Blue Flag’.
To round off the perfect day by the sea you can take a paddle at the boating lake or try your hand on the putting green, followed by an ice cream, or even fish and chips. What could be more delightful?
Perhaps the Most Quirky Pier in England
Mention Southwold and most people think of the pier, which offers visitors a truly nostalgic dose of traditional seaside fun. Its boardwalk promenade is home to ‘The Under the Pier Show’ a whacky amusement arcade full of Tim Hunkins’ homemade crazy inventions including ‘Whack a Banker’, ‘Mobility Masterclass’, ‘Rent a Dog’ and a submarine simulator. There’s also restaurants, cafés, a fish and chip shop and a good old-fashioned amusement arcade, plus the water clock, another of Tim Hunkins inventions. Kids both young and old delight in hourly performances by the clock’s eccentric characters including the bathing couple who squirt water at each other and the "cheeky boys" who drop their trousers to pee!
A Town of Great History
Southwold is full of stories of days gone by. The Southwold Museum is housed in a tiny cottage but holds an astonishing collection of objects spanning millennia of local history from fossil remains through to sea battles, the development of industries and artistic life, the rise and fall of the railway, the famous lighthouse, the ever-changing coastline and to Southwold’s 20th century transformation from fishing community to seaside resort.
The Alfred Corrie Museum also marks a special aspect of the town – the RNLI. The museum offers visitors an insight into the lives of the Southwold Lifeboat Crews between 1893 and 1918. It also charts the history of the 'Alfred Corry' herself, right up to the present day. The exhibits are housed in a Grade II listed lifeboat shed, which was formerly situated on Cromer pier. The building was brought to Southwold by sea and was restored in 1998. It is now one of the few remaining examples of its type built by the RNLI at that time.
The lighthouse stands tall and proud in the town and is another prominent Southwold landmark of interest. First lit in 1890 the lighthouse and was lucky to survive a fire in its oil lamp just six days into its service. The lighthouse was electrified and automated in 1938 and is now operated by Trinity House. On selected days, you can climb the lighthouse and learn about its history.
An Inspirational Setting
Southwold has been the source of great inspiration for many artists and writers over the years. George Orwell, one of Britain’s most famous authors made his home here and today you will find a large homage to him painted on the pier. Today Southwold is home to many galleries, sharing the talents of many local artists and sculptors. Southwold Gallery, Serena Hall Gallery and Buckenhams are all very different we well worth a visit.
Artists, musicians, poets and performers are celebrated each and every year at the Southwold Arts Festival and Southwold Summer Theatre. These are regular fixtures for the town and enjoyed by holidaymakers and locals alike. Suffolk Secrets is proud to support these events as they are an integral part of what makes the town so special.
Individuality on the High Street
So many towns have just become a blur as they are overtaken by the national and international chains that sell the same things everywhere you go. Southwold is special. Of course its traditional seaside town architecture helps to maintain the character of the High Street and the nooks and crannies hidden around it, but Southwold is lucky enough to have a fabulous selection of independent shops. There is some national brand presence in the town, but this is far outweighed by the likes of Collen and Clare women’s boutique, Thomas Traddles men’s outfitters, The Amber Shop, Wow Vintage, Black Olive Delicatessen and Mills and Sons butchers to mention a few.
Southwold is home to Adnams Brewery, which was established in 1890. Very few days go by without the wonderful, hoppy smell of beer wafting through the air. You can visit the Adnams shop, which has a wonderful selection of kitchenware as well as its fine beers and spirits which are also made in the distillery in Southwold.
A brewery tour is a great experience. Taking you behind the scenes you’ll learn the history of the brewery and about the process of creating these distinctive beers.