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A Perfect Afternoon in Southwold, Suffolk England

Updated: 1 day ago

Only an hour from Norwich and North Norfolk, this seaside charmer deserves praise and mention for it's beautiful beach scenes and great foodie spots. Spend a perfect afternoon day trip from Norfolk or an overnighter from your visit to London to experience all that this lovely coastal town in England has to offer.

a white lighthouse towers over colorful row homes

A place of endless natural beauty, Southwold was home for a period to writer George Orwell (who wrote Animal Farm and 1984) and has history dating back to the Viking times! With colorful row homes and charm around every corner, Southwold has also seen fishing industry booms and devastating fires.


Aside from its history, Southwold is home to many modern shops and restaurants and the famed Adnam's Brewery.


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Take a Tour at Adnam's Distillery

a white archway looms over empty wooden bar tables

Founded in 1890, Adnam's produces over 85,000 barrels of cask ales and beer a year, in addition to spirits.


This great tour leads you through the distillery and into their tasting cavern for a round of really delicious concoctions.


Gin lovers will love sampling several of nearly a dozen different styles of gin, including a wonderful wintertime sloe gin and other unique flavor pairings like blackcurrant, orange and sea buckthorn and quince. Whiskey and vodka are also heavily featured, as well as their distinct line of sea themed beers.


Check out more about their tour offerings at Adnam's website. Tours include the brewery tour, distillery tour, make your own gin classes and more.



Rent A Beach Hut in Southwold

a smiling couple stands in front of colorful beach huts

The colorful beach huts are as cute and Instagram-worthy as your author is in this photo.


Beach hut rentals can be made online and they are really stinking adorable.


No bigger than your backyard shed, these quirky huts are the ideal base for relaxing sea views and fun times with the family. With small kitchenettes they make for an excellent day out for a family luncheon too.


Seasonal rentals typically are a few hundred pounds for the week.


Don't expect to go swimming while you are there though, the current sea temperature (in June) is 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and that's a summer temp.


Feel free to bundle up and bring a picnic, a kite or other entertainment.



Have Some Proper Fish and Chips

a white storefront with dried fish hanging from the ceiling

The Little Fish & Chip Shop operated by the Sole Bay Fish Company is about as legit as you can get for proper take-away fish and chips.


Belly up to the shop's limited counter seating or bring your haul down to the beach for an excellent meal with a view.


Don't forget to grab some prosecco or beer to wash it down with, offered at their store.



Take a Boat Ride

wooden boats in front of wooden beach huts

The Coastal Voyager is one of several boat operators in town to see seals or catch the sea air on their aptly named ride called the "Coastal Voyage".




Climb Up a 19th Century Lighthouse


Having a serious foothold in the tourism of Southwold, Adnam's actually operates the tours for the Southwold Lighthouse too. This turn of the century lighthouse is not only a beacon to boaters but also an icon of the village.


Tour tickets include a drink at the local Sole Bay Inn and discounts in the Adnam's shop.


Note that children and babies cannot be carried (there are height restrictions too) and visitors who wish to make the climb need to be in good heart and respiratory health.


Tour information can be found on Adnam's website.


Visit the Southwold Pier


A typical charming seaside boardwalk, built at turn of the century much like the rest of the town's attractions, the Southwold Pier boasts several attractions including an "Under the Pier" show, a Boardwalk restaurant, arcade and more.



Where To Stay In Southwold England


After some shopping in town, siteseeing and proper imbibing at a pub or on a tour at Adnam's, you may wish to spend the night.


I highly recommend staying at the Sutherland House. With rooms offering timbered beams and some featuring double-ended slipper bath tubs, this place will feel incredibly luxurious without the price tag.



 

Next time you are east of London or anywhere near Norfolk, make some time to enjoy Southwold, England's coastal charms!

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