Top 10 Things to do in Southwold, United Kingdom (UK)

October 26, 2017 Layne Dawes

Southwold is a small town on the English North Sea coast in the Waveney district of Suffolk. It lies at the mouth of the River Blyth within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The town is about 11 miles (18 km) south of Lowestoft, 29 miles (47 km) north-east of Ipswich and 97 miles (156 km) north-east of London, within the parliamentary constituency of Suffolk Coastal. The "All Usual Residents" 2011 Census figure gives a total of 1,098 persons for the town. The 2012 Housing Report by the Southwold and Reydon Society concluded that 49 per cent of the dwellings in the town are used as second homes and let to holiday-makers.
Restaurants in Southwold

1. Alfred Corry Lifeboat Museum Trust

Ferry Road, Southwold IP18 6NB, England +44 1502 723200
Excellent
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5 based on 163 reviews

Alfred Corry Lifeboat Museum Trust

Our Museum is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the Alfred Corry lifeboat. The Alfred Corry was the Southwold No 1 lifeboat from 1893 to 1918. She is a Norfolk and Suffolk type sailing and pulling lifeboat. She was dedicated on the Easter Monday of 1893 and during her 25 years of Royal National Lifeboat Institutions (RNLI) service she was launched 41 times and she and her crew are credited with saving 47 lives. After retiring from RNLI service the vessel passed through the hands of several private owners. Each owner modified her to meet their own particular requirements. She has now been restored to her original lifeboat form by members of the museum trust. The name Alfred Corry is taken from the benefactor Mr Alfred James Corry (1858-1892) who left a bequest of £1,500 "for the building, fitting out and equipping of one lifeboat" in his will. The Alfred Corry is housed in the ex Cromer Lifeboat Shed which was originally installed on the end of Cromer pier. Designed and built in 1923 the shed was partially dismantled and shipped to Southwold in 1998 where it was reassembled and restored by local artisans and members of the trust. For many years Mr Henry Blogg GC BEM (1876-1954) who is the most highly decorated RNLI lifeboat man was the long serving Coxswain of the Cromer lifeboat and he helped design and modify aspects of the shed. The museum tells the story of the Alfred Corry and her crew throughout her RNLI career and her subsequent 'adventures'. We also have displays on the restoration of both the vessel and shed. These are all put in the context of the history of Southwold and its people through the ages. The displays are updated and changed on a regular basis. We positively welcome school parties and educational visits.

Reviewed By SpondonBongles

This is probably one for the older people, my teenagers weren't that fussed. I really enjoyed it though, there is tons of photos and memorabilia plus the old lifeboat in a nice dry shed. And it's free.Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We do strive to interest all age groups and run a quiz for younger visitors. We also regularly change our displays so please return soon. You’ll be sure of a warm welcome.

2. Southwold Lighthouse

Stradbroke Rd | Centre of The Seaside Resort of Southwold, Southwold, England +44 20 7481 6900
Excellent
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4.5 based on 375 reviews

Southwold Lighthouse

Southwold Lighthouse stands in the middle of the historic resort of Southwold, in the heart of the beautiful Suffolk Heritage Coast. The Lighthouse provides a waymark for vessels navigating the East Coast and guides vessels making for Southwold Harbour. Tours of Southwold Lighthouse are organised by Southwold Millennium Foundation under licence from the Corporation of Trinity House

Reviewed By Ericpear - Porlezza, Italy

We had a very interesting one-half hour visit to the Southwold Lighthouse. It was fun to climb stairs for views from this historic building. There are quite a few stairs so we don't think it would suit the frail or disabled. Our guide, Tim, made the visit more pleasant with historical and technical (not too much) details. Might add that Tim has a great sense of humour. This unplanned visit to the lighthouse in a sense brought to life the tradition of the sea that is so significant a feature of life in these British Isles.

3. Southwold Pier

Pier Pavilion North Parade, Southwold IP18 6BN, England +44 1502 722105
Excellent
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

Southwold Pier

If one picture on a postcard could sum up an idyllic English Seaside destination it would have to be Southwold Pier. Decked out across the sea in the picturesque coastal town of Southwold, this pillared walkway has a magnetic attraction and something for everyone to enjoy! There's so much to do a whole day can drift by while you walk the planks and explore this historic icon. Please note: Our opening times are weather permitting and therefore can change.

Reviewed By Helen S - London, United Kingdom

The east wind was blowing in so the pier was closed when we visited, which was understandable. When it's open it's actually quite stylish and quaint compared to most piers. It's worth a walk to the end (if you can get there) to get great...MoreDear Helen S, Thank you for your review. Unfortunately, there are some days that The Pier has to close, due to the weather conditions and for the Safety of our guests. Come back and see us again soon. Kind regards, Southwold Pier

4. Adnams

Sole Bay Brewery East Green | Sole Bay Brewery, Southwold IP18 6JW, England +44 1502 727225
Excellent
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4.5 based on 79 reviews

Adnams

For those of you who have yet to visit our distillery in Southwold, you are in for a treat! Tour tickets are only £20 per person (over 18s only) which includes a tutored tasting and a little something to take home. The distillery contains all the equipment needed to create a "grain to glass" product taking local barley, wheat and oats. The tour demonstrates the highly precise intricacies of micro distilling and small batch process, as well as the creativity too. You'll be able to taste the house recipes, which we've carefully crafted from a lot of practice from the team. The tour takes approximately 1 hour and is followed by a tutored tasting in the Cellar & Kitchen store, which takes around 30 minutes. Don't forget to ask about our 'Make your own gin' experiences!

Reviewed By taylioNorwichUK - Norfolk, United Kingdom

Well I learnt something today. Gin is made from Vodka. Who knew? Tour guide knew his stuff, very interesting. Loved the tasting experience at the end even though Gin and whiskey are not my thing. Did find a Vodka I like and a voucher off a purchase in the shop to boot - bonus

5. Southwold Sailors' Reading Room

Sailors Reading Room Sailors Reading Room East Cliff, Southwold IP18 6EL, England +44 1502 726097
Excellent
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4.5 based on 93 reviews

Southwold Sailors' Reading Room

Reviewed By AlandAnC - Barnsley, United Kingdom

The Reading room is a brilliant free attraction. Though small the Reading room is crammed with maritime memorabilia with models of boats, figureheads and a host of fascinating photographs. Pity photography not allowed in he Reading room but quite understandable (copy-rite reasons).
Newspapers available to read, also a snooker room though this is restricted to members.
A free attraction but donations welcomed.

6. Southwold Museum and Historical Society

9-11 Victoria Street, Southwold IP18 6HZ, England +44 7708 781317
Excellent
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4.5 based on 69 reviews

Southwold Museum and Historical Society

Reviewed By 345terryf

This is a lovely place to wile away an hour. The museum is free to enter, and offers a colourful and fascinating history of various aspects of Southwold's past, from military, social and cultural, industrial and environmental angles, and it is all fitted neatly into a tiny space. The volunteers are extremely helpful and well informed, and the museum is child friendly. Well worth a visit.

7. St Edmund's Church

Southwold, England
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4.5 based on 42 reviews

St Edmund's Church

Reviewed By Pammy N Steve R - Norwich, England, United Kingdom

We go to St Edmunds every year for the St Felix school Carol service , it is a beautiful church ...in the heart of Southwold..the roof is stunning....in fact the architecture is typical of an English church.

8. Adnams 'Make Your Own Gin' Experience - Southwold

Sole Bay Brewery East Green, Southwold IP18 6EG, England
Excellent
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5 based on 31 reviews

Adnams 'Make Your Own Gin' Experience - Southwold

If you've ever wanted to create your own Gin then the Adnams Make Your Own Gin experience is for you! This fascinating experience using mini copper stills takes 2-2.5 hours. An Adnams Gin Maker will guide you through the process of making your own gin, from selecting your own choice of the botanicals provided, through to the distillation process and naming, then labelling, your personal bottle.

Reviewed By LIZ503680 - Letchworth, United Kingdom

Southwold is my favourite place and gin my favourite spirit so a wonderful combination to share with husband and a knowledgeable and friendly guide called Sally. So came home with. 2 bottles of our carefully crafted tipple but be warned it must be left to mature for at least 2weeks

9. Denes Beach

Ferry Road | Harbour Car Park, Southwold IP18 6NB, England
Excellent
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4.5 based on 32 reviews

Denes Beach

Great for a family day out at the beach. Large expanse of beach backed by sand dunes. Ideal for relaxing with a picnic, swimming, sandcastles etc.. Dog friendly. Ample Car Parking with Public Toilets available at the rear of the dunes.

Reviewed By jude9999_10 - Diss, United Kingdom

We walked from the pier end of Southwold along the Promenade to the harbour end. It does seem to be the wider and quieter end of the beach although there were still quite a few families sitting there. The sand is clean and there is plenty of space to play. There are lots of coffee and tea places including the Gun Hill café.

10. Latitude Festival

Beccles | Henham Park, Southwold NR34 8AN, England
Excellent
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4.5 based on 30 reviews

Latitude Festival

One of the more recent additions to the British festival calendar, Latitude is a magical experience in the woods of Suffolk. There's not only music, but also poetry, literature, science and drama stages making it a more culturally-rich experience. Latitude is known for being a kid-friendly festival too and for really pushing the boundaries when it comes to design, innovation and an immersive experience.

Reviewed By T-SGlobetrotters - Preston, Lancashire

This was our third Latitude and this year we perceived a noticeable change in format. In our previous two visits, the festival was a remarkable and exciting fusion of people of all ages and interests. Families with young kids mixing with flamboyantly dressed individuals from the LGBT community. Groups of young people together with seasoned festival goers and most importantly a huge variety of entertainment including poetry, literature, comedy, dance, cabaret, lectures, film and wide variety of music all in a beautiful setting completely relaxed and trouble free. The latter still remains the case. No trouble at all during the whole weekend in a gorgeous setting and thankfully the festival continues to avoid attracting people whose only target is to drink themselves into a stupor. It is also very family focussed with a good range of attractions just for children and the ability to enjoy a festival in a completely safe atmosphere.
However the eclectic mix of all the things mentioned above is being watered down. The attendance mix was distinctly less 'alternative'. The separate poetry and literature tents have been merged into one labelled ‘The Speakeasy’. Less emphasis on poetry and seemingly more focus on writers keen to push their book sales. The poetry space given up to a brand new Carlsberg bar area. The cabaret tent often a good stopping off point to the Edinburgh Festival and displaying a wide range of alternative non mainstream entertainment seemingly infiltrated with growing numbers of comedians. There has been a change of emphasis in the Arena previously known as Film and Music, as it is now being used is an additional music venue with less focus on film, unfortunately due to its limited capacity there were numerous occasions over the weekend, with long queues of people unable to gain access to the venue for some of the more popular artists.
The ‘Corporate’ emphasis is undoubtedly growing with more brand names replacing independent operators in food and drink provision.
On the music side, the festival continues to excel in attracting a brilliant range of musicians and unlike some other leading festivals it is relatively easy to navigate between the various venues. The BBC continues to be a strong supporter of Latitude and long may this continue. They are no doubt instrumental in attracting musicians to the festival and certainly the first two days of the festival had a strong line up. Sunday was disappointing particularly the later afternoon and evening which as a previously reviewer highlighted attracted embarrassingly small crowds at the main obelisk arena and our fears that John Kale and The Fleet Foxes were the wrong types of acts for a festival climax were sadly correct judging by attendance numbers.
The Mumford and Sons curated Saturday event went very well and attracted huge numbers of day visitors to the extent Saturday was sold out. This did lead to severe delays in accessing and leaving the site. One of the attractions from our viewpoint is the excellent arrangements for day parking enabling us to use an external B&B rather than camping but it would seem the sheer numbers of day visitors on the Saturday led to inevitable delays for those leaving immediately after the Mumford and Sons set. We stayed in the festival to see Jack Garratt leaving around 1.30am so didn’t have quite as much of an issue in leaving.
Would we go next year? Not sure. The organisers need to think carefully about the balance of music acts across all three days and work to restoring the variety of attractions highlighted in other areas. As it stands the Corporate influence is just about in check but they need to consider carefully any further infiltration as they could destroy the unique cocktail which Latitude excels at.

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