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Southwold

Southwold Pier

Southwold is arguably the jewel in the crown of Suffolk’s heritage coast as far as visitors to our great county are concerned

Home of the Adnams brewery, famous lighthouse and beach huts. Splendid art galleries, fine shops and pubs and the Blackshore harbourside for extremely fresh fish and the ferry across the River Blyth to Walberswick (see our separate post on Walberswick)

Jam packed with great pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, shops and a fabulous beach and pier, with some quirky old things to see and do!

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Walberswick

Walberswick

Walberswick lies on the south bank of the River Blyth, a short ferry ride across from Southwold

It is tucked away amidst a thousand acres of coast, heath and marshland listed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The ferry, which transports people across the Blyth in the summer months, is rowed by the fifth generation of the same family. There is also a foot and cycle path where the old railway ran across the Bailey bridge – but the only way by car to Southwold is back up to the A12 and through Blythburgh, making a trip of some seven miles

You’ll find some great pubs around here. See our separate posts on The Anchor and The Bell. There are great little coffee and gift shops too, and rolling sand dunes for a good walk, with or without dogs

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The Jolly Sailor in Orford

Jolly Sailor Orford

The Jolly Sailor is a centuries old pub near the quay in picturesque Orford

It was built sometime between the late 16th and middle of the 17th century allegedly from wrecked ship’s timbers. The pub once had a reputation as a smuggler’s haunt and is now brimming with nautical memorabilia. They have fantastic log burning fires for those cold winter days and in the summer an extensive patio and garden area. They are both child and dog friendly. Ask the barman for a dog biscuit!

The current owners took over the Jolly Sailor in September 2013 having had many years experience between them

They have put in place an exciting new menu using as many fresh and local ingredients as possible. The menu changes daily, however firm favourites like the fresh beer battered line caught fish and chips and juicy rib-eye steaks are always available as are home-made soups and vegetarian options

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The Anchor in Walberswick

Anchor Walberswick

A fabulous pub & restaurant right on the beach at Walberswick, a stunning little seaside village on the heritage coast

Sophie & Mark Dorber have created a village local that’s family friendly and a welcome retreat for all who enjoy good conversation, food and drink

We’ve been there several times and there is always a warm welcome, beautiful comfy surroundings and a fabulous range of wines and beers (Adnams of course) and a superb menu. It’s no surprise then that in January 2104 they gained the position of 36 in the Top 50 Gastro Awards!

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The Bell Inn in Walberswick

Walberswick Bell Inn

A great pub on the heritage coast overlooking the sea, serving home cooked and locally sourced food, fine Adnams ales, wines and whiskies. What’s not to like?!

Walberswick is a beautiful little seaside village with a number of great pubs, adjacent to the rolling dunes and Harbour. Centuries old, it’s steeped in history and sat smack bang in the middle of an area of outstanding natural beauty

The Bell oozes Suffolk character with quirky snugs, beamed ceilings, hidden alcoves and worn flagstone floors. Well known for their friendly and welcoming atmosphere, The Bell is a perfect all year round destination

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The Victoria in Earl Soham

Victoria

A great old real ale pub that time seems to have forgotten!

It clearly hasn’t been decorated for years, which actually really works! It’s a very quaint ‘real’ pub with wooden floors, roaring double-sided open fire in the winter and the unmistakeable aroma of a log fire all year round

They have their own brewery producing Victoria and (you’ve guessed it) Albert ales. It’s right on the A1120, on the right hand side heading away from the Stonham Aspal end; set back from road behind a small green

Freshly cooked pub food. Great value for money

Simple wood furnishings, bare floorboards and open fire provide an effective back-drop to the excellent beer brewed a few yards away in the village

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The Four Horseshoes – Thornham

Four Horseshoes

Great proper old Suffolk Pub/ Restaurant serving freshly cooked food and a great selection of beers and wines

The Four Horseshoes is a beautiful 12th Century pub, set in the pretty Suffolk village of Thornham Magna, with lots of original features and a roaring log fire

It’s a family run place and they provide an array of refreshments from early morning breakfast for both guests and visitors to light lunches or a la carte specialities in the Shire Restaurant

The inn boasts a large bar with inglenook fireplaces and an extensive wine range from across the world as well as the traditional cask conditioned ales and lagers offers the visitor a selection of perfect refreshments

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The Kings Head (The Low House)

Kings Head taproom

Such a good pub they gave it two names! A proper old dog-friendly Suffolk Country Pub with fabulous garden

The Low House is one of the very few pubs left in Britain that has no bar-counter. You go in the tap room at the back. Beer drinkers survey the array of barrels and request whatever takes the fancy, drawn straight from the barrel! How good is that?

Before you reach the barrels, you pass through a room dominated by an ancient fireplace. Old settles, polished in parts by the backs and bottoms of the long dead, positioned in a U-shape, with a table in the middle. Another room, also called the tap room, likewise has one large table and bench seats around

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The Dennington Queen

Dennington Queen

Superb restaurant/ pub

One of my favourite local places; formerly The Queens Head it is now very much more a restaurant than a pub. It’s only 20 minutes from our holiday cottages so is a popular stop-off for many of our guests. A large timber framed building set back from road and close to church. Spacious dining areas and a small retained drinking area. Parts date from the early 16th century, others from the early 17th

Landlord Peter Mills says their ghost (nicknamed Albert) can be heard pacing around above the bar. There have also been instances where the stereo has been turned off by a ghostly hand and the vacuum cleaner switched on! Apparently. I’m saying nothing!

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The Bildeston Crown

Bildeston Crown dining room

The Bildeston Crown is situated in one of Suffolk’s historic ‘wool towns’. This 15th century former coaching inn is a real treat, with a restaurant, comfortable bar area, open fire, courtyard and terrace.

This restaurant and hotel is reputed to be haunted by several ghosts. There have been sightings of old people (not me!) sitting in bars, children that want to hold hands in one of the bedrooms and there’s a ghost of someone who hanged himself long ago in one of the rooms!

Despite the ghost stories, this is a fantastic place to stop for a bite to eat. The fabulous menu primarily uses locally sourced seasonal produce, and offers a wide range of dishes; from regular favourites, midweek set lunch deals, and the ultimate dining experience – owner Chris Lee’s tasting menu.  

After a sumptuous lunch or dinner, The Bildeston Crown is perfectly situated for access to Hadleigh, Lavenham, Dedham Vale and Constable Country, and historic Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich.