There is arguably nowhere in Suffolk that offers a better family day out than Southwold: this charming seaside town is as picturesque and quintessentially English as they come. The famous 18th century lighthouse sits in the centre of a cosy collection of shops, pubs, restaurant and houses. Looking out across a breathtaking coastline it has guided vessels into Southwold Harbour for well over 100 years.
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The harbour itself is home to a boatyard, chandlery, brokerage and the award winning Harbour Cafe. Nestled directly on the banks of the River Blyth the cafe alone is reason enough to pay Southwold a visit. Open every day between 8am and 4pm this eatery bakes fresh scones, cakes and offers a decent list of specials. It’s your choice of a light bite or lunch by the river as soups, quiche and salads are joined by more hearty favourites such lasagne and jacket potatoes. They have a great policy of supporting local producers too so it’s the ideal place to get a taste of real Suffolk.
The relaxed, informal building couldn’t be anymore fitting to its riverside location as oil lanterns and vintage life-rings hang from wooden beams that curve across the roof to give the impression of being inside a gigantic upturned boat. The outside area is perfect for catching a bit of rest-bite and refreshment with ice creams and chilled drinks in the summer sun whilst during those colder winter months there is nothing more comforting than warming up indoors with a decent coffee and cake by the roaring log-burner.
If a good beer is more appealing than a mug of tea then the famous Adnams brewery is right around the corner. This is one of the most respected independent beer companies in the world and a jewel in the crown of Suffolk’s proud brewing tradition. Take a tour of the building, learn the production process and visit the Adnams store to take something home with you… considering the town’s iconic lighthouse makes up the logo for its signature ale, a bottle of Adnams Southwold may be the only memento needed to remember your trip.
Southwold lies 30 minutes from from some award winning floating accommodation: The Onderneming and Twee Gebroeders. Both vessels are late 1800s sailing barges, the former is moored on the river Alde whilst the latter can be found on the Deben. Proudly combining ‘luxury with an open, dog-friendly approach’, both boats sleep up to 4 and flawlessly blend historic touches with 21st century comfort. If dry land is more your thing then head to Woodfarm Barns. This gorgeous dog-friendly accommodation is made up of a collection of six cottages and an exquisitely maintained 500 year old farm house. All three options are perfect for families and friends staying in Suffolk who want their holiday to live and breath what makes this county so special.