Things to do in Southwold, Suffolk

By Discover More UK


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If you’re looking at Cornwall, Devon, Dorset or Kent for your next seaside getaway, consider adding the Suffolk Coast to your possibilities. Southwold is the perfect base to explore the coast from. With this guide, you can plan the best things to do in Southwold, Suffolk during your stay.

The Suffolk Coast is a massively underrated area of the UK. But with a stunning coastline, sandy beaches, quaint coastal towns and beautiful countryside, it should be on everyone’s radar for beach getaways in the UK.

How to get to Southwold

Southwold is a 2 hour and 45 minute drive from London, around 2 hours from Cambridge and just one hour from Ipswich.

The A12 runs parallel to the coast from the South so if you’re coming from the South, you’ll drive up on the A12. Coming from the North you’ll come into Suffolk on the A14 before joining the A12 as you drive up the coast to Southwold.

There are train links to Southwold, coming from the South you’ll change at Ipswich. Coming from the east it’s quicker to take the train to Norwich and then to Lowestoft which are very regular. From there, it’s a bus to Southwold.

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Southwold Things To Do

The great thing about Southwold is that once you’re in the area, it’s a very walkable town with lots to do in a small area. Perfect if you’re looking for a slower-paced UK getaway.

Check out these attractions and things to do in the Southwold area.

Take a walk along Southwold Pier

Southwold pier and beach

The pier is unmissable along its long shoreline.

The Victorian pier has been restored and is now a place of fun and enjoyment for everyone, reaching 623 feet into the North Sea waters.

Kids can easily spend hours in the arcade here. Adults might enjoy the Beach Bistro or the Boardwalk Restaurant for incredible views with your meal.

Don’t miss the weird and wonderful Under The Pier Show. It’s full of eccentric inventions and quirky machines as you descend under the pier to experience a fascinating and interactive show like no other!

For more ideas for things to do at Southwold, the Pier also hosts regular events throughout the year. Check their website to see what’s on in Southwold during your visit.

Adnams Brewery, Southwold

Do a brewery tour at Adnams Brewery

Southwold is famously the home of Adnams, the English cider and brewing company whose headquarters are right here in the town.

You’ll see they have several locations around the town and surrounding area. They also own several of the pubs in Southwold.

If you’re a cider fan, this should be on your list of things to do in and around Southwold!

You can book on their brewery tours or distillery tours which are daily and cost £20 per person. Both tours also include tasting sessions and can be booked here.

Pick up some fresh produce and local products at the Market

Although just a small market area, the centre of the town comes alive on market days which are Monday and Thursday.

The market sits at the central point in the town where the High Street, Queens Street and East Street meet.

Here you’ll find a small selection of local stores selling locally made food items, a fishmonger, fresh produce stores, locally made jewellery and clothing and other boutique items.

Enjoy an afternoon on the sandy Southwold beach

You can’t visit Southwold without spending some time on the beautiful sandy beach here. It’s just one of just a few sandy beaches along this coastline where most beaches are pebbles.

The beach is mostly calm, especially in the summer months when there is also a lifeguard on duty.

There’s plenty of space to enjoy the long sandy expanse, from right by the beach huts and the pier or down to the Denes Beach area, which you can walk along the beach from the town to reach. Or you can drive down Ferry Road and park at the Ferry Road car park if you want a bit more beach space to yourself!

Rent a colourful Beach hut

colourful beach huts with red and white stripes

If you’re planning what to do in Southwold and want to treat yourself on your trip, why not rent one of the colourful beach huts that line the Southwold beachfront.

They’re absolutely beautiful and very photogenic. Many of them are also fully equipped for spending full days at the beach, with kitchenettes, a fridge, beach chairs and parasols, beach toys and buckets and spades for the kids.

If you rent one of these huts for your stay, or even just one day, you’re guaranteed a spot at the beach and you can do it in style!

Click here to find out more and book. Prices start from £49 per day.

Enjoy some fresh seafood at the Harbour

Dining out is a must and when you’re staying by the coast. You have to try some freshly caught seafood at one of the Southwold restaurants.

Take a walk or a drive down to Southwold Harbour which sits along the mouth of the River Blyth. Here you’ll find Sole Bay Fish Company serving some of the freshest seafood straight off the boats. From cod, sole and plaice, to crab, lobster, oysters and sea bass, don’t miss trying this incredible seafood.

The opening times at Sole Bay Fish Co are a bit odd, they’re usually only open until 3pm on weekdays and sometimes later on the weekends. Check their website before heading out there.

The same company also owns The Little Fish and Chip Shop in the town, which does incredible fish & chips.

For a great pub meal, head to the Sole Bay Inn, right below the Lighthouse. The pub is opposite the brewery and is also an Adnams pub. Here you’ll find great beers, seafood dishes and the usual pub grub staples.

Learn more at the Southwold Museum

If you’re in need of things to do in Southwold in the rain, don’t miss learning more about the town and surrounding area at the Southwold Museum.

This museum is housed in a cute little cottage and it manages to pack in a huge amount of information about Southwold and its surroundings. With artefacts from Viking settlements, right through to the industrial development of Southwold and the nature of its coastline.

Do the coastal walk from Southwold to Walberswick

If you’re feeling active and looking for other things to do near Southwold, the walk from Southwold to Walberswick on the other side of the River Blyth is highly recommended.

You can walk along the Ferry Road to the Harbour, or choose to walk along the beach if you prefer. Once you reach the harbour, you can take the unique Walberswick rowing boat ferry across the river to reach the other side.

This completely unique river crossing is for foot passengers only, adults £2 and children £1. It’s a fun and unique experience. A great way to reach the neighbouring village which is a 20 minute drive inland by car to reach, or just a 30 minute walk from Southwold by taking the ferry crossing.

For places to visit near Southwold, Walberswick is a must-visit. It’s quaint town, beautiful houses, unique ferry crossing and beautiful beach make it popular with visitors. The beach at Walberswick is pebbled but with gorgeous sand dunes behind it and it is generally quieter than Southwold beach.

Don’t miss the Tea Shed tea rooms at Walberswick.

Climb the Southwold Lighthouse

Southwold lighthouse

This fascinating inland lighthouse can be seen from all over Southwold. If you’re intrigued by this landmark then the good news is that you can go and climb it on one of the Lighthouse Tours.

Tours run every half hour. There’s no need to book in advance, you can turn up and buy a ticket for the next available slot.


Adults – £4.50

Children – £3.00

(correct at time of writing – please check the website for most up to date ticket prices)

Sample some Ice Cream

Is it even a British seaside holiday if you don’t have some ice cream?

There are countless options for ice cream along the Suffolk coast, but don’t miss the ice cream from Harris and James Store. If you’re a Turkish Delight fan, you absolutely have to try their Turkish Delight ice cream.

They also have fun flavours like Party Ring (the colourful biscuits) and Bueno flavour.

Of course they have the classic flavours too so don’t miss this ice cream shop for a real treat!

The Little Fish & Chip shop

Eat Fish & Chips on the beachfront

This article has already mentioned a few restaurants in Southwold to choose from, but if you’re on your holidays in Southwold, you can’t miss the chance to enjoy fish & chips on the beachfront at this seaside town.

Try the Little Fish & Chip Shop in the centre of the city and walk down to the beachfront where the colourful beach huts are to enjoy your meal with a view.

Or head down to the harbour and enjoy fish & chips at Mrs T’s Fish & Chips as you watch the day’s catch come in.

Summary: Things to do in Southwold, England

Hopefully this guide has given you some ideas to help you plan what to see in Southwold and what to do in Southwold Suffolk on your trip. There really is something for everyone in Southwold and this beautiful area of the English coast is not one to be missed.

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Pinnable image with four images of colourful beach huts, a lighthouse, pits of cider and a beach with a pier in the distance. Overlay text reads Best things to do in Southwold Suffolk

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