Tucked away on the Common between the Water Tower and the Golf Club, nestles a Southwold secret the locals like to keep to themselves… The Pit Stop café, tennis courts and play area is run with commendable energy and style by Anne Clarke.
Every day in the summer you’ll find this full of local families, whose children nag them to go morning, noon and night. Why? Because it’s a place they can run free. The Pit Stop is enclosed on three sides, and filled with bicycles, toy cars, slides and a host of other garden games, not to mention books, pens and paper, dolls houses, garages, rocking horses, jigsaws and lots of other things to do on rainy days.
There are four tennis courts, which the Pit Stop rent out for a small sum, and visitors needn’t be prepared since there are tennis racquets and balls available for hire too. On Saturdays local children come here for tennis coaching – it’s turn up and play, so anyone can join in. And when the courts aren’t being used for tennis they’re usually full of younger children taking their first shaky turns on scooters and bicycles.
Parents and other visitors (who often stop by on their way to the Harbour or after a tramp across the marshes) can relax with hot and cold drinks, cakes and light snacks. Anne’s cooked breakfast is legendary, and the papers (local and Telegraph) are available for visitors to read.
The Pit Stop is open seven days a week from 10am – 6pm, from the start of the Easter holidays until after October half term.