• Family walking at the Harbour in Southwold

Suffolk's Best Pubs by the Sea

If you're looking for a great drinking experience on the Suffolk coast, then you're in luck! Suffolk is home to some of the most beautiful pubs and bars by the sea. Whether you're looking for a traditional pub experience with real ales and hearty food, or something more modern with craft beer and cocktails, you're sure to find what you're looking for in a Suffolk pub by the sea.

The Cross Keys - Aldeburgh

Exterior of The Cross Keys in Aldeburgh, Suffolk
Nestled on the aptly named Crabbe Street and set back from the charming Aldeburgh High Street, The Cross Keys offers a relaxed approach, a lively atmosphere and great food and drink, all just paces away from Aldeburgh’s characterful sand and shingle beach.

Just off the Crag path, the pub boasts a secluded courtyard with sublime sea views as well as cosy nooks inside for the more blustery days. The Cross Keys invites visitors to enjoy their seasonal menu which showcases the best local flavours from coast and country and there are even three comfortable bedrooms available if you fancy a coastal stay. 

The Ship at Dunwich

Exterior of The Ship at Dunwich

The Ship at Dunwich is the epitome of traditional coastal pub, sheltered and cosy in the winter, bright and airy in the summer months and with an intriguing history to boot. Once the haunt of bands of smugglers, today The Ship welcomes weary beachcombers to take a seat in the bar or the beautiful garden and sun terrace to enjoy local Adnams Ale or something hearty from the carefully curated menu.

Dogs are also very welcome and have their own menu to choose from. Why not make a weekend of it and stay in one of the fresh and contemporary rooms; a relaxed retreat for anyone who enjoys the fresh sea air. 

East Point Pavilion 

People sitting in the garden of East Point Pavilion
The quirky East Point Pavillion, though not strictly a pub, is home to Sir Toby's Beers and deserves a shout out for its contemporary and unusual setting for a seaside tipple! Stroll along the sunny promenade, enjoy the amusements at the pier, have a paddle and then take a seat in the gorgeous Victorian-style glass building.

Light and airy with a perfect view of the sea, you can while away the time with a drink from the bar, a snack from one of the many food vendors or you may even find some entertainment on offer- the Pavilion hosts a range of events from yoga to live music and even craft fayres. 

The Sole Bay Inn

The Sole Bay Inn Sign

Have you ever enjoyed an ale whilst sat at the foot of a lighthouse? Well, head to Southwold’s Sole Bay pub and you can. This charming pub is a stone’s throw from Southwold’s gorgeous beach and is tucked away beneath the working lighthouse which measures thirty-one metres in height and was built in 1887 - you can even climb to the top!

There are tables inside and out where you can sit and sample an array of cask beers, as well as kegged and bottled ones. Take your pick from the seaside inspired menu with lots of local seafood, pub classics and sandwiches. Canine companions are very welcome too so it’s the perfect place to retreat after a blustery dog walk. 

The Harbour Inn

View from The Harbour Inn, Southwold

Southwold’s Harbour Inn, as the name suggests, overlooks the Southwold Blackshore; a working harbour with original fishing huts.This is a proper old fisherman’s pub welcoming, down to earth and full of nautical charm. Enjoy the freshest seafood, served from the harbour-side kitchen as you watch the fishing boats bob by.

The chefs at the Harbour Inn take great pride in sourcing the very best of the catch of the day; with much of the fish on offer having been caught by local fishermen from the Lowestoft fishing boats. Wash it down with one of the Adnams beers, wines or spirits, brewed just up the road. 

The Lord Nelson

The Lord Nelson exterior

The Lord Nelson pub (affectionately known to the locals as Nellie) is widely considered a social hub by Southwold residents. Situated on East Street, with far reaching views over the waves, this pub promises the perfect pint as well as good conversation and a buzzing atmosphere.

Everyone is welcome, including dogs, and on Fridays and Saturdays the pub serves pizza from Black Dog Deli. This pub is always busy, so you’ll find yourself shoulder to shoulder with some local characters, and on sunny days you can head out to the courtyard garden or grab one of the benches out the front - the best seat in town!

The Sail Loft

The Sail Loft exterior
This stylish cafe-bar and restaurant is in prime position, next to the beach on one side and overlooking the dunes on the other, just along from Gun Hill towards the harbour. With plentiful parking The Sail Loft welcomes families, children, groups of friends and couples for relaxed informal dining; from a hearty morning brunch to afternoon refreshments and dinner.

Choose from tantalising nibbles, including padron peppers, crispy breaded brie and salami bites, followed by a sharing fish platter crammed with locally caught seafood, as well as locally reared steaks and a plethora of tempting desserts. Upstairs there are five comfortable and stylish bedrooms with great views of the tranquil landscape.

The Dolphin Inn

Exterior of The Dolphin Inn

Situated in the unique seaside village of Thorpeness, The Dolphin Inn is a great place to gather with friends and enjoy some delicious fayre in a cosy setting. Choose to dine in the garden room with its panoramic views, the main restaurant displaying local artwork, or the dog friendly snug bar. The chefs at the Dolphin use produce from the pub’s own allotment - you can’t get more local than that!

They often have different meal deals such as: the popular steak deal, vegan Thursday and 'roast and crumble' for Sunday lunch. If you fancy a break away to the unspoilt Suffolk coast then opt to stay in one of the Dolphin’s lovely, comfy rooms, with breakfast in the garden room included.

The Bell Inn 

The Bell Inn garden
After a long day crabbing in Walberswick take a stroll through the rolling sand dunes and finish your day at The Bell Inn. This historical six hundred year old pub is elegant and charming with a rustic air evoking the memories of visitors past.

Take your seat in one of the hidden alcoves or quirky snugs inside, or otherwise find a spot in the large pub garden. The menu is constantly changing with the best of the local Suffolk produce and features a range of classic dishes as well as a special focus on locally caught seafood. 

Take a look below for more places to dine near the sea!



WHERE TO EAT

A Passion for Seafood 

A Passion for Seafood

A Passion for Seafood are purveyors of fresh, seasonal, British fish and shellfish, sourced directly from fishermen, both locally here in Suffolk and all around the UK. They supply wholesale to restaurants, independent fishmongers and private chefs and then retail via their own shop at Grange Farm, Hasketon, Woodbridge. They also smoke their own fish and shellfish. Every product sold is fully traceable.


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Sea Spice

Sea Spice

Sea Spice is situated in the heart of Aldeburgh. Taking its lead from the ancient Spice Route and Aldeburgh’s historic role as a valued Tudor port, Sea Spice unites local Suffolk produce with classic Indian flavours originating over 4,000 miles away. 

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Sur-Mer at The Suffolk

Sur-Mer at The Suffolk

Sur Mer is a slice of relaxed luxury in the beautiful Suffolk coastal town of Aldeburgh. A wonderful seaside escape where you can enjoy the signature Butley Native baked lobster with garlic butter and chips, washed down with a crisp glass of Champagne!

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Dog friendly

Adnams

Adnams

Adnams - they're like a big breath of fresh, sea air.

They make amazing beers and spirits from grain-to-glass in their coastal home of Southwold.

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View Point Cafe

View Point Cafe

View Point Cafe is a modern and friendly cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating. Situated on the Landguard Peninsular, adjacent to the Port of Felixstowe on the Orwell estuary, the View Point Cafe absolutely lives up to its name.


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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Pinney's of Orford 

Pinney's of Orford

Established in 1959, Pinney's of Orford are a 3rd generation family run business that specialise in producing fine quality smoked products due to the experience and understanding that they have gained over the years in both fishing and smoking.

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Southwold Pier - The Boardwalk, Beach Cafe and Clockhouse

Southwold Pier - The Boardwalk, Beach Cafe and Clockhouse

Southwold

Southwold Pier has a fabulous choice of restaurants and cafes to fill the gap from breakfast, through to morning coffee and pastries, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner!

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Little Ice Cream Company

The Little Ice Cream Company

Handmade luxury artisan ice cream made with milk from a local dairy herd.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Café Bencotto

Café Bencotto



Café Bencotto is part of Yeo Group - a group of individual venues in Felixstowe. Offering Mediterranean style fayre, the sophisticated yet informal interior complements the food freshly prepared in the open plan kitchen.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop 

Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop

Traditional family run fish and chip shop since 1967, offering Cod, Haddock, Plaice, Scampi and more with chips made from locally sourced potatoes. Located a short walk from the beach to enjoy fish and chips 'The Aldeburgh Way'.

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The Alex Café Bar & Brasserie

The Alex Café Bar & Brasserie



The Alex Café Bar & Brasserie is part of Yeo Group - a group of individual venues in Felixstowe known particularly for their friendly and “can do” style of service. Offering panoramic sea views, The Alex has a fabulous seafront setting just across from the south promenade in Felixstowe.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Swan Hotel

The Swan Hotel

Guests and non-residents can enjoy world-class food and award winning beer, wine and spirits, with Rory Whelan as Head Chef serving dishes championing local produce, with coastal charm. 

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Brudenell Seafood & Grill

Brudenell Seafood & Grill

Aldeburgh

The Seafood & Grill restaurant has panoramic sea views from every table, with a décor inspired by the vibrant colours found on the Suffolk coast throughout the year. Featuring a fantastic sea facing terrace that makes for the perfect spot in the warmer months.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Fishers Gin

Fishers Gin

Fishers is the closest Gin Distillery to the sea in the UK and has quickly become one of Aldeburgh's most magnetic attractions. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly

where to stay

The Brudenell

The Brudenell

Aldeburgh

The Brudenell Hotel in Aldeburgh is the Suffolk coasts hidden gem. Enjoy breath-taking sea views and exquisite dining experiences right by the beach, the perfect destination for your Suffolk getaway.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible