Southwold guide

There are few seaside towns quite so quintessentially British as Southwold

With its sandy beach and beach hut-lined promenade, Southwold offers a wonderful environment for holidays and weekends away, as well as a thriving market town atmosphere.

Situated just off the A12 between Aldeburgh and Lowestoft, Southwold is the perfect destination for young and old, families and couples. Whether it’s relaxation or exhilaration you’re after from your break away, this picturesque seaside town is the perfect year-round destination. 

Did you know?

Few people realise that the many plentiful greens in Southwold exist due to a terrible fire that raged through the town in 1659. Instead of rebuilding some of the structures that were lost, the town reclaimed these spaces as a series of spacious village greens. 

The prominent lighthouse in the town stands at 31 metres tall and is a grade II listed building, it is still a working lighthouse and guides vessels as they navigate the East Coast. 

Southwold Pier stretches 190 metres into the sea and is a thriving tourist destination, it hosts an arcade with a collection of weird and wonderful automata designed by Tim Hunkin. 

George Orwell, author of dystopian novels Animal Farm and 1984 came to live in Southwold in 1921, he stayed for 20 years, enjoying the local countryside and penning many of his books during this time. 

things to do in southwoldwhere to stay in southwoldwhere to eat in southwold


Southwold Highlights

1. Visit the world famous Adnams Brewery

towns & Villages - Southwold - Adnams tour

Southwold is home to the Adnams Brewery, winner of The Good Pub Guide 2011’s ‘Brewery of the Year’. The brewery itself is very much the focal point of the town with its brewing rooms set just behind the High Street and adjacent to the town’s lighthouse.

Brewery tours are on offer throughout the year, and there is no shortage of pubs and restaurants at which to sample the variety of Adnams beers on offer. More recently they have added a distillery, which as well as the wine shop, guarantees your favourite ‘tipple’ will be available.

 2. Head out to sea on the Pier

Towns & VIllages - Southwold - Pier

Yet another focal point of the town’s landscape, Southwold Pier was refurbished in 2005, the pretty pier offers a range of shops, eating places and amusements, from traditional two penny pushers to Tim Hunkin’s eccentric inventions.

Don’t miss out on the famous Water Clock which causes a snigger every 30 minutes!

3. Shopping

Towns & Villages - Southwold - Collen & Clare

You’ll lose yourself for hours wandering around the array of shops in Southwold. Choose from designer labels at Collen & Clare, kitchenwares, wines, spirits and ales at the Adnams Store, plus traditional sweet shops and quirky gift stores. 

There are high street names too as the town hosts Fat Face, Joules and Jack Wills. 

4. Take a tour of the Lighthouse

Towns & Villages - Southwold - Lighthouse

The lighthouse at Southwold has been an important landmark for years, a coastal mark for passing shipping that guides vessels info Southwold Harbour. The tour lasts 20 minutes. Opening is subject to weather conditions and Trinity House's operational requirements.

5. Get Lost in the Maize Maze

Southwold Maize Maze

A great day out for the whole family, head to Southwold Maize Maze and children can enjoy the park; complete with bouncy pillows, ride on tractors, sandpits and zip wire, before heading into the Maze to find the clues - can you make it to the centre, and more importantly, find your way out?

Southwold Beach Guide

TTDA - Southwold Beach - view of beach and sea

Officially recognised as an environmentally-friendly beach, Southwold is a top spot for those wanting to take a paddle in the sea and a stroll along the prom. The town is home to two beaches; Southwold Pier Beach to the north and Southwold Denes Beach to the south - offering both a traditional seaside and a wild beach experience.

To find out more and plan your visit, check out our Southwold Beach Guide.

Useful Information

Have a look at this neat little pocket guide to Southwold to help plan your trip.

Public Conveniences and Baby Changing Facilities

Church Green, Cumberland Road, IP18 6JW

Ferry Road, IP18 6HQ

Southwold Harbour, Ferry Road, IP18 6ND - Disabled toilet

Southwold Pier, North Parade, IP18 6BN - Disabled toilet and baby changing facilities

Visitor Information Points (VIPs) are located at:

Southwold Library, North Green, Southwold, IP18 6AT 

Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom, North Parade, Southwold IP18 6BN

Southwold Arts Centre, St Edmund's Hall, Cumberland Road, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6JP



Check out AccessAble's detailed access guides to Suffolk and work out if a place is going to be accessible to you.

The access guides cover multiple locations and venues across Suffolk, including places to stay, attractions, places to eat, stations, shops, trails and more. 

The access guides are 100% facts, figures and photographs, checked by AccessAble's trained surveyors in person, people who know everyone's accessibility needs are different and understand how important it is for information to be detailed and accurate.

Free town wifi

Free WiFi is available within the town's WiFi zone, making it easy for you to get online during your visit.

See maps of where it is available in eleven East Suffolk towns, as well as instructions on how to access the free WiFi here.

How to Get to Southwold - Public Transport

With Suffolk on Board you can plan journeys using public transport from and to a town or village, named station or stop, or point of interest.

As many destinations along the Suffolk coast are rural there can be limited public transport services on many routes, but there are journey solutions through various local community transport services that will get you to where you want to go/your final destination. These tend to need to be booked in advance but you can find out more and plan your journey at Suffolk on Board. 

By Bus:

Local bus services from Lowestoft and surrounding areas, Beccles, Halesworth, Bungay and Norwich.

For timetables and further information go to

By Train:

The nearest rail stations are located at Darsham and Halesworth, with travel to Ipswich and on-going connections to Norwich, Lowestoft, Cambridge and London Liverpool Street.

Greater Anglia operates frequent train services across The Suffolk Coast, more information and tickets are available at

By Ferry: 

Travel from Southwold to Walberswick on the foot ferry which crosses the River Blyth. For ferry times and information download the leaflet: 

Car Parks in Southwold

To find parking places in East Suffolk and where parking fees apply, visit the council’s RingGo parking service .

The free RingGo app allows drivers to locate a parking place before starting their journey, receive navigation to it, see how busy car parks are within an area, pay for your parking session and extend it if you need to. Signing up to RingGo is as easy as entering your car’s registration and your payment details.  Find out more about registering and using the service on the RingGo how it works page.

Ferry Road, IP18 6NG - 60 spaces - Free

Harbour Quay, IP18 6ND - 300 spaces - Pay & Display

Southwold Pier, IP18 6BN - 345 spaces - Pay & Display

Walking in Southwold

Walking in East Suffolk has just become easier. In partnership with East Suffolk Council, walking app Go Jauntly has launched a collection of East Suffolk walks. 

Go Jauntly is a free community-based app to promote walking, wayfinding and nature connection. You can find local walks created by people who know and love them, discover the greenest walking routes from A to B, create your own jaunts and enjoy outdoor adventures with friends and family. 

Go Jauntly is available to download, for free, on the App Store and the Play Store.

Travel Information & News

For the latest travel information listen to or visit BBC Radio Suffolk 

For local news, visit the East Anglian Daily Times or Eastern Daily Press websites.



Things to do in Southwold