A lighthouse shimmering in the sun looking out over outstanding Georgian houses is the distinctive landmark of this lovely Suffolk seaside town.
Southwold was once a Saxon port with a major herring fleet but like so many places on this eastern coast suffered with silting that eventually put paid to the harbour. These days it is known as a charming genteel resort at the mouth of the river Blyth.
The town has remained unspoilt largely due to the loss of the railway but also perhaps due to careful town planning where large green areas known as the Greens have been set aside as a future precaution against fire which devastated the town in 1659.
As well as the lighthouse and perhaps more iconic are the rows of brightly coloured huts that line the beach and the pier which was one of the first to be built since the 1950’s.
The towns past glory is reflected in the magnificent 15th century church of St Edmund King and Martyr. The interior is interesting look out for Southwold Jack a Knightly figure in chainmail with helmet who strikes a bell when services are about to start.
Off this coast in 1672, the English and Dutch navies fought an inconclusive battle, although it must be said the English were outnumbered this resulted in the death of Lord Sandwich and was the last naval battle in English waters.
Southwold hosts a literary festival once a year in November, the author George Orwell, aka Eric Blair spent many years’ at his parents’ house in the town, and wrote a large part of Burmese Days here.
Activities in Southwold
Visit abcbritain's profile on Pinterest.