Southwold sits at the heart of the Suffolk Heritage Coast and epitomises all that’s best about a traditional seaside holiday. Unique in so many ways, it’s the town’s fusion of timeless and trendy that makes it a year-round hit with holidaymakers, but if you can tear yourself away for a few hours, Southwold is within easy reach of a number of other special Suffolk places well worth a visit too.
Southwold is one of the ‘Suffolk Riviera’ destinations – nine of them in total are the most-visited towns and villages in north-east Suffolk. At the northernmost point, Lowestoft is the second-largest town in the county and the most easterly place in mainland Britain – the sun rises here first! Once famed for its large fishing industry, today the Port of Lowestoft serves the busy sea routes between the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic States, while for leisure boaters the harbour here provides access to Oulton Broad and on to the Broads National Park.
Inland from here, Beccles is a charming market town, as peaceful as it is popular, with lots of independent shops, high street brands and a great selection of pubs and restaurants. Originally a flourishing Saxon river port within the Waveney valley, Beccles remains a popular boating centre with a picturesque Quay. It also boasts its own Lido – a traditional outdoor heated swimming pool that sits alongside the river.
Similarly attractive for a day out, Bungay sits within a loop of the River Waveney and has many historic attractions including the ruins of Bigod's Castle, an ancient Buttercross - where a weekly market is held – and the old Borough well.
A few miles to the west of Southwold, Halesworth combines a great countryside location with a quaint market town centre, while to the south, Aldeburgh is a favourite for upmarket shopping, fine dining, contemporary culture and artistic inspiration. No visit here would be complete without a trip to nearby Snape Maltings, home of the world-famous Concert Hall operated by Aldeburgh Music.