So Arty

Artists have long been drawn to Southwold; its landscape – so rich in history but largely spared from modern development – is captured so well in paint, pencil and photography. The friendliness of the town coupled with a quiet respect for personal space and privacy has made it a home-from-home for many a contemporary writer, musician and media-type too – this is a place where you might well rub shoulders with someone you recognise from stage or screen, though no-one asks for autographs or selfies any more.

Eric Blair, the writer who became best-known as George Orwell, spent a lot of time in Southwold – follow in his footsteps with a holiday at the Grade II Listed Montague House, which in the 1930s was his parents’ retirement home, or book a break at seafront The Craighurst a ‘crammer’ where he’d earlier studied.

Indulge your own love of the arts with a gentle stroll around Southwold’s town centre galleries and bookshops. Or book a holiday to coincide with one of the festivals for which Southwold is now so well known. 

If modern music, comedy and performance art is your thing, then Latitude Festival is a mustn’t-miss. Featuring an eclectic mix of literature, comedy, theatre, dance, poetry and some of the world’s greatest musicians, Latitude takes place just outside Southwold each July.

Also in summer, choose from the week-long Southwold Arts Festival, when the town plays host to artists, poets, writers, actors and musicians for a showcase that fills local streets and venues, or the Southwold Summer Theatre which runs a series of plays from July to September in a characterful setting. Quaint, too, is our very own cinema, The Electric Picture Palace – complete with commissionaire, usherettes, a front of house manager in a DJ, a ‘Tiny Wurlitzer’ organ rising up during the interval and a rendition of the National Anthem at the end of each screening, a night at the movies here is memorable in every way.

Bookworms head here each November when Ways With Words runs a Literature Festival – a five-day affair that attracts literature lovers, writers and intellectuals with an engrossing programme of events, from discussions of art, politics and history to fiction readings and literary dinners.  

Whatever your artistic taste, we’ll whet your appetite further here in Southwold!