Built in 1900 as a landing stage for the steamships that transported tourists and daytrippers up and down the east coast, Southwold Pier has been reinvented for the 21st century.
The originally 250m-long pier has weathered storms, just: its T-shaped landing stage was swept away during a storm in 1934, and further foul weather in October 1955 and February 1979 left reduced its length considerably, to only 18 m. It has survived wartime, too: during the Second World War the pier had a section removed so that it couldn’t be of use during an invasion, and further damage occurred from impact with a mine.
Today it’s been lovingly restored and now, 190m in length, Southwold Pier offers tasty local food, retail therapy and quirky fun for all the family. Big grins are guaranteed in the Under The Pier Show, while the saucy Water Clock draws a crowd as it counts down every hour and half-hour.
For more traditional entertainment, try fishing from the end of the pier – there’s Whiting in the autumn, Codling in winter and Dover Sole and Bass in the summer – or lose yourself (but hopefully not too many pennies!) amid the slot machines in the House of Games.
Tim Hunkin’s Water Clock
The pier’s much-loved water clock was originally built as a temporary water feature and was funded by Thames water on the theme of recycling. Local eccentric Tim Hunkin built the water clock in just under three weeks and today, kids both young and old delight in its eccentric characters including the bathing couple who squirt water at each other and the "cheeky boys" who drop their trousers to pee!