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Southwold

place to discuss doing things round and about the UK or to ask advice about other locations
Gaggsy
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Southwold

#165162

Postby Gaggsy » September 8th, 2018, 4:14 pm

It's my wife's birthday next weekend and she fancies a trip to the Suffolk coast - Southwold was mentioned.
Very short notice, but does anyone have any tips for where to stay and what to do?

TIA
Gaggsy

tea42
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Re: Southwold

#165195

Postby tea42 » September 8th, 2018, 8:35 pm

If you paint, take your gear to Walberswick an Artist paradise. Walberswick… .eat fish and chips. Take the ferry across the river and admire the Amazon if she is rowing. Obvious things - brewery visit and the pier. RSPB Minismere is nearby to admire the Avocets.

Nice place

AleisterCrowley
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Re: Southwold

#165197

Postby AleisterCrowley » September 8th, 2018, 8:40 pm

I've always fancied a trip to Dunwich.
And Adnam's brewery of course.

Nimrod103
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Re: Southwold

#165201

Postby Nimrod103 » September 8th, 2018, 9:10 pm

You may be interested that Southwold figures in today's Guardian - 'Let's move to' series. Some advice on pubs and eateries, and a warning against buying a second home there. As ever, the comments under article ooze with envy and malice for the well off.

Imbiber
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Re: Southwold

#165205

Postby Imbiber » September 8th, 2018, 9:19 pm

Southwold is splendid, have stayed there many times but has become increasingly expensive. Blythe Hotel is good and cheaper than town centre hotels but often fully booked. Several good B&B places and dozens of self catering. Best pub for beer and fish and chips is The Lord Nelson, better than the Sole Bay (aka soulless) or the Red Lion. Good walks to Walberswick and Dunwich. Be prepared for it to be very busy. We are crowd averse and our best trips have been in January and February, very bracing...

Enjoy

tea42
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Re: Southwold

#165274

Postby tea42 » September 9th, 2018, 10:47 am

Great quip in the Guardian comments. Landlord of the Lord Nelson…. "Time gentlemen please, havent you got second homes to go to! " :lol:

melonfool
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Re: Southwold

#165347

Postby melonfool » September 9th, 2018, 4:55 pm

My parents live there, so I know it reasonably well, but not really as a tourist - though we used to go for holidays when we were kids.

There's no longer a decent restaurant in the town to be honest. Even The Swan has gone downhill.

I'd recommend here, assuming you like fish of course: The Swan Inn, Barnby though it's a bit of a drive out.

Walk along the pier (see if you can see my granddad's plaque) and look at the water clock, and the George Orwell mural. There is also a mini museum of old pier slot machines.

Mark's does good fish and chips, or The Harbour pub, but not the new chippy, don't go there. Though the best fish and chips were always at Wrenthem, a but up the A12 (where my great aunt Eva lived).

Worth a walk along the front and on/past Gun Hill to see the armaments. I agree that Walberswick and the walk across there over Southwold Common is very nice. Come back on the ferry (used to be 5p - no now!) and maybe have a trip to Dunwich to the tea room there, walk on the beach, or Minsmere to the bird hides.

Aldburgh and Snape are lovely too.

Mel

Gaggsy
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Re: Southwold

#165950

Postby Gaggsy » September 12th, 2018, 5:38 pm

Thanks everyone.

I didn't realise until I started looking how rare (and hence expensive!) accommodation seems to be in Southwold. £270 a night at the Swan is more than I wanted to pay! The Blythe Hotel is definitely cheaper, and available; but I think there's good reason for this judging by the reviews on TripAdvisor etc.

In the end we've booked a B&B near Aldeburgh that we found by calling a fully booked B&B and asking if they knew anyone else. They're not on the usual listings but it looks lovely so fingers crossed.

Now to book restaurants...

I'll let you now how we fare.

Gaggsy

melonfool
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Re: Southwold

#165981

Postby melonfool » September 12th, 2018, 8:28 pm

The Blythe changed hands a year or so ago and is now awful - my parents live quite near it and it's a real pain they can't go there any more as it's close for them to walk to.

I stayed there many years ago with a boyfriend (before the parentals moved there) and it was fine, and I had dinner there with the parents maybe ten years ago and it was OK.

But now - nope. Ruined. So unnecessary.

Shame my parents aren't nicer/more sociable, they have three spare bedrooms with their own bathroom!

Mel

Watis
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Re: Southwold

#166023

Postby Watis » September 13th, 2018, 9:23 am

melonfool wrote:The Blythe changed hands a year or so ago and is now awful - my parents live quite near it and it's a real pain they can't go there any more as it's close for them to walk to.

I stayed there many years ago with a boyfriend (before the parentals moved there) and it was fine, and I had dinner there with the parents maybe ten years ago and it was OK.

But now - nope. Ruined. So unnecessary.

Shame my parents aren't nicer/more sociable, they have three spare bedrooms with their own bathroom!

Mel


Three spare rooms in Southwold, eh?

It sounds as though your parents would make a fortune as Airbnb hosts!

Watis

melonfool
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Re: Southwold

#166054

Postby melonfool » September 13th, 2018, 11:29 am

Watis wrote:
melonfool wrote:
Shame my parents aren't nicer/more sociable, they have three spare bedrooms with their own bathroom!

Mel


Three spare rooms in Southwold, eh?

It sounds as though your parents would make a fortune as Airbnb hosts!

Watis


Yeah, I did suggest it to them, when I was there for Latitude - but they would make the worst hosts ever!

And they don't need the money, they can't spend their pensions, try as they do....

Maybe when they die we'll keep the house and use it as a holiday rental.

Mel

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Re: Southwold

#166191

Postby moorfield » September 13th, 2018, 10:24 pm

If you fancy heading north and are a cyclist - we did a round trip from Kessingland (staying there - not Southwold) and back along the clifftops and nature reserve last summer. 15 miles, not too knackering, and that stretch of coast is glorious on a sunny day.

Gaggsy
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Re: Southwold

#171635

Postby Gaggsy » October 5th, 2018, 11:16 am

Well we had a great weekend a few weeks ago, helped by the lovely weather.

We stayed 2 nights at Five Acre Barn in Aldringham, just outside Aldeburgh. £130 a night for bed and breakfast and I would heartily recommend it. https://www.fiveacrebarn.co.uk/
This place was fantastic and I was amazed we got a room - so keep it under your hat because I'm sure it's going to get a lot more difficult to get in there in the future. Better book now if you're going to Latitude next year - you might be having breakfast alongside some of the performers.

We booked ahead to eat at the Parrot & Punchbowl nearby on Friday night. Very nice food in a nice local-feeling pub atmosphere.

We visited Aldeburgh and walked along the high street and back along the beach. Very picturesque.
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Then we walked to Thorpeness. That place was a surprise. Interesting story behind the village and nice place to walk around. There's the House in the Sky and the windmill - and lots of interesting buildings. We had a drink at The Dolphin before walking back. Then we drove to Orford where there's a castle and a very quiet town. You can get boat trips from there around Havergate Island (NT) but we were too late in the day.

We stopped at Snape Maltings on the way back but as it was getting late there wasn't much to see. There was a classical music concert planned for the evening so people were starting to arrive for that. (We were told later that the average age of the audience was in the 70s). Not our cup of tea - looked far too serious!

We hadn't booked anywhere for dinner Saturday night - big mistake! We ended up buying some snacks to eat on the beach while we waited an hour or so for a table at Prezzo to become available. Lesson learned. Book ahead. Well ahead. And not Prezzo! We heard The Lighthouse restaurant is OK, but it was full.

Sunday we visited Dunwich. There's a beach. There's a pub. There's a tearoom. There used to be one of the biggest ports in England, but it was washed away in 1287. We didn't stay long.
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On to Walberswick which is very quaint. We parked up and took the ferry (well, a man in a rowing boat - now £1 each) across the river and walked into Southwold along the beach road. That brings you on to the seafront with all the little beach huts and the sandy beach.
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Later, we saw one of the beach huts for sale in an estate agent's window for £150,000. Madness!
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Made it to the pier. Hundreds/thousands of little plaques but I couldn't see one that said 'Mel's Granddad' ;)

The water clock was just starting up as we passed it on the hour - very amusing. We also looked in on the slot machine museum. They're not so much old as hand-made. There was a guy trying out the one where you have to navigate a zimmer frame across a three lane roundabout. An actual zimmer frame. Hilarious - the people standing around watching were in stitches.
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Walked back through town, past the brewery (it's got it fingers everywhere) and across the common back to Walberswick. A nice walk.

We had a very late lunch / early tea at the Swan in Barnby. Sit down fish and chips and a pint. OK but not great. It was quite empty but had lots of staff, and despite this they still had problems getting our order right. Never mind - we were hungry so it didn't matter. And they were friendly.

All in all a great trip. Worth doing. My tip would be plan ahead, including booking restaurants if you want to be sure of getting in anywhere.

AleisterCrowley
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Re: Southwold

#171710

Postby AleisterCrowley » October 5th, 2018, 2:59 pm

Great photos and write up, thanks for that


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