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Eight reasons to fall in love with Southwold

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

Adnams loves SouthwoldIt’s Valentine’s Day coming up, which can go one of two ways: you’re either going to be loved-up and blissfully happy, or feeling pretty darned wretched about the whole thing. However, we are all good at falling in love with many things, not just people - places, inanimate objects (come on, who hasn’t kept their childhood teddy), music and even people we’ve never personally met. Southwold is a very special place to all who are lucky enough to live and work here, and to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who choose to spend their well-earned holidays on the beautiful Suffolk coast. We thought it would be fun to look at just eight of the many reasons why we all love it so much.

1. The beach

Children playing on Southwold beachThe Suffolk coast is made up of soft sands and gravels and is one of the most rapidly eroding stretches of coastline in Britain. Southwold beach is constantly changing and, given the right conditions, keen-eyed walkers can find fragments of mammoth bones, long-forgotten timbers from viking ships, amber pebbles and palaeolithic stone tools last used over 500,000 years ago, although possibly not all in the same day! Southwold's southern beach hutsWhen the sun is warm and the sea calm, there’s nothing more relaxing than finding a soft stretch of sand to lay out a towel on whilst watching beach-life unfold. You’re never far away from a hot drink or an ice cream either. The North Sea sorts the men out from the boys though, for not only does it look like a churning cup of very strong tea for most of the year, even in the height of summer the temperature never gets much above 17 degrees C and in the winter it’s a chilly 6 degrees, brrrr. The less hardy of us can hide in a shed-shaped haven from the icy waves and the ‘lazy wind’ (so called as it is said to go straight through you) in one of the many colourful beach huts along the promenade.

2. Thirst-quencher

Adnams BreweryIt’s highly unlikely that Southwold will ever run out of beer. After all, beer has been made on the same site in Southwold for over 600 years before the Adnams family began brewing in the 1870s. That in itself is a reassuring enough fact to get beer-lovers packing their suitcases, but a bounty of great pubs serving locally-produced food in the area will seal the deal. You’ll never be far away from a top-class glass of wine or Southwold-made spirit too. Cheers to that!

3. It’s barking...

Dogs love SouthwoldSouthwold isn’t just great for people, it’s brilliant for dogs too. A legion of smells - stray fish and chips, dropped ice creams - combined with miles of coastal paths and beach walks create doggy heaven. In the summer, the labrador and spaniel population trebles, and in the winter, the more fashion-conscious pooches can be seen sporting extremely smart jackets.

4. Navigation

Southwold lighthouse viewed from Adnams BreweryIt’s very difficult to get lost in Southwold, and if you do, there’s a 101 foot-high gleaming white lighthouse to guide you back to the heart of town. The only way in and out of Southwold by car is via Mights Bridge which crosses Buss Creek making Southwold a virtual island - great news for the navigationally challenged.

5. Wellie-flops

Muddy welliesTwo essential items of Southwold attire include wellies and flip-flops as it is not uncommon to require both on the same day. For those who like to spend time relaxing with a glass of wine outside The Crown Hotel, you can spend an enjoyable five minutes playing Southwold Bingo ticking off wellies, flip-flops, labrador retrievers, waxed jackets and Adnams mini-casks.

6. The Harbour

Southwold HarbourTaking a circular stroll around the harbour from the centre of town and back via the dunes or the Common is a favourite walking route. Around 800 runners tackle this same route two and a half times as part of their 10K Charity run every November. Southwold harbour has a colourful history, and it is still home to a small number of fishing vessels and the RNLI lifeboat station. Fishing boats, nets, ropes, floats and the characterful black-tarred fishing huts are always popular with photographers. In the summer, fresh fish and seafood can be bought, as well as delicious fish and chips.

7. It’s a Pier, but not as you know it

Southwold's PierSouthwold’s Pier has had an exciting life. It was once the landing platform for paddle steamers bringing tourists to and from London and it was blown in half during the war to discourage enemy landings. It is now one of the town’s most-loved features containing quirky amusements designed by the brilliant Tim Hunkin from his workshop situated next to the Blyth estuary. From the end of the Pier, visitors can look back at the lovely town of Southwold - a picture-postcard view.

8. Greens

Southwold's South GreenAnd breathe… Southwold’s greens create a curious contrast to the sardine-like arrangement of little cottages and historic houses in the centre of town. Some say that the greens were deliberately left as firebreaks after the disastrous fire in 1659, but whatever the reason they remain a key part of Southwold’s special character. Of course, we could add to this list the fantastic wildlife, the great local people and the beautiful coastal scenery, but that would take us way past our eight reasons. Everyone has their own reason to love Southwold and if you love our home town too, share your story with us in the comments box below. Happy Valentine’s day from all of us at Adnams x  

Who

Sarah Groves

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