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A Short Break in Suffolk

Author: Lauren Coleman

Southwold was an unexpected location for a recent trip away. I looked at each and every one of your suggestions for an anniversary break and you all won me over with the Cotswolds. However with a limited budget (there’s just so much going on at the moment) and a one-night restriction I was overwhelmed by the amount of offers for people who could take a mid week break and was beginning to get throughly disgruntled by the expense of a Saturday stay. After throwing all my toys out of the pram I remembered Southwold had been mentioned on Charlotte’s family holiday post.

A quick browse of Booking.com uncovered ‘Dawn Chorus Holidays’ and within minutes we were booked in for our first one-night glamping experience. More on that later.

Located in the county of Suffolk, Southwold is a gorgeous little town perfect for a lazy weekend away. We spent most of the day on Saturday there and explored more of the surrounding area on the Sunday.

The Beach

There’s something hugely romantic about a beach out of season. Perhaps It’s because the crowds have dispersed and the sand is desserted. The weather was very foggy last weekend so we couldn’t take in too much of the view. However there are miles of beach to walk along in the surrounding area.

The notion of a ‘pier’ conjures up images of arcades, youths and kiss-me-quick hats. This is not the case in Southwold, even the seagulls are posh. My husband remarked Southwold had the “least chavvy pier he’d ever walked on.” What a compliment. Charming eateries, quaint gift shops and eccentric inventions can all be found here. It’s also a perfect spot to take an instagram shot or two of the rows of colourful beach huts.

Shop

The high street is filled with little boutiques and galleries. My favourite was Collen & Clare; a lovely store with beautiful vintage shop fittings and a whole host of designer wares from Mulberry to Anya Hindmarch.

Eat

Eating and drinking is something they do very well in this part of the world. We tried twice to squeeze in to the Two Magpies Bakery to sample some of their artisan bread and delicious cakes. We finally got a table and it was definitely worth the wait. Apparently their Saturday evening takeaway sourdough pizza is especially yummy.

A friend of mine highly rates the Sole Bay Inn (near the Lighthouse) for a bite to eat too. The local Adnams ale is brewed just across the street.

We also tucked into a very good Sunday roast at The Anchor in the neighbouring village of Walberswick after a long walk along the marshes. The place is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and can be reached by rowing boat in the summer.

Stay

We hired a Shepherd’s Hut in nearby Beccles and spent the night in a conversion worthy of a George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces feature.

Situated on a working farm, the huts were originally built for agricultural workers and are now equipped with the all the mod cons. There’s a fully functioning shower and loo as well as an electric oven and heating. There’s even a cafetiere and candles! It was the perfect romantic retreat and great to escape from TV and WiFi for a while.

A friend also recommended The View, in the heart of Southwold; a one bed apartment with incredible views across land and sea. There’s even an outdoor terrace so it would be an absolute sun trap in the summer.

We had an awesome time in Southwold and the surrounding area and would absolutely love to return. Have you got any recommendations for visiting Suffolk? Have you been to Southwold and enjoyed any particular restaurants, bars or boltholes?

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19 thoughts on “A Short Break in Suffolk

  1. This looks gorgeous! A place with a lovely name like ‘Southwold’ is always going to be beautiful and quaint and thoroughly English, isn’t it. I’m putting this down for our next anniversary. I’ve just booked the Poets House in Ely for a night for my fiance’s bday in three weeks so bit late this year but this looks perfect for next year.

    Also – thank you for letting us now about somewhere budget-friendly! I’ve got a wedding next year so all of the Cotswolds places in the last post looked absolutely gorgeous but a bit too expensive at the mo. A few more budget friendly options would be really useful (especially budget friendly on a weekend – I found loads with excellent Tuesday rates which is no good for those of us who work 9-5, boo).

    Happy 4th anniversary to you, Lauren!

    1. Aww thanks Kate! You will love it in Southwold if you get to make the trip next year.
      Poets House will be stunning this time of year, have a fabulous time. x

    2. Hi Kate. I actually live in Ely, Poets House is really lovely. If you fancy lunch/brunch/afternoon tea while you’re here make sure you visit Peacocks Tearooms, down by the river. It really is the best! 🙂 Enjoy your stay!
      I love Southwold for wandering, but I actually prefer Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk. The beach is just beautiful!

  2. Oooh, the hubs and I went to Southwold a couple of years ago for my birthday (in January) and it was gorgeous. Bloody freezing but gorgeous (and it snowed! Birthday bonus!). I’m so with you on the out of season beach thing, maybe I’m just antisocial and like having the place to mysefl!

  3. I’ve spent many a summer at Southwold. We live just up the road in Ipswich. It’s nice to see a local place featured and not so London based.

  4. I’m lucky enough to have family in Southwold so I visit often and our family absolutely love it. The harbour is also good to visit – the Habour Inn is great and in the summer going crabbing at the habour is fun (although maybe more for the kids!) Also did you see the Electric Picture Palace? its amazing. There are lots of nice places to eat – a great restaurant is the Boardwalk on the Pier especially in the summer. You will have to go again!! –
    I love the Scrabble picture by the way 🙂

    1. The Electric Picture Palace looks brilliant. I’m gutted I didn’t know about it. I will most definitely have to return. Thanks so much for suggestions x

  5. I really want to try glamping now. Were you warm enough? I much prefer being on british beaches in the winter than in the summer, there is something really special about wrapping up warm, getting your wellies on and going for a beach walk when it’s freezing cold. Happy anniversary! x

    1. Thanks Sian!
      It was very luxurious – there was heating in there so we were toasty warm. They have two african tents with woodburners in there too but I don’t think they rent them out during the winter x

  6. I’m lucky enough to live a few miles away, my family is from Southwold (my Great Aunt is actually the Mayor!)

    I can’t think what it’s called but there is a cafe and tea rooms down a flight of stairs underneath a shop which serves the yummiest coffees and delicious home made cakes. The Swan Hotel in the centre of town is lovely if you want a bit of vintage luxury and a posh afternoon tea!

  7. I love this! I have been looking for a suitable glamping location for a hen do revisited next year, but didn’t want it to be really expensive, great find. X

  8. I love this post! My parents and extended family live in Suffolk so I know the area well. It really is a lovely part of the world. And you’re right about the food – there are so many lovely coffee shops!

    Two Magpies Bakery looks like an amazing find – I’ll definitely try it out next time I’m visiting. A couple of gems I love are Snape Maltings, which has an amazing food hall and home section (I can thoroughly recommend Cafe 1885 too) and The Cookhouse restaurant at Suffolk Food Hall, which has beautiful views over the river. Woodbridge is well worth a visit too – it’s so pretty.

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