A Southwold Birthday

I always like to visit the seaside on my birthday. This week we were blessed with excellent weather for the 16th, so we decided to venture south-east, and to see somewhere in Suffolk, instead of Norfolk. Southwold is a genteel town on the East Coast. Recent popularity with visitors from London, and others buying second homes there, has also made it a desirable destination, as well as prohibitively expensive to buy property in the town.
(The photos all look better if they are enlarged)


The pier was built in 1900, and is as popular today as it ever was. Unlike some coastal piers in this country, it conceals its commercial side very well.


Along the pier is the famous water-powered clock. The metalwork is suffering a little from exposure to the elements, but it still tells the correct time!


Further into the town, you will discover the imposing St Edmund’s Church. It was built in 1430, and is considered to be one of the best examples in the county.


Unusually, Southwold’s lighthouse is in the town centre, rather that at the edge of the coast. It still operates today, and has been seen in many films and TV series too.

The town is dominated by Adnams Brewery, which still operates in its original premises there, brewing Suffolk’s famous beer. There is a popular Brewery Tour, run every day. As well as a small market, held in the old Market Place, the town has a wealth of small shops, delicatessens, and restaurants. Most are of the ‘exclusive’ kind, catering to the many wealthy new residents. A visit there is highly recommended, as it will give you a snapshot of the British Seaside, almost unchanged for over 100 years.

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75 thoughts on “A Southwold Birthday

  1. We share very close birthdays! We aren’t too far from southwold, around 15 mins so often there. One of my favourite places.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Alice. Southwould is a drive for us, but not too long a one.
      A lovely place, that we will no doubt visit again.
      Nice to hear from a fellow Piscean.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. All this stuff and these photos are priceless and beautiful beyond belief. I am especially intrigued by St. Edmund’s Church and the surrounding grave yard. The headstones look to be in great repair. The place looks so peaceful and serene … and Holy. I love the seaside views and the clock. This is just most excellent and refreshing and I enjoyed it a lot.

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  3. I never saw or heard about a water clock – incredible! Great pictures. Wonderful weather. Seems you have had a great day! It can go on like this! πŸ™‚

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    1. Cheers, Ian. I am somewhat luckier, being a month later. We went to Frinton one year, to see the Art Deco houses. We popped into Clacton that day, but it was all closed up!
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. Each of those posts carries a lot of weight, and is under a lot of pier pressure to compete with its wooden neighbor. If I were in Southwold, I’d forget the pier, and head for the beer. By the way, I noticed there aren’t any gulls in the photo. They must all be having a good time with their gull friends. Did you consult your wristwatch while visiting, or did you go with the flow, and simply glance at the water clock now and then? Eventually, that clock will succumb to the saltwater and become clogged with the seaweed. Seaweed and salt can ruin a good water clock. I guess at night, the lighthouse shines bright on sailors, and, in the daytime, St. Edmund’s Church enlightens the souls of sinners. All jokes aside, I’m glad you enjoyed your birthday in Southwold. As the locals are apt to say, “You’re never too old in Southwold!”

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  5. A belated Happy Birthday, dear Pete! 🌹😊
    Great that you all had such a beautiful sunny day in Southwold. The photos are great, you make the place lokk very inviting.
    Warm greetings from the cold and wet Rhine Valley. x

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  6. I can see why it’s so expensive to actually live there! It is historically quaint, convenient and pretty. I could probably sit and watch that clock for quite a while!!
    When you enlarge the first photo all the way, it appears that man is watching you while you take his picture!!

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  7. What a lovely day for your birthday Pete – the sun came out to smile upon you. It bodes well for a positive year ahead πŸ™‚ Southwold is the type of town I’d love to live in with its coastal location, pretty pier and beautiful beach huts and a market as well. Just a pity that these places are well beyond my budget, but we can at least enjoy a visit. Cracking photos – love that clock! Now how did I miss that?

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    1. Thanks, Jude. It was a lovely day, despite a chill wind. We saw in the estate agent that a 3-bed cottage in the town is going for Β£1,000,000+. And that’s with on-street parking, and a small courtyard garden! Out of our price range, sadly.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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        1. They are still fetching Β£100,000 plus, Dina. Even for ones needing complete renovation! I think that Aldeburgh holds the record though, with the first Β£200,000 beach hut! X

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  8. Heavenly post as far as I’m concerned. Southwold Summer Theatre takes place at St Edmund’s Hall which backs onto the graveyard. There was a time when if you went off stage left but your next entrance was stage right, you had to brave the graveyard. There were mishaps aplenty. Nothing too dreadful happened the first season I was there in 1982 but I did hear the story of one actor who came on stage attached to a huge prickly bush! I’m so glad you had a lovely time in one of my favourite seaside haunts! x

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