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Blyth spirit

PUBLISHED: 12:47 07 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:47 07 July 2015

On my way to Southwold one very cold day in January, I could not believe my eyes when I drove through Blythburgh.
I have been past the same spot countless times over the last five years, but never had  I seen the water so still and the sky so beautiful.
It was so cold that even the beach was covered in a blanket of white  in Southwold.

On my way to Southwold one very cold day in January, I could not believe my eyes when I drove through Blythburgh. I have been past the same spot countless times over the last five years, but never had I seen the water so still and the sky so beautiful. It was so cold that even the beach was covered in a blanket of white in Southwold.

Archant

In the second of his series on Suffolk’s rivers Garth Cooper visits a favourite haunt, Southwold Harbour on the River Blyth

 
	Blythburgh on a sunny evening 
Blythburgh on a sunny evening

Cruising to Southwold

For the visiting yachtsman Southwold is a gem. Don’t be put off by tales of a difficult entrance – there’s plenty of water if you choose the right stage of the tide and weather conditions, and if you follow the guidelines for going in. A good source of pilotage information is East Coast Pilot. One word of caution though – be aware of the ebb tide which can run at six knots. The Blyth is well worth a visit, if for nothing else than an evening or two spent in Adnams’ Harbour Inn, a few steps from the visitors’ berths.

New showers and loos installed in the Harbour Master’s (HM) office block alongside new pontoon berths make your stay much more pleasant.

Sadly larger craft cannot explore the upper reaches of the Blyth as a wartime Bailey bridge straddling the river at the top end of the harbour prevents anything bigger than a dinghy or a canoe. At high tide the wide shallow valley bottom is covered in water, through which a deeper channel meanders to the low, wide A12 road bridge at Blythburgh itself. It’s a haven for wildlife, and surrounding it are several nature reserves and flooded saltmarshes.

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