PUBLISHED: 12:47 07 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:47 07 July 2015
In the second of his series on Suffolk's rivers Garth Cooper visits a favourite haunt, Southwold Harbour on the River Blyth
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.