PUBLISHED: 13:44 06 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:44 06 March 2017
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It’s what we all dream a British seaside town should be
Ah Southwold. A jewel in the coastal crown. The home of Adnams, of sandy beaches, old world charm, butchers, bakers and sticks of rock. Effortlessly pretty, with the taste of salt on the air, beautiful scenery, coloured beach huts, and, to top it all off, a pier. There’s nothing ‘kiss-me-quick’ about this place.
What to do:
An obvious starting point is a visit to Adnams brewery. Take a tour (£15 per person) and find out how the famous tipples are made. A tasting session is included as is a bottle of beer to take home.
If beer’s not your thing, for £12 you can tour the eco-friendly distillery and sip on some of the fantastic award-winning spirits Adnams is producing, including vodka, gin and whisky .And if that’s not enough, for £70 per person, you can create your very own gin in a tutored session where you pick your own botanicals, distil, name and label your bottle to bring home.
Another port of call is Southwold’s pier. Whether in the bracing cold with the sea crashing against its sides, or in the height of summer, ice cream in hand, visiting this place is fantastic. Play in the House of Games, ‘whack a banker’ in Tim Hunkin’s hilarious Under the Pier Show, do a bit of seriously stylish shopping or eat at the restaurant or café.
From June 24 - July 1 look out for the arts festival and also in June, Slaughter in Southwold, the annual crime writers’ festival which attracts big names from the world of fiction. Towards the end of summer, just outside Southwold, you’ll find one of the UK’s biggest maize mazes. Are you brave enough to try it?
If you can’t fit in a tour, then at least make a visit to Adnams flagship store where you can try before you buy. A good bet is one of their boxes of six beers, usually priced at around £10. An excellent way to get to know the brand.
For fashion, there are shops such as Dennys, which is known for its colourful clothing and accessories for men, women and children. And Collen and Clare, with brands such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Homespun, Joseph and J Brand, has been voted one of the top 50 boutiques in the country.
Don’t forget the Pier is a great place to shop, and a visit the Amber Shop and Museum in the centre of Southwold is a must. Foodies should visit Nutters Deli for a floor-to-ceiling experience, and The Black Olive Deli, for artisan cheeses, Pieminister pies, salads, cakes and more.
For art lovers there are some great galleries including the Southwold Gallery, Buckenham Galleries and the Serena Hall gallery.
If you’re peckish for something on the go, head for the Two Magpies Bakery, a World Bread Award winner for its fig and fennel sourdough and 30% rye with raisin and rosemary.
You can sit down in the café with a cup of Allpress coffee and a pastry or sourdough toasted sandwich. Nothing quite beats eating fish by the coast. For a real treat go to the harbour and the Sole Bay Fish Company where you can not only buy fresh seafood from the deli counter, but sit down for a platter of crab, lobster or smoked fish, cod and chips, grilled seabass, oysters and more, accompanied by daily bread from Lowestoft’s Penny Bun Bakery.