Good Walks, Better Pubs: A Guide to Southwold

The Bell Inn is an Adnams pub located in Walberswick, Suffolk

Here on the Suffolk Coast we are spoilt for choice when it comes to traditional pubs. Pubs, a shortened version of the term ‘public house’ play an important part in the everyday life of us Brits. They serve as a place to socialise and are often at the centre of the local community in which to enjoy a quick beverage, traditional lunch or a gathering with close friends and family.

As the new season approaches, Autumn offers an excellent opportunity to savour a more leisurely lifestyle and embrace outdoor adventures. While taking a scenic stroll through Southwold and its surrounding areas, you’re likely to chance upon some good old-fashioned pubs. To help you navigate your Autumn adventure, we’ve created a list of our favourite walks and pubs, spread across the Suffolk Coast, and hope you will give one or two a try when you’re next staying in this beautiful part of the county.

The Sail Loft, Southwold

Located in one of Southwold’s most picturesque areas, The Sail Loft is a fantastic find. With sand dunes and the beachfront ahead, a footpath running alongside, this beachside retreat is just a few minutes walk from Southwold’s glorious South Green and in the opposite direction Southwold’s quaint Harbour. 

Inside, the rustic interior is certainly inviting, with a large dining area, bar, and outdoor seating for taking in the surrounding marshland. Inspired by The Sail Loft’s location behind the dunes, you’re likely to find plenty of seafood dishes on the menu! If you’re bringing a four-legged friend with you, they are most welcome in the bar area.  

We couldn’t think of anywhere better to dine in the evening than watching the sunset from the Sail Loft: it’s a stunning setting for a celebratory meal.

The Bell Inn, Walberswick

Walberswick is a beautiful seaside village which is often missed by visitors of Southwold. Whilst famously known for crabbing, it is particularly beautiful in the autumn, where the quieter atmosphere and peaceful surroundings allow for nature spotting and marshland walks. Walberswick is served by two pubs: The Bell – a traditional Adnams pub – and The Anchor Inn. 

The Bell is nestled just a short walk from Walberswick’s shingle and sandy beach. Its traditional external outlook continues inside, with plenty of little nooks and alcoves to choose to dine in, plus original fireplaces for that extra bit of warmth and relaxing atmosphere. The menu features dishes created with locally sourced ingredients complemented by a large choice of Adnams beers and spirits. 

If the temperatures are kind, the outdoor garden is a great spot to enjoy a beverage or two whilst overlooking the sea. 

The Angel Inn, Wangford

Just three miles from the centre of Southwold is the charming village of Wangford. This lovely village is perfect to explore by bicycle, with various cycle routes crossing through the village. A pitstop at The Angel is a must. This historical village pub has been welcoming visitors for years and is also dog-friendly. We often refer to it as the pub of two halves – as you walk into the entrance to your left, you can feel the traditional pub roots with exposed brickwork, original fireplaces, and historic artwork, whilst to the right is the main restaurant area. 
Whether you choose to dine or drink here, a lovely cycle route to enjoy via country lanes is across Elms Lane towards Reydon Wood, which is 1.5 miles long. Whilst the wood itself is famed for its Spring bluebells, the fallen leaves and change of colour in the Autumn time are not to be missed.

The Five Bells, Wrentham

This popular country-style pub is located approximately 4 miles from Southwold and offers a large beer garden, which is a lovely space for families and four-legged companions! There is also plenty of parking in its large car park. The Five Bells is packed full of traditional pub charm with beams, pew-style seating and fireplaces, making a fantastic setting for a special occasion during the quieter season.

Fun Fact about Southwold Pubs

Today, Southwold is brimming with Adnams pubs, but did you know there used to be many more within the town? Southwold was once home to pubs called The Victoria Hotel (one of the only non-Adnams pubs of its time in Southwold), The Southwold Arms, Brickmakers Arms, the Marquess of Lorne, The White Horse, The Old Royal and many more…

Southwold Cottages Available Now

At Durrants Holiday Cottages, we have a fantastic range of holiday cottages located on Suffolk’s stunning coastline. Take a look at all our holiday cottages today or give us a call on 01502 723292 to find out more.

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