There’s so much to see and do when visiting Southwold and the surrounding area which is why Southwold is such a popular destinations for families of all ages.
From animal encounters to adrenaline filled adventure parks, there are a number of local attractions suitable for families of all ages which are high on our must-visit agenda. Take a look at our top handpicked family attractions featured below.
Africa Alive Zoological Reserve (approx. 8 miles from Southwold)
This popular attraction is located North of Southwold and features family fun for all ages. Explore sights and sounds of the African continent with 100 acres of grounds to explore. New for 2022 is the Meerkat walkthrough plus there are plenty of regular feeding talks and animal encounters to experience. Expect to see lions, giraffes, rhinos and more and enjoy a tour of the zoo via the free Safari road train.
For the summer season Africa Alive offer a variety of tickets to suit a range of requirements, from early bird tickets to family passes and afternoon offers.
Southwold Maize Maze (approx. 1 mile from Southwold)
A fantastic family attraction located within 8 acres of Maize plus a play park packed with plenty of activity for big kids and little kids alike. Once you’ve tackled the maze, head over the play park and enjoy jumping pillows, zip wires, giant sand pits, climbing frames and so much more. Children over 6 years of age can take a go-kart around the maze and race their family and friends, plus there’s a dedicated space for smaller children.
Adults and children can also enjoy refreshments or lunch at The Old Café.
There’s a range of ticket prices available making this attraction one of the most popular in the area with families.
A family outing to Southwold wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Southwold’s most iconic landmark. Southwold Pier caters to all ages plus you’re right on Southwold’s sandy beach, making it an all-day attraction. Traditional seaside fun can be found at the arcade with classic machines such as the 2p coin push machines, fruit machines and more. Further along the Pier you’ll find the Under the Pier Show, a showcase of Tim Hunkin’s eccentric interactive creations.
Food and drink is readily on hand along the Pier. The Boardwalk Restaurant offers a fantastic menu with panoramic views of the coastline. Fish ‘n’ chips are readily available at the fish ‘n’ chip shop or for a quick coffee stop head over to The Clockhouse.
There are souvenirs and keepsakes for all budgets can be found at the Treasure Chest. From classic souvenirs such as Southwold Rock, to bespoke items made by local producers, you’re sure to find something to take home as a memory of your time in Southwold.
Once you’ve explored the famous water clock, funky full-length mirrors and explored the whole of the Pier you can enjoy family-fun on the sandy beach with ice-creams and refreshments within easy reach at the various beach kiosks.
Carlton Marshes (approx. 12 miles from Southwold)
Situated in the Waveney Valley and just a 20 minute drive from Southwold is the Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve. This Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve features acres of marsh, meadows, fens and dykes. There are a number of walking trails available to try with many species of wildlife to be spotted along the way. The reserve also offers a café, gift shop and outdoor play area with picnic tables.
Throughout the year there are special events and guided walks available to book, so it’s worth checking ahead of your visit to see what’s on. During the summer season many events cater to children, including special craft sessions, bug hunts, dyke dipping and more.
The Nature Reserve is wheelchair and pushchair friendly using the main walking routes and there’s plenty of parking available on site.