Southwold. Perhaps Suffolk’s most famous coastal town and a place where flocks come to enjoy a traditional seaside holiday or break. The allure of its breath-taking beach, colourful beach huts and array of independent shops and eateries is well-documented, but when choosing a place to stay many make the mistake of overlooking the delightful villages that surround this popular tourist spot and are missing a real treat.
These unassuming villages offer the best of both worlds – a unique charm and character of their own, with the hustle and bustle of Southwold easily accessible. A stay in these areas also makes exploring Suffolk a little easier, being that bit closer to the main roads to Suffolk’s other popular destinations. Very often, you’ll find the accommodation in these villages can offer better value and provide amenities that central Southwold properties can’t, for example, parking or garden space.
Southwold’s nearest neighbour is Reydon, in fact all that divides the two is a narrow stretch of water called Buss Creek (bridged by the main road into town). Reydon is a thriving village with a real community feel. This is evident in the various annual events such as the Scarecrow trail and village fete as well as the wonderful floral displays on ‘Reydon Corner’. The village has two grocery shops, the Randolph Hotel and the popular Old Hall Café and Walks, which is home to Southwold Maize Maze. There’s also a nature reserve at Reydon Woods, which is a real sight to behold in the spring as the bluebells create a woodland carpet, and Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve called Hen Reedbeds, which extends across the marshes.
Across the River Blyth is the idyllic village of Walberswick. Although Southwold is an 8-mile drive away from Walberswick by car (having to take the route round the Blyth estuary), it’s easily accessible on foot or bicycle via the Bailey Bridge. There’s also a foot ferry across the Blyth, which has been run by the same family since 1940. This charming row-boat can carry up to 12 passengers and the short trip across the river will certainly show you the strength of the tide.
Walberswick is a peaceful but popular seaside village. Its quintessential village green with adjacent tea shop, gift shops and galleries is iconic and its two character-filled pubs serve local Adnams ales and tasty local produce. The village is perhaps most well-known however, for being a top spot for crabbing, in fact, the ‘International Crabbing Championship’ that was hosted here for several years was a victim of its own success and had to be cancelled as so many people wanted to be in on the action!
With dunes, marshland and a glorious beach that extends past Dunwich to the popular RSPB Minsmere, Walberswick offers peace, tranquillity and the perfect setting to relax and unwind.
View our collection of holiday cottages in Walberswick, including Lushan. New to our collection this is a holiday home where family memories can be created
Head inland three miles from Southwold and you’ll find Wangford, a charming village nestled just off the A12, perfectly placed for exploring.
The Church of St Peter and St Paul sits in the centre of the village. A place of worship for over 800 years, this impressive building has a pretty church yard where you might spot the beehives of local bee keepers. There’s also a well-stocked village shop and popular pub The Angel, which has an excellent reputation for serving delicious food.
View our holiday cottage in Wangford. You’ll see from the reviews that Wangford really is a hidden gem.