Visit Southwold and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Southwold, Suffolk. Southwold is a pleasant and dignified seaside town built on the cliffs overlooking the North Sea. With its triangular market square, its contrast between narrow streets and spacious greens around which are set cottages in flint, brick and colour wash, and the lighthouse which stands gleaming white in the very heart of the town in Stradbroke Road, Southwold presents vistas of quaint attractiveness. The greens came as the result of the fire of 1659 which caused the almost complete destruction of the town and led to more spacious planning when rebuilding was commenced, and the influence of the Dutch on the architecture may still be seen in the gables of the museum and in some of the cottages along Church Street.
From Norman times Southwold was a busy fishing port and the town developed in competition with its neighbours, Walberswick and Dunwich. With its beach of sand and shingle and its harbour, the town is now a lively little seaside resort with a small pier, competent local theatre company and the atmosphere of a rather more refined gaiety than may be found in its larger competitors.
Perhaps the chief pride of the town is the Parish Church of St Edmund built between 1430 and 1460. With that of Blythburgh this is the greatest of the churches of East Suffolk. It has a beautiful south porch, built of flint and stone arranged in the decorative patterns typical of the region, now empty of the statues which once stood there, and impressive carved entrance doors. The tower is 100 ft in height and on the roof should be noticed the flèche, a reproduction of the original Sanctus bell turret.
Careful restoration has given the interior of the church an unforgettable appearance of light and colour created by the large windows and the painted and gilded woodwork. The painted screen, dating from about 1500, is one of the most beautiful to be found in England. It runs across the full width of the church with magnificent figure paintings on the panels representing the Angels, Apostles and Prophets. The faces of Isaiah and David, were repainted by George. Richmond, R.A. who often stayed in the town. More fine painting and carving is to be seen in the pre-Reformation pulpit of the 15th century it was repainted in 1930 with money provided by the people of Southwold, Long Island, U.S.A., the settlement founded by travellers from Southwold in the 17th century. The stalls and return stalls in the choir are finely carved with many grotesque heads including a jester, a monkey and strange bearded and winged figures. High above them all, are a lofty clerestory and a hammer-beam roof.
From the cliffs there is an extensive view north to Kessingland and Lowestoft and south to Dunwich and Aldeburgh and beyond to Orford Ness.
Nearby towns: Aldeburgh, Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth, Kessingland, Leiston, Lowestoft, Saxmundham
Nearby villages: Aldringham, Barnby, Benacre, Blyford, Blythburgh, Bramfield, Bramfield, Broome, Carlton Colville, Chediston, Cookley, Covehithe, Darsham, Dunwich, Ellough, Frostenden, Gisleham, Henstead, Holton, Ilketshall St Andrew, Kelsale, Leiston, Mettingham, North Cove, Pakefield, Peasenhall, Redisham, Reydon, Rumburgh, Shadingfield, Sibton, Sotherton, Sotterley, South Cove, Spexhall, Theberton, Walberswick, Walpole, Wangford, Wenhaston, Westleton, Wissett, Worlingham, Wrentham,
Have you decided to visit Southwold or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Southwold bed and breakfast (a Southwold B&B or Southwold b and b)
- a Southwold guesthouse
- a Southwold hotel (or motel)
- a Southwold self-catering establishment, or
- other Southwold accommodation