Could Southwold Be the Quintessential British Seaside Resort?
East Anglia may be best known as a rural county, as famous for its agriculture as it is for its Gainsborough landscapes. But it also lays claim to some truly wonderful seaside resorts along the coast of Suffolk and Norfolk. But, although places like Cromer, Hunstanton, and Great Yarmouth might like to differ, it’s Southwold that may be able to lay claim to being the jewel in the region’s coastal crown.
How can one make such a claim? Well, the supporting evidence certainly holds up to even the closest scrutiny.
A Peerless Pier
One of the first things that most people look for in a seaside resort is an impressive pier. While Southwold’s may not be as famous or as long as Cromer’s; which has even had a starring role in many movies – it’s still amazing. Built back in 1900 and restored a century later in 2001, this pier has survived gales and other disasters. Today it may only be 620 feet long compared with its original 820 feet, but it continues to be a very notable, and historic, landmark.
Some people complain that there is no archetypal amusement arcade on the pier, with the traditional slot games that were synonymous with seaside amusements of yesteryear. But this is more than made up for by Tim Hunkin’s Under the Pier Show featuring all kinds of wacky machines. Besides, any visitors missing the quintessential inclusion of slots only has to visit a site like Bonusfinder UK, which illustrates the expansion of the industry which once found a home in land-based venues such as the seaside pier or resort. A modern solution to a historical lack, there are even seaside-themed slots and bonuses available.
Of course, you can’t have a pier without a beach, and Southwold’s is a gem. In 2005 a great deal of anti-erosion work was carried out including the addition of more of the famous groynes to protect the sand and shingle beach. It’s also where you’ll find the feature that has really made Southwold famous – and we’re not talking about Adnams Brewery. Of course, we’re referring to the legendary beach huts that often hit the headlines when they change hands for hundreds of thousands. You see them lined up along the seafront in their different colours, with some very imaginative names. They may be beyond most people’s pockets, but Southwold wouldn’t be quite the same without them.
The Bright Lights of Southwold
Next on the list for a seaside resort must-have is a lighthouse and here we score again. Southwold’s is made all the more special by being in the middle of the town and open to visitors at a certain time of the year. Its history is almost as chequered as the pier’s, having suffered a serious fire just six days after it first opened in 1890. But, still, it stands today, with a light visible 24 miles out to sea.
So we rest our case for Southwold. It might not be as arty as Aldeburgh or as large as Lowestoft, but it really does have everything going for it to be named the very best in Suffolk.