Southwold, England

Introduction to Southwold, England

Delightful Southwold is a quintessentially British seaside town featuring an award-winning pier, busy harbour, historic lighthouse and of course, a beautiful beach complete with traditional beach huts.

Situated on the picturesque Suffolk Heritage Coast, the seaside town of Southwold is one of eastern England’s gems. A popular holiday resort, Southwold is renowned for its lovely beach and award-winning Pier, where you can have a go on the weird and wonderful amusements, enjoy delicious fish and chips, or simply soak up the English summer sunshine on a relaxing stroll.

Within the town there are several interesting attractions to discover, including the historic Saint Edmunds Church, 19th century lighthouse, Art Deco water tower, Southwold Museum, and the charming Electric Picture Palace Cinema. Southwold is also home to Adnams Brewery, which is usually open for tours. Here you can see how many beers and spirits are made, or even craft your very own blend of Gin.

For those interested in nature, Southwold is a great place to visit as it is located close to the Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve, Westleton Heath Nature Reserve and RSPB Minsmere, which is home to various species of rare birds and other fauna such as otters.

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Adnams Brewery Tour - Ticket Only

  • Visit the Adnams Brewery - home to one of Southwolds most famous exports

 

Price£20.00
DurationApproximately 1 1/2 Hours
LimitationLimited Availablity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Established in 1872, Adnams is best-known for its brewing of beer.

Adnams is committed to its strong values of making great products without costing the earth. From working with local farmers and producers who supply the brewery and its hotels, through to partnering with local business to install an anaerobic digestion plant to turn brewery and food waste into biogas. They also believe that in doing the right thing, makes perfect business sense!

A visit to Southwold will not be complete without a tour of the fascinating Adnams Brewery. Inside the walls of the Victorian building, explore and discover the behind the scenes production of the award-winning beers from start to finish. Discover the choice of ingredients and how they make the beers using the super-modern, self- cleaning brew stream through to tasting the final product.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour includes a TICKET ONLY to the Adnams Brewery tour and a souvenir key-ring. No transport to and from the Brewery or Fred. Olsen guide / escort is included. The Adnams Brewery is an approximate 15 minute walk from the Pier. The tour lasts approximately one hour, followed by a tutored beer tasting session which lasts approximately 30 minutes. The tour is only available for over 18’s. We recommend wearing sensible shoes, no flip-flops or heels. There is wheelchair access for most of the tour and a lift to access the Tasting Room. There are a number of small, shallow steps and stairs between some areas, therefore some parts may not be accessed. The tour is non-refundable. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines have reserved set brewery tour times.

 


Willy Lott

Constable Country

  • Enjoy the picturesque Dedham Vale – made famous by John Constable
  • See the scenes inspired by Constable’s most famous paintings
Price£55.00-£65.00
DurationApproximately 5 1/4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

Probably Constable's most famous painting is the Hay-Wain produced in 1820-21. Today you can still see clearly where Constable was positioned when he sketched the hay cart (or wain) returning to the fields across the river via the 'flat' ford for some more hay.

Leaving Southwold behind you, travel through some of the most beautiful countryside in England, where history leaps to life in an unspoiled and charming corner of England – Constable Country!

Captured in paintings by Constable, the Suffolk-Essex border features timbered houses, moated manors, and fine church towers. Travel across the open countryside and into the beautiful Dedham Vale—Constable Country, where the great landscape painter John Constable was born in 1776.

Constable was always inspired by the place where he was born and he spent years filling sketchbooks with local material that he called upon later to immortalise in his famous pictures, and in later life he returned regularly to those haunting childhood scenes. From the gate-post of Willy Lott's cottage, Constable captured the rustic scene across the old mill pond, depicted in 'The Haywain', probably the most well-known of all his paintings.

In the sleepy, unspoiled village of Flatford the serenity of the early 18th century mill building is reflected among the wildlife activity in the little mill pond. Enjoy a walk along a gently sloping path with a few steps to the centre of this rural hamlet with its unchanging scenery of willows, shimmering meadows and winding streams.  Visit a 16th century thatched cottage beside the river, which houses a permanent exhibition of Constable's work, including several showing the delightful 'Bridge Cottage'. See nearby Flatford Mill, instantly recognisable from Constable’s work.

Continue along the country roads to Dedham—the attractive village where Constable went to school. In the High Street, stop to admire the 16th-century St Mary's Church, and see Sherman Hall dating back to the 16th century.

Following your visit, re-join your coach for the return drive to Southwold.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is a compulsory walk of approximate 180 meters at Flatford Mill along a sloping path with a few steps to encounter. Walking is at the discretion of the individual, however if you wish to follow you guide, there is approximately one and half hours of walking involved. The journey to Constable Country takes approximately one and a quarter hours. 

 


Minsmere PSPB Reserve, Southwold, UK

Exclusive RSPB Minsmere Wildlife Reserve by 4 x 4

  • Be guided around Suffolk’s best-known coastal bird reserves by 4 x 4
  • Enjoy discovering the different wildlife that habitat in this relaxing environment
  • See parts of the reserve not open to the general public
Price£135.00-£145.00
DurationApproximately 4 1/4 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Leaving Southwold behind you, travel to RSPB Minsmere, a fantastic coastal nature reserve, where you have the opportunity to look out for wildlife at this beautiful spot on the Suffolk coast. 

Minsmere is home to a staggering variety of wildlife. Keep your voice to a whisper as you scan for secretive bitterns in the reeds. Look out for elegant, black and white avocets (the RSPB emblem) feeding in flat wetlands. And if you're lucky, you could spot otters from the Island Mere Hide as well as adders, lizards and water voles.

Upon arrival, you are greeted and given a short talk about what wildlife you may see at the reserve before exploring the hidden Minsmere from the comfort of a 4x4 vehicle. You'll discover how they keep Minsmere in tip top condition, and see parts of the reserve not normally accessible to visitors.

You may wish to explore the Visitor Centre or enjoy light refreshment at the onsite café.   

Following your visit, rejoin your coach for the return drive to Southwold.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is approximately 75 metres of walking to get from the coach park at Minsmere to the visitors centre and vice versa. Walking is minimal, however guests must be able to embark and disembark a coach unaided as well as a 4 x4 vehicle. Please note that the surfaces may be bumpy and uneven. The vehicles used are working vehicles. Each vehicle takes 4 guests. Pre-booking this tour is essential. This tour must be pre-booked in advance of the cruise.

 


Helmingham Hall, Southwold, UK

Helmingham Hall Gardens

  • Visit the spectacular Grade 1 Listed Gardens at Helmingham Hall
  • Relax and explore over 500 years of Suffolk history in these superb Gardens
Price£65.00-£75.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

Discover the spectacular Grade 1 listed Gardens of Helmingham Hall.

Helmingham and the Tollemache family have had a strong connection for hundreds of years.  The hall and the old oak trees that you see today, have seen much of the history of England pass before them, and many generations of this family pass through.

Helmingham Hall was completed in 1510 and is surrounded by its deep moat, serene gardens and deer park which is the home to herds of both red and fallow deer.

Some years after the family moved to Helmingham they started work on the gardens, but old maps and drawings show that the original shape of the main walled garden predates the house by many years; it was most probably of Saxon origin and constructed to protect stock from marauders.

The gardens today have been extensively redesigned by the current Lady Tollemache, a Chelsea Gold Medallist, and are open to visitors who find themselves enchanted by the herbaceous borders, walled kitchen, herb, knot and wild gardens. The rose and knot gardens were laid out in 1982 with the intention of creating something that was close to the kind of garden the family might have had in Tudor times. Some years later, it looks as though they must have always been there.

Following your visit, re-join your coach for your return journey back to Southwold.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Walking is at the guests own discretion as after a short introduction you are free to explore independently. The paths are level and mainly grassed, therefore this tour is considered suitable for wheelchair users. Please note that that there is no access to the interior of the house. The journey to and from Helmingham Hall takes approximately one hour each way.

 


Minsmere PSPB Reserve, Southwold, UK

Minsmere RSBP Wildlife Reserve

  • Visit one of Suffolk’s best-known coastal bird reserves – often featured on BBC1’s Spring Watch
  • Enjoy discovering the different wildlife that habitat in this relaxing environment
Price£50.00-£60.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Travel by coach to RSPB Minsmere, a fantastic coastal nature reserve, where you have the opportunity to spot an array of wildlife in this beautiful setting on the Suffolk coastline. 

Minsmere is home to a variety of wildlife so listen closely and keep your eyes peeled as you scan for secretive bitterns in the growing reeds. Have your binoculars to hand as you watch out for the elegant, black and white avocets (the RSPB emblem) who are known to feed in the flat wetlands in front of you. And if you're lucky, you could spot otters from the “Island Mere Hide” as well as possible sightings of adders, lizards and water voles.

En route you will be given a short introduction (on the coach) about what wildlife you may see at the reserve before. Upon arrival, you will be greeted before being invited to enjoy some free time to explore at leisure. There are volunteer guides located at key spots throughout the reserve to answer any questions you may have. You may wish to visit the visitor centre or enjoy light refreshment at the onsite café (own expense). 

Following your fascinating visit, you will re-join your coach for the return drive back to Southwold.

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is approximately 75 metres of walking to get from the coach park at Minsmere to the visitors centre and vice versa. The Coastal trail is approximately two miles long, along level, surfaced paths and the Woodland Trail is approximately one mile long, along unsurfaced paths. The amount of walking undertaken is at the guests own discretion. 

 


Southwold, UK

Southwold by Foot

  • Explore Southwold by foot
  • Enjoy the knowledge of a fully qualified guide
Price£25.00-£35.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Southwold is famous for its glorious sandy beach, bright beach huts, extensive greens, glorious church, pier and delicious beer. But you might not know about its small independent shops, businesses and museums.  

Experience the beautiful Southwold by foot as you enjoy on this relaxed guided tour.

Look at the glorious St. Edmund King & Martyr Church and Southwold Lighthouse. Visit the Southwold Museum, once a weaver’s cottage, housing an intriguing collection of artefacts from the town's past. View Bartholomew Green, the original commercial hub of Southwold.  Explore independently the famous Amber museum, the only museum in Great Britain designed and created to tell the story and history of Amber.

You can then create your own adventure whether it be that beer by the pier, the local fish & chips or something else. Your friendly personal guide can assist you during your free time in the town.

Feeling relaxed, rejoin your guide and visit the atmospheric Alfred Corry Lifeboat museum prior to making your way back to your tender and your awaiting ship.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is approximately three miles of walking involved with this tour. Southwold can be explored independently, however this tour benefits from being escorted by a fully qualified guide. Refreshments are not included. You will have approximately 45 minutes of freetime.

 


Sutton Hoo, East Anglia, UK

Sutton Hoo

  • Visit one of the greatest archaeological sites in the UK
  • Discover the fascinating story behind the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon King
Price£65.00-£75.00
DurationApproximately 4 1/2 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

Relax as you drive through the pretty Suffolk countryside to Sutton Hoo – an Anglo-Saxon royal burial site and exhibition centre where you can visit one of Britain's most important & atmospheric archaeological sites along with the burial ground of the Anglo-Saxon Kings of East Anglia. 

In 1938 Edith Pretty hired Basil Brown, a Suffolk archaeologist to investigate some mysterious earth mounds near her house at Sutton Hoo; this exploration led to the ultimate discovery - the remains of a 90ft burial-ship of an Anglo-Saxon warrior king.  The finds included an iconic warrior's helmet, shield, weapons, Anglo-Saxon gold and Byzantine silver treasures from France and many other artefacts.

The exhibition tells the compelling story of Anglo-Saxon warriors, treasure and kings, with a full-size reconstruction of the burial chamber. Find out how the exquisite treasure was made and lay undisturbed for over 1,300 years.

Visit Tranmer House, home of Edith Pretty, where it is said she had the vision that led to the excavations at Sutton Hoo.  You can truly step back in time and get a feel of life in 1930’s style.

Make your way to view the burial mound area which overlooks the River Deben.  These mounds are some of the most important and special archaeological monuments in the country.

Following your visit to Sutton Hoo, re-join your coach for the return drive back to your awaiting ship.

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is approximately 30 metres of walking from the coach park to the visitors centre. Walking is at the discretion of the individual at the archaeological site, however, if you wish to view the burial mounds up close, uneven ground, which can be slippery when wet, will be encounted.  All guests must be able to board the coach unaided. The journey time to Sutton Hoo is approximately one hour each way.

 


Minsmere PSPB Reserve, Southwold, UK

VIP Minsmere Wildlife Reserve

  • Enjoy a VIP tour of Suffolk’s best-known coastal bird reserves
  • Discover the different wildlife that habitat in this relaxing environment
Price£115.00-£125.00
DurationAppproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Leaving Southwold behind you, travel to RSPB Minsmere, a fantastic coastal nature reserve, where you have the opportunity to look out for wildlife at this beautiful spot on the Suffolk coast. 

Minsmere is home to a staggering variety of wildlife. Keep your voice to a whisper as you scan for secretive bitterns in the reeds. Look out for elegant, black and white avocets (the RSPB emblem) feeding in flat wetlands. And if you're lucky, you could spot otters from the Island Mere Hide as well as adders, lizards and water voles.

Upon arrival you are greeted and given a short talk on the coach about what wildlife you may see at the reserve before heading off for an expert personal guided tour by a Minsmere RSPB guide. Your guide assisted with the BBC Springwatch documentary and will be able to answer any questions or requests you may have. You may wish to explore the Visitor Centre or enjoy light refreshment at the onsite café.   

Following your visit, rejoin your coach for the return drive to Southwold.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is approximately 75 metres of walking to get from the coach park at Minsmere to the visitors centre and vice versa. The Coastal trail is approximately two miles long, along level, surfaced paths and the Woodland Trail is approximately one mile long, along unsurfaced paths. This tour must be pre-booked in advance of the cruise.

 


Walberswick, UK

Walberswick & Dunwich – Suffolk Hidden Gems

  • Enjoy a scenic tour through the Suffolk Countryside
  • Relax in the beautiful villages of Dunwich & Walberswick
Price£45.00-£55.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

This tour will take you to two of Suffolk coasts quaint little villages.

Departing Southwold you head to Walberswick, one of Suffolk's hidden gems, tucked away across the River Blyth from the much higher profile of Southwold. Until the early 20th century Walberswick was a trading port, but today it is one of Suffolk’s leading places to visit. Enjoy a guided tour of the village and see Walberswick National Nature Reserve. What makes it such a special place to visit is the wide mix of habitats. You’ll find it easy to access the paths on one of the largest reed beds in Britain at Westwood Marshes with its grazing marsh, rich hay meadows, 19th-century woodland, intertidal and the Blyth tidal estuary. This great mix of habitat and food means Walberswick is ideal for wildlife spotting.

After marvelling at the sights here, re-join your coach and take the short drive to the tiny village of Dunwich. At one time, it was the unofficial capital of East Anglia and a bustling seaport with eight churches and five houses of religious order. Today Dunwich is a small village with a large shingle beach with a forest stretching to Westleton in one direction and Walberswick in the other.

Dunwich Heath is tucked away on the Suffolk coast and offers you peace and quiet and a true sense of being at one with nature. A rare and precious habitat, the Heath is home to special species such as the Dartford warbler, nightjar, woodlark, ant-lion, adders and much more. Let your guide show you the beauty of Dunwich Heath, from quiet and serene to wild and dramatic. The Heath is alive with colour; a patchwork of pink and purple heather and coconut-scented yellow gorse is an unmissable experience.

Time at leisure will be given to explore beautiful Dunwich before you re-join your coach for a scenic drive of the Suffolk coast as you head back to your awaiting ship in Southwold. 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is approximately one hour of walking involved both at Walberswick and Dunwich during the guided walking tours. Guests may choose not take part in the guided walking tours if they wish, in which case the amount of walking undertaken is at individuals discretion. 

 


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