Periodically, the Waverley, a lovely old sea-going paddle steamer, which is the last such vessel in the world, plies a route to Southwold. You can’t miss its glorious pillar box red funnels that tower over its varnished wooden deck. The paddle steamer dates from 1947. At the end of its working life in 1975, it was famously bought by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society for just one pound, and was fully restored. It is now a popular tourist attraction with trips around the British Isles during the summer months. Once on board, you can see its massive 2,100 horsepower steam engine and its famous paddle wheels, while meeting the captain, chief officer, the bosun and their crew. The Waverley has a dining saloon for breakfast, light lunches or evening dinner, a bar and the Caledonia tea room for light bites, plus a souvenir shop.
Also in the area
About the area
Suffolk is Constable country, where the county’s crumbling, time-ravaged coastline spreads itself under wide skies to convey a wonderful sense of remoteness and solitude. Highly evocative and atmospheric, this is where rivers wind lazily to the sea and notorious 18th-century smugglers hid from the excise men. John Constable immortalised these expansive flatlands in his paintings in the 18th century, and his artwork raises the region’s profile to this day.
Walking is one of Suffolk’s most popular recreational activities. It may be flat but the county has much to discover on foot – not least the isolated Heritage Coast, which can be accessed via the Suffolk Coast Path. Southwold, with its distinctive, white-walled lighthouse standing sentinel above the town and its colourful beach huts and attractive pier features on many a promotional brochure. Much of Suffolk’s coastal heathland is protected as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and shelters several rare creatures including the adder, the heath butterfly and the nightjar. In addition to walking, there is a good choice of cycling routes but for something less demanding, visit some of Suffolk’s charming old towns, with streets of handsome, period buildings and picturesque, timber-framed houses.
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