This historic pier has a small pavilion which houses a quirky collection of modern penny arcade-style machines by English inventor and cartoonist Tim Hunkin. It’s known as the Under the Pier Show, and will make you roar with laughter. Look out for the Water Clock Tower and the Quantum Tunnelling Telescope too. The tower’s message is about water recycling and the telescope about what could occur in the North Sea – both are hilarious fun. The pier has a small interactive family amusement arcade too, which the pier owners are proud to say has no gambling machines, along with a handful of shops selling upmarket souvenirs and organic produce. The Seaweed and Salt has a great collection of textiles and ceramics, while the Curlew has a range of hand-carved wooden birds. The Treasure Chest has Southwold keepsakes, including ornaments and a delicious range of jams, chutneys and fudges. Buckets and Spades is a magnet for children with everything they’ll need for the beach.The pier has three eateries that will surely tempt your tastebuds. The Beach Café serves the freshest fish and chips and is famed throughout East Anglia; the Clockhouse offers light meals; and the à la carte Boardwalk Restaurant (booking recommended) has a menu that offers a fusion of tastes.
- Opening Times: Open May–Sep daily from 9; Sep–May from 10 (closing times vary)
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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