After a lovely summer’s trip to Hunstanton with friends last year and being lucky enough to have beautiful sunny weather we thought we must embark on another beach trip this year. After deliberating about where to go that’s not too far to drive to, that has things for us to do there, but also where we wouldn’t have to spend too much money, we decided on Suffolk’s Southwold.
I had never been to Southwold before – or at least I don’t have memory of ever going – but it is a lovely, small seaside town in Suffolk, a scenic drive around two hours from where we live.
We haven’t had such luck with the weather this week, so although Wednesday was indeed sunny and cloudy and relatively moderate temperatures, it was VERY windy. But this did not affect the fun we had on our trip – in fact it actually added a bit of comedy to the day.
Upon arriving we parked in the pay and display car park near to Southwold’s pier. Upon my friend placing the ticket on the dashboard in her car, a huge gust of wind took grasp of the ticket and it went swirling out of the car door and swiftly flew away. I RAN. There I was running through cars and people, pottering along the road in my low heeled sandals, desperately following the ticket in true fashion of Chris (the Hero Boy) in The Polar Express. All I knew was that we had just used up all of our change to buy the £6 ticket, we really could not afford to lose it… after running what felt like a lengthy distance, the ticket diverted left through an open car space. Catching up, I turned the corner to see a low wall behind a row of beach huts and then the open beach the other side. There was no ticket. I searched under the nearby cars – nothing. I searched along the wall – THERE IT WAS. I was so pleased I’d got it, taking strong grasp of the ticket I ran back to our parked car, greeted by the applaud of, not only my friends, but the car full of people in the space next to us. Smiling bashfully, I handed the ticket back to my friend and this time with both care and speed she placed the ticket in the car and slammed the door shut in unison. WE’D DONE IT.
After the dramatic arrival in Southwold, we then headed along the sea front, past the town centre and to the other end of the beach, sitting ourselves between sand dunes for protection from the thieving wind. There we sat for a good hour to two hours, with our packed up lunch of rolls, crisps, sweets, cans of Fanta, mini cocktail sausages and grapes, making the short trip to dip our toes into the sea and capture a few boomerangs for the Instagram stories. I enjoyed watching a group of people tremendously kite surfing in the waves, occasionally flying up into the air before crashing back down into the breakers, like sea gulls dancing in the sky before swooping in on their prey. After our picnic and when we felt we’d exhausted the windy beach, we strolled along the promenade, back to the town centre, to visit a couple of shops – including the Adnams shop, because of course you cannot take a trip to Southwold and not visit the highly stocked Adnams beverage, gift, food and homeware store.
Then taking a short walk back to the pier, we went to The Clockhouse café – highly recommended by one of the friends I was with, from her memories of a family holiday with their scrumptious hot chocolates, deliciously topped with cream, marshmallows and flake. Although tempting, I went for a traditional English Breakfast Tea, which was served in an adorable, pretty floral teapot. It was lovely to sit inside for a while, to escape from the windy weather and gaze out over the sea and the colourful beach hut lined coast.
Before leaving we walked the planks to the end of the pier, where a lady offered to capture this humorous pirate themed photo below, and I returned the favour for her and her husband, giggling over the funny characters. Back along the pier we sniggerred at our distorted figures in the magic mirrors and then ventured back down the planks.
After a tremendous day, we strolled back to the car, stopping to quickly snap a photo of myself beneath the sign for the pier, then returning home. All in all – it was a lovely day out.