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Top places to live in Suffolk Southwold

Want to feel like you’re on holiday every day? Time to move to this scenic seaside town with fabulous architecture, great pubs, hot hotels, sandy bay and colourful beach huts. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY? 

East Suffolk’s holiday hot spot also makes a pleasant place to live year-round. Multi-coloured beach huts, a pier, lighthouse and sandy shore make an idyllic seaside setting, but there’s more to this town than coastal kitsch, with a great restaurants and hotels, village greens, pretty cottages and a thriving High Street too. 

EAT

Something for everyone here, from the Sole Bay Fish Company, which is essentially a shed on the harbour serving the best shellfish platters in the area (they have their own smokehouse and fish and chip shop too!), through to the restaurant at The Swan Hotel (winner of best boutique hotel at this year’s Muddy Awards), where you can tuck into triple-cooked chips and citrus-cured trout in stylish surroundings. The Harbour Inn is a top pub, with a cosy nautical-themed bar but a light, airy dining room in a converted fishing shed overlooking the River Blyth. Adnams Brewery’s based in the town too, so expect to see the sign a lot

SHOP 

Rifling through the rails at Collen & Clare on the High Street is a local sport, as this chic boutique stocks some really great pieces from brands like Cefinn, Mulberry and Hermés. Craftco is an artists’ cooperative selling everything from paintings to jewellery and ceramics, while newsagent/gift shop hybrid Chapmans of Southwold is where to pick up all your kids’ party stuff, magazines, games and stationery. Two Magpies Bakery might have branches dotted around the east now, but this is where it all started and it still sells exceptionally good bread, sausage rolls and pastries – beach picnics sorted. 

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS 

The lighthouse works! Yes, unlike most other lighthouses in the UK which have been converted into a ‘quirky’ airbnbs, Southwold’s iconic building still faithfully guides ships navigating the east coast and you can take a 20-minute tour. Close by is al fresco Thorington Theatre, built in a woodland. Cruises and watersports on the River Blyth are fun as is yearly family-friendly Latitude Festival, which takes place close by. 

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE 

High for the region, with an average of £661,573. Terraced houses sell for around £541,660, but detacheds go for an eye-watering £943,080 average. Prices are up 13% on the previous year.

HOT PROPERTY

Spacious family home with five bedrooms, four reception rooms, balcony, resistance pool and hot tub and even space for an office or shop at the end of the property. Yours for £1.5 million!

SCHOOLS 

Southwold Nursery & Primary School has strong community links. On the edge of town is co-ed Independent St Felix School for day pupils and boarders from 2-18 years. Set in 75 acres, it’s been established for more than 120 years and is hard to fault. A bit further afield, but definitely worth the 37 minute daily commute is Framlingham College, a forward-thinking school that places a lot of emphasis on well-rounded pupils. It’s a boarding school too if you don’t want the drive!

BEST KEPT SECRET 

George Orwell, author of dystopian novels Animal Farm and 1984 lived in Southwold for 20 years in the early 1900s. His former home’s currently for sale, check it out here!

COMMUTE 

No direct trains to London here, but Halesworth (20 minutes away) has frequent trains to Ipswich (55 mins), where you can change for London Liverpool Street (about 70 minutes). Lowestoft, just up the coast, has a station for trains to Norwich from where you can reach London in 90 minutes. If you’re driving, it’s ten minutes from the A12, the local main road, and an hour from Ipswich.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live

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Best Place to Live in Suffolk Reader Vote

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Cast your vote by entering your email address and ticking the town or village you think deserves to win for the chance to bag £1,000 to spend at John Lewis, courtesy of our partner Strutt & Parker.

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Polstead

We've cherry-picked this quintessential Suffolk village due to its pleasing amount of thatched cottages, historic church, beautiful rural setting and manor house thrown in for good measure.

Long Melford

Melford, as it’s known locally, has got it going on.

Beccles

Get more property for your buck in this thriving market town on the southern tip of the Suffolk and Norfolk Broads.

Southwold

Want to feel like you’re on holiday every day? Time to move to this scenic seaside town with fabulous architecture, great pubs, hot hotels, sandy bay and colourful beach huts.

East Bergholt

Grab your paint brushes (when you're not commuting into the capital), because this stunning bucolic corner of Suffolk might just inspire your creative side à la famous former resident John Constable.

Framlingham

This genteel central Suffolk town has sublime castle views, is surrounded by some of the county's best countryside and even inspired a famous musician to write a "love song to Suffolk".

Bury St Edmunds

"The jewel in the crown of Suffolk".

Woodbridge

Life on the estuary is not to be sniffed at.

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