Explore the Area
Adnams Tours and Experiences
You can’t come to Southwold without experiencing Adnams!
Tours of Adnams brewery and distillery run regularly throughout the year. Starting at our John Adair Adnams Visitor Centre in the courtyard at the back of The Swan (where you’ll be immersed in the wonderful world of Adnams and learn more about our long and colourful history), the 90 minute experience includes a tour of our energy-efficient brewery or distillery, ending with a tasting – the best bit!
Why not make your very own gin while you stay with us? We make our award-winning gins from our vodkas, which in turn are made from our un-hopped beers. You’ll get the chance to make your own gin and choose your own selection of botanicals. These Make your Own Gin sessions are based in our distillery and our guides will take you through the distilling process and how to make the most of your botanical selections. You’ll leave with your very own bottle of gin and tonnes of gin wisdom.
You can find out more about Adnams brewery and distillery tours, as well as make your own gin experiences here. Our reception team will happily organise a tour for you while you are with us.
Just a short distance from The Swan, Southwold beach is always a great place to spend time. The promenade runs from Southwold Pier to the base of Gun Hill to the south, lined with brightly coloured and imaginatively-named beach huts. The southern end of Southwold beach is wilder, with sand dunes and marram grass separating the beach from Ferry Road. It’s along this stretch that you’ll find the surfers and kite surfers when conditions are right. We have a surf school in Southwold, so why not give it a try? Keep your eyes open for amber along the strand-line – you never know, you may be lucky enough to find a piece!
The sea is warmest from June through to November and outside of the summer season you need to be pretty hardy, or wear a wetsuit, if you fancy a refreshing dip!
If you’d prefer to be on the water rather than in it, then don’t miss a trip on the Coastal Voyager for a power blast or serene river tour – ask at reception for more details.
Four times a year, the Adnams team, along with a brilliant band of volunteers, take part in beach cleans in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society. If you’re staying with us at this time, you’re very welcome to join us.
We have a range of beach accessories available on reception, including beach towels, deckchairs, picnic blankets and cool bags. Windbreaks, buckets and spades and crabbing kits are available to purchase at reception.
Don’t forget your beach picnic! For more information and to pre-book a picnic, please speak to our reception team.
Wildlife and Nature
Southwold is situated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has several important nature reserves right on its doorstep. The RSPB’s flagship reserve at Minsmere is a short drive away. Here, you’ll discover a range of habitats from woodlands, heaths and marshes, with several man-made ‘scrapes’ attracting a variety of wading birds. If you’re lucky, you may spot a bittern, or at least hear them booming in the spring, catch sight of a kingfisher, or see an otter.
The Suffolk Wildlife Trust manage several reserves close to town – the Hen Reedbeds – which can be accessed directly from Southwold via a footpath along the river Blyth, and further inland, Reydon Wood – a small area of ancient woodland which has been coppiced since medieval times.
A walk north along Southwold beach towards Covehithe and Benacre will take you to areas managed by Natural England. Although some of the woodland and brackish lakes are not directly accessible to the public, it is a beautiful area to see.
Named one of the UK’s best seaside towns by The Rough Guide, Southwold is a lovely coastal town with its own harbour where you can buy freshly caught fish as well as delicious fish and chips. The town itself has a good mix of national and independent stores, lots of pubs (Adnams, of course!), cafés and restaurants, a museum (Suffolk Museum of the Year 2017) and some great art and craft galleries.
For sporting types, there’s a golf course, tennis courts, a sailing club, surfing, bowls club and a running club. Southwold also has a small gym equipped with spin bikes.
Visitors to Southwold must not miss a walk along the Pier with its quirky amusements and selection of cafés and gift shops.
Other than from our Distillery, some of the best views of the town can be taken from the top of Southwold’s lighthouse (tours are available) and from the Coastal Voyager boat where you can choose a leisurely cruise or a high-octane speed blast.
For a more leisurely view of the town, you can follow one of the town’s many footpaths.Visit The Suffolk Coast
Pampering & Relaxation
Please speak with our reception team to arrange any of the following, subject to availability of course.
Massage and beauty treatments
Whether you fancy a quick pedicure or an indulgent massage, we can arrange this for you.
Need a trim or fancy a full restyle? Let us know!
Southwold’s much loved high street has an eclectic bunch of shops and boutiques. As a guest at The Swan, we can provide you with a discount card for a number of shops, please ask at reception.
If you’re feeling energetic, there’s lots to enjoy locally and we can help arrange activities, subject to availability of course.
Why not borrow one of our Swan bikes while you are with us? Our bikes come with helmets, locks, pumps and repair kits. If you would like to bring your own bike a secure lock up service is available. We can also suggest routes for you to enjoy, there’s lots of beautiful countryside to explore.
Walking and running
Ask us about some of our favourite routes.
Southwold has a number of all-weather courts a short walk from the hotel and tennis rackets are available to borrow from reception.
Southwold Golf Club is one of Suffolk’s oldest courses, located 5 mins from The Swan. This 9-hole heathland course offers something for all abilities.
Clay pigeon shooting
Whether you’d like to shoot or just practice, there are local shooting schools and we can arrange lessons or short courses.
We’re close to the Broads where there are lots of peaceful canoeing opportunities.
Kitesurfing and surfing
Why not give it a go! We can arrange an instructor for you.
You can enjoy tandem jumps or solo courses near Beccles.
Sign up for all the latest news and offers