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 4-hour 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. 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!
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.
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
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