Crab from Southwold/Swim at Walberswick
A stay at Ivy Grange Farm isn’t complete without a trip to the twin towns of Southwold/Walberswick on opposite sides of the River Blyth; there’s masses to do in either place and you could easily while away several days, but on a sunny day or for a special occasion this is our favourite outing on two wheels, but it would be equally good by car or bus.
Have a proper seaside day out, exploring the independent shops and eating establishments of Southwold and taking in the glorious sea air of the smaller town of Walberswick with fantastic sandy beaches and dunes.
Whatever your preferred means of transport, set off for Southwold; as you approach the town, turn right at the second roundabout, following the signs for the Quay. If driving, there’s parking by the Common with a lovely walk down across the golf course and marshes to the quay - or keep going for limited parking by the quay; if cycling, head for the quay.
We love to buy a dressed crab (or a lobster for birthday treats) from Samantha K’s shack (first on the left and they’ll keep your purchases in the fridge for you) or keep going and you can choose from an amazing range of different shacks – fresh or smoked fish and, further down, great fish and chips! This is a working harbour and there’s a chandlers, yacht club, all sorts of interesting boat-y shops as well as the Harbour Café which, with large picture windows and outside seating, is a great place to watch the world go by over a coffee. Then either head down for the ferry (a rowing boat run as a community venture by local residents) or back up past the Harbour Inn for a footbridge (the old railway line) across the river. From here you can meander into Walberswick which has surely one of the country’s most beautiful beaches – lovely sand, great dunes and our favourite place for swimming. If you are with children and can manage to tear them away from the crabbing activities, the best section of beach is by the river where there are large shallow pools when the tide is out and the beach shelves gently for paddling or swimming, otherwise, take your pick from miles of golden sand beyond.
Head to the village green for the essential holiday ice-cream or cup of tea and a look around the shops (The Parish Lantern is fun) and watch the kids catching crab (the fattest crabs around – living almost entirely off bacon used as bait!). If you fancy a meal, choose from The Bell Inn (pub grub, good beer garden) or The Anchor (smarter and lovely outdoor dining area) in Walberswick or walk back to the quay for great food and a lovely setting at The Harbour Inn at Southwold (our favourite if it’s not impossibly busy in high season!).