A free online encyclopedia about campgrounds created and edited by travel writers

sign in or out
Southwold destination large map

Click map for a larger view

The Southwold Destination is located in the easternmost part of England, on the shores of the North Sea. The area is named after the coastal town, Southwold, which is an active fishing port. The largest city in the area is Norwich, and among the other big cities are also Cambridge and Peterborough.[3] The Southwold Destination roughly corresponds to the historical region of East Anglia, which later gave rise to today's East of England region. The first recorded settlers were Anglo-Saxons who established the Kingdom of East Anglia, which was subsequently incorporated into the Kingdom of England.[1] Thus, the territory bears considerable historical background, with monuments and sites spread across the cities and regions. Besides the historical heritage, the Southwold Destination is home to several protected areas, including Broads National Park, the UK's largest protected wetland.[7] Concerning the climatic conditions, Southwold Destination belongs among the driest areas of England. This, combined with the historical heritage and several natural protected areas, presumably is the reason for the touristic popularity of the site.[8]

What Southwold is known for

Southwold, the namesake of the Southwold Destination, is a small city located on the shores of the North Sea. The town bears a relatively long fishing tradition; the city's first records come from the 11th century and mention Southwold as a significant fishing port. Southwold Pier, considered a city symbol, was built in 1900 and, to this day, reportedly belongs among the country's most famous piers. Wooden houses on the pier offer various attractions for children and visitors. Among other sites in the Southwold Destination is the town's museums, the water tower, St Edmund's church, Gunhill, and others.[3]

The Southwold Destination is composed of a considerable number of historical cities and towns scattered across the region, such as Norwich, Cambridge, Peterborough, Colchester, and Ipswich. Each of the cities contains an abundance of historical sites and landmarks. Peterborough is best known for its 12th-century gothic cathedral or Burghley House, a 16th-century mansion that can be found in the vicinity of the city.[10] Also within the destination is Norwich, a county town of Norfolk and the largest city in East Anglia. The local government resides in the historical building of Norwich Guildhall. Among other notable sites in the city is also the Norwich cathedral, one of the country's largest medieval churches.[11] Last but not least of the prominent cities in the Southwold Destination is Cambridge, characteristic of the University of Cambridge. The university was founded in 1209. Thus, it is the third oldest university in the world that is still operating. Cambridge is the place where long educational tradition and history meet the future, as the city also represents the center of Silicon-Fen, a high-technology industry district. Besides that, Cambridge Biomedical Campus is one of the largest biomedical research clusters in the world.[12] Various historical colleges and churches can be found across the city, which was once wandered by world-famous people such as Stephen Hawking, Emma Thompson, Charles Darwin, Olivia Newton-John, Alan Turing, and others.[13]

Besides the historical places, the Southwold Destination features various natural sites and preservation areas. Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm is a facility invested in protecting the animal breeds which used to be common in the English countryside but, with time, became relatively rare. The farm is open to visitors to experience an authentic farmer's day.[14] 

In the northernmost part of the Southwold Destination and close proximity to Wash bay resides the Sandringham Estate. Sandringham has been a private home of British monarchs since 1862 and the estate functions to this day as one of the favorite country retreats for the royal family. Visitors and tourists are welcome to tour the Sandringham House, Gardens, and Church at various times. The estate often hosts events and houses a shop, cafe, and restaurant.[15]


The Southwold Destination stretches across the easternmost part of England, corresponding almost entirely to East Anglia, which is part of the region East of England. The coastline clearly defines the borders of the destination to the north and east, where the North Sea borders the area. To the south, the approximate borderline is represented by the estuaries of the rivers Orwell and Stour and land to the south from there, including part of Essex. To the north, the Southwold Destination is bordered by Wash bay. Among the most populated cities in the region belongs Norwich, Cambridge, Peterborough, and Ipswich, which are scattered across the territory. Concerning the landscape of the Southwold Destination, the region is of a flat and low-lying character. The area used to consist mainly of marshland; however, extensive drainage projects, held with the objective of creating arable land, turned the area into one of the driest in the UK. Among the prominent watercourses in the region belongs River Nene and Stour.[2]

Regarding nature conservation, Thetford Forest Park can be found in the heart of the Southwold Destination, which belongs to the protected areas in the region. Two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), meaning "a nationally designated important landscape," are located in the southeastern corner of the territory. Dedham Vale AONB is situated on the border between Essex and Suffolk county. The area was designated an AONB in 1970 with the objective of protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of the region.[5] To the north of Dedham Vale stretches the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB protecting the coastal areas of Suffolk county. The site covers approximately 441 square kilometers of low-lying shingle and sand coast, woodland, forest, lowland heaths, farmland, valley meadowlands, estuaries, and marshes.[6] Among the protected areas of significant importance in the Southwold Destination belongs The Broads National Park, which covers the land between Norwich and the coast. The national park covers an area of 303 square kilometers, with seven rivers and approximately 63 broads, creating a network of over 200 km of navigable waterways. The Broads represent the UK's largest protected wetland and are home to several species, primarily birds such as mallard, coot, moorhen, great crested grebe, greylag goose, and others.[7]

The Southwold Destination is among the driest parts of the UK, receiving an average rainfall between 450 to 750 mm. Winters, usually lasting from mid-November to mid-March, tend to be cold and snowy, whereas summers are generally warmer and drier.[8] The warmest month in Southwold is July, with an average daily temperature of 21°C, while January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 7°C. February tends to be the driest month in Southwold, with an average of 40 mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during October, with an average of 66 mm.[9]


The Southwold Destination corresponds almost entirely to the region that is now currently called the East of England. The area was first settled in the fifth century by Anglo-Saxons. Out of its surrounding regions, the East of England is one of the first areas to be settled in the country. At the beginning of the sixth century, the Kingdom of East Anglia formed and became the first official state-like organization in the area of the Southwold Destination. Over the following decades, the kingdom's rule was passed between different families. Finally, in 918, the area became incorporated into the Kingdom of England after it was conquered by Edward the Elder.[1]

Until the 17th century, most parts of East Anglia consisted of marshland, which was later converted into arable land by systematic drainage projects. Around that time, a considerable number of Puritan families left the region and emigrated to New England in America. Until the era of the industrial revolution, East Anglia's economy was based on wool, textiles, and arable farming. Due to its position, East Anglia became the construction site of several airbases for the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force during the Second World War. To this day, a number of airfields can be found in the territory, some of them, such as Norwich International Airport, are still in use.[2]

The Southwold Destination is named after the coastal town of Southwold, with the first written mentions of the city dating back to the 11th century. Nowadays, Southwold is a busy fishing port, considered a "jewel among the East Suffolk seaside resorts," being reported as a place of tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.[3] Among other cities in the Southwold Destination with historical significance is Cambridge, which contains a university that was founded in 1209. The university is the third oldest university in the world that still functions.[4]