Venturing further afield!

I haven't managed to write a blog for the past few months - summer is always so busy with the cottages, and then there's the temptation of the beach, pub lunches and walks which always distract me. By the time we get to November and December I'm always hoping for a little downtime, and so finally I managed to find a little time this weekend to visit one of my favorite places - Southwold in Suffolk.

The reason for the visit? None other than I woke up this morning and the sun was shining, and I just fancied taking Digby (our golden retriever) for a walk somewhere different. Add into the mix that Southwold has a gorgeous beach, pretty beach huts and an abundance of great places for lunch, and my husband was sold on the idea of a day out. I may have forgotten to mention that we could also look at some of the lovely independent shops in the town.

It's about a 45 minute drive down to Southwold from Winterton. We honestly prefer going out of season as the roads are quieter (ie a quicker journey for us) and as Southwold is a popular holiday destination in itself, it's always busy in the summer. There are plenty of places to park, and we did our usual walk across Gun Hill, then down to the beach, and headed towards the harbour where there are many huts selling fresh fish. The Harbour Inn offers a great place to stop and serves lunch too.

However, we were too early to consider lunch at the Harbour, and walked back up to the village on the road which winds it's way between the two halves of the golf course, passing the water tower, and arriving back in Southwold at the top of the high street. Which was very handy for the shops!

First stop was the Adnams Cellar & Kitchen shop which is a must for anyone looking for fine wines or gifts. And, the best bit about it? Digby was allowed in too. He took a glance at the wines, before prancing past a pair of attractive black labradors who were checking out the beer section. How great that you can take your dog in? We tasted some wines, and chocolates were on offer too. We bought some Christmas presents before agreeing it had really made the difference being able to take our dog in rather than one of us waiting outside holding the dog whilst the other one ran round guiltily, before swapping places. It's a much better shopping experience!

We then meandered down the high street checking out the shops and various galleries, as well as looking at the price of beach huts. £79k? No, that isn't a typo. Incredible. Popped into quite a few shops before we went slightly mad in Gone Crabbing. As well as the clothing and branded items they sell, at the back of the shop there is a fantastic room packed with all things nautical and stylish. The very kind lady in the shop was mega helpful, and Digby took up residence behind the counter so we could browse in peace. Three bag fulls later and we were very happy with our purchases, and arranged to collect them later by car.

Finally, it was time for lunch and there is no shortage of great places to eat in Southwold. We chose the new fish & chip shop on the high street just past The Swan hotel and opposite Colleen & Clare. The Little Fish & Chip Shop has an established place down the harbour, and this new venture in the town has been open for three months. It was quite a wait for our order, but it was worth it as everything is cooked to order. Again Digby was welcome.

I was amazed at how dog friendly everywhere was, and we had a fantasic day with a great mix of walk, beach, shopping and lunch. We'll be back to visit again soon!