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Spectator Info – Southwold

Whether you’re riding or spectating at this year’s OVO Energy Tour Ride supporting Breast Cancer Care, Visit Suffolk’s comprehensive guide to Southwold and its surrounding areas will be invaluable.

Whether you’re riding or spectating at this year’s OVO Energy Tour Ride supporting Breast Cancer Care, Visit Suffolk’s comprehensive guide to Southwold and its surrounding areas will be invaluable.

Entries for this year’s Tour Ride sportive – which starts and finishes in Southwold, and features many of the roads used during Stage One in Suffolk – are still available here.

For more information, visit the Visit Suffolk website.

Situated along the Suffolk Coast, this beach town has an understated charm with its pier, beach cafes, pubs and independent shops.

Having just undergone a £6 million refurbishment, Adnams flagship property The Swan Southwold opened its doors in 2017. Elegant and contemporary, it has managed to maintain its cosiness whilst giving it a stylish upgrade.

Where to eat
Visit Suffolk recommend these 5 eateries as there are too many to mention

  • Lord Nelson for Fish and Chips
  • Two Magpies for artisan coffee and tasty treats
  • Black Olive Delicatessant for food on the go
  • Sutherland House for fine dining
  • Sole Bay Fish Co. for quayside views and seafood.

Things to do
A stroll along the beach… Stroll along the Pier… Games in the arcade… There are plenty of activities to do whilst in Southwold. Including visiting the Southwold Lighthouse.

Southwold is home to one of the most modern breweries in the UK, and key sponsor of the Women’s Tour, Adnams of Southwold. Adnams offer a selection of tours to discover just how they create their award-winning beers and spirits.

Where to stay
The charming and homely Round House bed and breakfast is the best place in the area to stay, with a TripAdvisor ‘Excellent’ review. Arrive before sunset and you will see this octagonal cottage in all its glory. With a two-minute walk into Framlingham town centre, enjoy a dinner in many of its highly rated restaurants and traditional pubs.

Where to eat
If many of the pubs and restaurants on offer don’t take your fancy, why not visit The Crown Hotel featuring interior charm, culinary delights for a light-lunch and dog-friendly venue.

Things to do
After breakfast at the Round House, why not explore Framlingham by day. Head down to Blacksmith’s Gallery, where you can see the work of traditional blacksmith John Ball, and Carley’s Yard, a treasure trove of vintage antiques and artworks.

Framlingham Castle is a must see for families and others to visit. Discover where Mary Tudor rallied her forces before marching to London to claim her throne. Look out at the Suffolk landscape and ponder the power of the 16th Century.

The River Deben
The Pro Route only just crosses the River Deben but over your stay, it would be good to visit Woodbridge and walk along the Woodbridge River Deben pathway for stunning views across the banks of Sutton Hoo, the sight of a 7th Century ship burial full of Anglo-Saxon treasures (a National Trust Property).

If you get chance, why not visit the waterfront town of Ipswich on your way home. Crowned as East Anglia’s waterfront town, it has a cutting-edge arts and culture scene and is home to one of the largest collections of paintings by Constable and Gainsborough, outside of London.

Where to eat
The Salthouse Harbour Hotel has pulled together a creative and well-considered menu, which comes highly recommended. For something a little more adventurous and far-flung, the award-winning Aqua Eight near the Corn Exchange in the heart of the town centre holds its family recipes dear with carefully chosen and thoughtfully prepared with flavours and spices across China, Thailand, and Indonesia, mixed with locally-sourced ingredients.

Things to do
The Christchurch Mansion and Wolsey Art Gallery hold the significant Constable and Gainsborough collection of paintings and drawings.

Families and children will enjoy the Ipswich Museum filled with local Anglo-Saxon artefacts along with relics from Ancient Egypt and other natural history exhibits.

Both routes will pass through Halesworth and Blythburgh.

Halesworth is just 10 miles inland from the Suffolk coast and attracts an arty crowd. The New Cut Arts Centre is well worth a visit and if you ever want to come back, the Halesworth Arts Festival in the middle of October is in its 17th Year.

Blythburgh is a picturesque market town with its views of the Blyth Estuary and marshes. Bluthburgh is also has the RSPB Minsmere, the home of BBC Springwatch in 2016.

Snape, featured in the Pro Route is a beautiful coastal village featuring stunning brick buildings and holiday cottages lined and streets filled with art galleries, restaurants, cafes, and shops. In addition to that, the River Alde at the Maltings is a haven for birdlife with its expansive estuary, so if you fancy some down time watching the sunset and bird watching, this is the place to go.

Aldeburgh was last visited by the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain. In 2015, Stage One of the Women’s Tour finished in Aldeburgh in an exciting sprint finish which saw Lizzie Deignan (Armitstead) win the stage.

In 2017 on Stage Six, the Tour of Britain, Caleb Ewan took the stage win for the Orica-Scott’s third win in the eight-day race. Although there won’t be a sprint finish for you Tour Ride entrants to contest, you could still test your strength, if you so wish (being mindful of other riders!)

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