The town of Southwold is situated on the north east Suffolk coastline, roughly midway between Aldeburgh, c.19km to the south and Lowestoft c.17km to the north. Reydon lies immediately northwest of Southwold, with the two parishes separated by Buss Creek that encircles Southwold parish from the north and west and flows from the River Blyth to the south. Southwold is centred on TM 50807 76441 and Reydon is centred on 50005 77526.
One main road connects to the towns, the A1095 that crosses Buss Creek, which branches off the north-south road, the A12 that connects London with Colchester, Ipswich and Great Yarmouth and is also a major road crossing of the River Blyth. A number of minor roads also link Reydon with other nearby villages, including out to the northwest towards Wangford and a third road out to the northeast going through Covehithe to Wrentham.
Southwold has been a popular tourist destination since it became fashionable during the Victorian period, described now by Waveney District Council as a ‘specialist shopping centre, serving the needs of tourism and local people’. The town boasts a variety of independent shops and businesses, pubs, cafes, hotels and a range of holiday accommodation lets. Southwold pier was opened in 1900, but storms during the 20th century reduced the length of the pier and it fell into disrepair. The pier was privately purchased in the late 1980s and 10 years later work began to improve and extend the pier once more, so today it houses a games arcade, a restaurant, gift shop and unique novelty machines designed by Tim Hunkin. As well as the long sandy beach, there is also a fishing harbour, boating lake and a number of open green spaces through the town, with outdoor markets, a library, hospital, churches and chapels, schools and the Adnams Brewery that was established in Southwold in 1872.
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