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Southwold’s plentiful pubs, restaurants and attractions see it top Marbles’ staycation list

PUBLISHED: 16:30 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 18:29 27 September 2017

(L-R) Caroline Westnedge, Jamie, Georgia and Lucy Dormandy,Cathy Beaven and Sue Crick  enjoying their staycation in Southwold.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

(L-R) Caroline Westnedge, Jamie, Georgia and Lucy Dormandy,Cathy Beaven and Sue Crick enjoying their staycation in Southwold. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A Suffolk seaside town has been named as the best spot for a family “staycation” in the UK – due to its sunny weather, sandy beaches and plentiful pubs, restaurants and attractions.

Hayley and David Lockhart enjoy an ice cream.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Hayley and David Lockhart enjoy an ice cream. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Southwold topped a list of 40 resorts in the Clash of the Coasts study – beating well known towns such as Brighton and Blackpool.

Researchers from Marbles looked at factors including the number of sunny days, pubs, restaurants, fish and chip shops and attractions as well as beach quality and accommodation.

Karen Robson and Judith Ogden enjoying the sunshine.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Karen Robson and Judith Ogden enjoying the sunshine. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Businesses in Southwold have welcomed the report, which they say matches customer feedback.

Mark Cooper, bar manager at the Harbour Inn, said visitors to Southwold appreciated its “unique” qualities. “There’s still lots of independent shops, it’s not all high street chains like many places,” he added. “Visitors also like the old world feel to the place and the fact it’s still got a proper harbour that’s not changed much in 75 years. If you look at the seafront there’s the beach huts and pier - it looks like a traditional seaside postcard.”

Maureen Davis, Carol Hicks, Ann Webb and Sue Roberts enjoy an ice cream.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Maureen Davis, Carol Hicks, Ann Webb and Sue Roberts enjoy an ice cream. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Christopher Christou, who works with his family at Mrs T’s Fish and Chips – one of four such restaurants identified in the report – said it was a “great place to visit”. “It’s so beautiful,” he added. “And it’s not just Southwold; Walberswick across the river is really popular too. There’s lots of activities for the family and plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants for people to choose from. We’re really lucky here because people can sit out as the sun sets watching the boats across the harbour – the atmosphere is wonderful.”

At the Red Lion, landlady Blanche Thornton said the welcoming atmosphere, independent shops and dog-friendly approach proved popular with tourists.“It’s a lovely place to visit,” she added.

Mark Cooper from The Harbour Inn.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Mark Cooper from The Harbour Inn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Tim Ripman, head of operations at Best of Suffolk, which has 45 properties in Southwold said it was a “first class destination”.

“Along with Aldeburgh, Southwold is consistently one of the two most searched towns on the Best of Suffolk website, generating 20% of all bookings,” he added. “Our guests love Southwold, the team loves Southwold - we take pride in raising the awareness of everything it has to offer.”

Chris Christou, George Christou and Carol Hatt of Mrs T's Fish and Chips.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Chris Christou, George Christou and Carol Hatt of Mrs T's Fish and Chips. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Other top 10 towns are: Bamburgh; Woolacombe; Tenby; Padstow; Folkestone; Beaumaris; Skegness; Salcombe; Weymouth.

Take a look at the list here.

Blanche Thornton from The Red Lion in Southwold.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Blanche Thornton from The Red Lion in Southwold. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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