architecture buildings community gardening the sea the seaside the shore the South

Southwold – a seaside town with added flair!

Southwold has been recommended to us as a seaside place worth a visit a few times so when we found ourselves just 20 or so miles away we simply had to go and see what made Southwold so special.

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We parked the car right in front of the pier as a suitable parking space presented itself and on opening the doors we were greeted by the sound of the song “The Good Ship Lollipop” being broadcast rather too loudly! This was to be the first of several surprises to come!

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The pier was full of such surprises none more impressive than the metalwork pieces along its length beginning appropriately with the gateway. To follow were seat arms of metal eels, two rather “Heath Robinsonesque” creations, a clock and a telescope.

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On the back wall of the main entrance building this huge mural is a tribute to writer George Orwell to whom Southwold was home during various periods of his life. Liz Ewing describes Southwold as “…… a place he returned to time and time again,to study, to work, to write, to paint, to fall in love and to convalesce”.

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Walking the promenade afforded wide sweeping views of long sandy beaches and looking out to sea the rather beautiful sculptural village of wind turbines.

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From the end of the pier we spotted another favourite seaside feature, a row of beach huts, for which Southwold is famous, but this is the subject of another post all about the seaside at Southwold (published 22\11\2016) . Here are a couple to whet your appetite!

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Back to search for other aspects of this interesting little seaside town that is Southwold, we wandered very slowly away from the pier towards the old town itself.

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Leaving the bright plastic of beach toys behind us we discovered these interesting little garden cameos with nautical hints, and also an inland lighthouse of all things. This strange and extremely tall building was hundreds of yards from the sea itself and hidden in the back gardens of the village cottages. Strange! You will spot it snuggled into the town centre in one of my pics below.

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After being surprised by the beauty of the pier and the beach huts were then delighted to find an equally beautiful little town.

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It appears that at one time in the past Southwold was a busy productive little settlement with its own brewery, distillery and cottage industries. Today the brewery remains integrated into the village with its premises nestled among the shops and cottages.

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There was obvious pride in this lovely little place with community spirit riding high and a very warm welcome for its visitors.

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We left the inland secrets of Southwold behind and ambled back along the promenade looking out over the beach and the sea itself, a perfect end to a day of finding a new favourite place. A great discovery!

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community gardening garden design garden photography gardening outdoor sculpture photography the sea the seaside the South town gardens

Bexhill-on-Sea – a cold walk by the sea. Go South 2.

After not visiting the seaside all year we have now done so twice in a week. A few days ago we went up to the north Wales coast and enjoyed a walk along the sea front on a bright warm day. Then we visited the south coast of England and walked along the front at Bexhill-on-Sea. It was cold with icy winds and periodic bouts of heavy rain. How can our weather be so different just days apart? It is a good job we like variety where our weather is concerned and it is a good reason to live in the UK.

Bexhill looked good even under grey clouds and viewed through downpours. There was such an obvious sense of pride about the place. The seafront has obviously had a facelift recently so it now boasts interesting garden designs where even the seating is interesting. I would imagine a garden designer was involved, resulting in interesting materials being used. Even the “Healthy Heart” fitness trail featured exercise equipment that had almost sculptural qualities and actually enhanced the overall look of the walk along the sea front.

It was good to see new architecture sitting alongside the old, mirroring it or picking up on some of its detailing. There must be strict planning controls here but not so strict that they squash innovative new architecture. The only strange decision of the planners seems to be making sure that all the beach huts, traditionally a medium for lavish colour schemes, are painted white. Strange and somehow disappointing to see them lined up in a row all looking the same.

Bexhill is a town reflecting so many periods and styles of “seaside” architecture. There are fascinating features to be found on buildings all along the front.

As we had approached Bexhill I suddenly remembered that the little town had a place in motor racing history and after racking my brains and wearing out a few cogs and cells in the process, I came up with the thought that the first motor race had taken place here on the sands. Later I was informed by Son-in-Law, Rob that it was the first in Britain and not a world’s first. This old postcard illustrates one of the early race meetings.

It is often the little details that appeal to me when taking photos at the seaside, details of texture, pattern and shape.

Oh no! I nearly finished a seaside post without a picture of boats! So here it is.