TRANSPORT
 
9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6HZ - Tel: 01502 726097 email
 
 
 
 
 
In the beginning
The Sea
Natural Southwold
Fishing
Transport to Southwold
Southwold at war
Christianity in Southwold
Industry
Arts & Crafts
Holidays & Leisure
Southwold the town
Southwold Shops & Trades

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  Southwold’s development as a 'destination town' is a direct result of improvements in transport.
 

In the early Middle Ages, you would only have been able to get to Southwold on foot, or on horseback or by boat. Roads were rough tracks and the River Blyth went to Dunwich not Southwold. Since then, enterprising people have countered the town’s natural remoteness by providing different forms of transport by rail, road, sea and water. Some being more successful than others.

  Not everything changes in Southwold...

Mr Todd the Ferryman rowing passengers across the Blyth in 1883 (P1201) and Dani Church doing the same thing today. Click the picture to read more about water transport.
On the coast and with the River Blyth and Buss Creek on two sides. Southwold’s water transport has thrived. Indeed, sailing boats have used the Harbour for years, and later, steamers called at the Pier. The River has had a ferry since the Middle Ages, mainly a rowing boat, but steam driven at the turn of the 19th century.

When the horse was the only means of land travel other than walking, Southwold’s people depended on carts or coaches. The first stagecoach service began in 1822, connecting the town with coaching routes to London over 100 miles away. For those in a hurry, post horses were available to hire privately. Motorised public transport services for Southwold, started in 1904 with a bus service to Lowestoft.

After several false starts, Southwold’s own railway opened in 1879, winding through the Blyth Valley to Halesworth. Public demand was initially high, and the company did well. But with worn-out track and equipment, and ever-increasing competition from road transport, the railway eventually closed in 1929.

Use the links below to explore Southwold’s transport history in more detail.

By Rail

By Road

By water

 
Passengers on the Southwold - Halesworth Train in Edwardian times
What was it like to travel on the Southwold Railway?

Click the photo to find out

SOUTHWOLD OVERLAND
Carriage waiting outside Adnams Store P874
Click the picture to find out more about getting to Southwold by rut and road

Wetter could be better

The Belle approaching the pier in about 1905

Arriving in Southwold by water in the early 1900s. (P057). Click the picture to find out more about water transport.

 
 

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Southwold Museum & Historical Society, 9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6HZ
Tel: 01502 726097 email

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