Welcome to the latest edition of the Best of Suffolk Tried and Tested blog series, featuring Harbour Lights – a stunning sea front pet friendly newly refurbished holiday home in Southwold with incredible sea views and parking!
In this edition, Portfolio Manager Hannah along with her husband James and some friends set their sail for Southwold, and a long weekend of adventure on the Suffolk coast staying at the truly delightful Harbour Lights. Their party of six adults and two children put the sleeps eight Southwold seafront property to the test.
Traditional seaside fun, fish and chips, arcades and a walk along the prom is of course to be expected with any weekend in Southwold, but this Tried and Tested also aspired to be something a little different with a nod towards being more environmentally sensitive. Read on to find out how Hannah and her party enjoyed their weekend in Southwold, Harbour Lights and more in the latest Tried and Tested.
What’s Tried and Tested?
Put simply, #TriedandTested is a blog series that puts real people in real holiday homes. We share our experience and recommendations for others to enjoy. Achieving ‘Highly Commended’ at the East of England Tourism awards for Marketing Campaign of the Year, we’re rather proud of our Tried and Tested blog series as it provides our wonderful guests with inspiration of what to do, places to visit and good local eateries.
We all spend hours on review sites when booking a holiday as we know there’s nothing better than a real-life recommendation. During our stays, our photos are all taken on our phones without filters or any professional photography equipment. What you see is what you get!
Harbour Lights, Southwold
Harbour Lights is an incredible newly refurbished, pet friendly holiday home, positioned in one of the best locations in Southwold on the sandy dunes, alongside the sea with unspoilt views from every window.
The property is set on two levels, with a large living room complete with wood-burning stove and beautiful views across the dunes.
There is an adjoining kitchen space, on the ground floor you have two bedrooms and two shower rooms, with an additional two bedrooms and jack-and-jill shower room on the first floor. There is a wonderful lawned garden with patio area to make the most of the sensational views. At the front of the property there is also parking for five cars, as well as an electric car charging port.
Location, Location, Location!
Harbour Lights is located on the sand dunes in Southwold, making it in perfect reach of everything! Beach, harbour and the fashionable town centre with its popular shops, cafes and delis are all within an easy walk.
The sandy beach at Southwold is adorned with a string of colourful beach huts that lead along to Southwold Pier at one end and towards Southwold Harbour at the other end. The town of Southwold itself boasts several excellent pubs and restaurants as well as a range of independent shops and galleries.
Being located on the dunes meant that our party had the luxury of being able to simply pop out the back gate and be on the beach! The little people of our group absolutely loved being able to run round and enjoy the great outdoors. In the warmer weather the property is just an extremely short walk to the beach front itself, this means you can simply pop back to the property to grab any extra items needed.
There is a pretty walk through the harbour and over a footbridge to the picture-postcard village of Walberswick, home to two good pubs (The Anchor and The Bell) and a long sandy beach. Fresh fish can be bought from the fish huts along the harbour. Southwold is home to the Adnams Brewery and the town’s excellent pubs include one of our personal favourites, The Lord Nelson, where you can try a range of Adnams bitters.
The owners of Harbour Lights have embraced the need for us to all ‘do our bit’ for the environment, and this is embodied throughout. Little changes can mean a big difference, and we are delighted to see so many environmentally sensitive initiatives have been introduced for guests staying here, without any infringement on the luxury of stay.
Firstly, the kitchen is full of eco friendly products, ranging from cleaning sprays, cloths, scourers and bin bags. Items are constantly being replaced and sourced to ensure that the property is as eco-friendly as possible.
Then, there’s the large curved window in the living room. It has recently been replaced to an energy efficient window, to withstand the wind due to its proximately to the sea.
Locally Sourced Produce
The owners also do their utmost to source local produce, with the welcome bottle of wine and food items provided by Adnams and Café 51 ( a few minutes walk away!). We were absolutely blown away by both of these items, which were very quickly and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
Electric Car Charging Port
The property had the fantastic new addition of a electric car charging point installed. This is a great addition for those who have an electric or hybrid car. This meant that I was able to charge my car from the property.
Fish and Chip Supper
On our first evening we arrived late which meant one thing, amazing fish and chips purchased from The Little Fish and Chip Shop. All their fish is fresh off their boats ‘Our Carol II’ and ‘Suzie P’ and could not be more delicious!
The Lord Nelson
The men of the group took a trip to collect the fish and chips, who now have a fantastic pager system on offer. This meant they could safely head to The Lord Nelson for a cheeky pint of Adnams whilst they waited. The pager worked its magic when the order was ready to collect – perfect!
The large dining table at Harbour Lights with an array of chairs and a bench seat meant that all six adults and the two children had plenty of room to enjoy our treat tea in comfort. We also enjoyed listening to the music playing from the Roberts radio.
All Fun and Games
After the children were asleep, the adults decided it was time for Monopoly. Lets just say this got very competitive!
The whole party thoroughly enjoyed a games evening, with the fire roaring away and the wind howling outside.
Time for Bed!
Harbour Lights offers the ultimate flexible accommodation by having four bedrooms which can be made up as either kings or twin beds. The four bedrooms and four bathrooms ratio also works out very evenly too! There are two en-suite bedrooms on the ground floor, and two further bedrooms on the first floor that share a jack-and-jill style shower room.
Ground floor en suite bedroom.
Another ground floor en suite bedroom.
First floor bedroom with jack-and-jill style shower room, ideal for a family.
The final bedroom on the first floor.
What a treat to wake up to the sunrise! And how is this for a spectacular view?
Another lovely touch of luxury for anyone staying at Harbour Lights is the coffee machine and complimentary coffee pods, meaning we could all wake up in style and start the day!
Locally Sourced Produce
After breakfast we took a walk round Southwold, walking directly from the property along the dunes and into the town itself.
From the town we stocked up on yummy healthy vegetables and salad items from Little Gems – a fantastic green grocers located in the heart of the market place. Upon our return we walked via the harbour collecting some super fresh fish from Sole Bay Fish Shop to cook back at our wonderful holiday home.
The local butchers, green grocers, cheese shop, bakeries and fish stalls in Southwold mean that you are able to source both local and fantastic quality items to cook in the comfort of your holiday home.
A Quiet Corner
After all that wonderful sea air, I decided to curl up in a comfy chair and enjoy a little reading. All whilst listening to the sound of the waves!
Well Equipped Kitchen
On our second evening we made sure that we made the most of the cooking facilities (with an incredible view!) on offer at Harbour Lights. We started our evening with a glass of delicious Fisher’s Gin, from just up the road in Aldeburgh.
A spacious kitchen awaits, full of absolutely every cooking utensil you could need. The property had clear instructions on how to use the oven.
The next day we decided to amuse the children with a trip to the iconic Southwold Pier. Whilst it was a very wet and windy day, this didn’t stop us from braving the elements and walking to the end of the Pier, the adults rewarded themselves with a pirate picture!
Fun for adults and children alike, and don’t forget to pay the ‘wobbly mirrors’ a visit. We then headed into the arcade which is a fantastic addition for all ages to enjoyed.
Yes, in Southwold! YES, there are 2p machines!! As well as a host of family favourites. Newly refurbished, the pier arcades offer classic seaside family entertainment which you may remember from your childhood. The arcade features everything from 2p machines, car driving games to grabbing machines. We spent a morning here enjoying everything on offer.
Back at Harbour Lights after our busy day out, we took time to appreciate all the little touches. Great care has been taken by the owner to source both local and meaningful artwork. From bright and colourful maps, to artwork of the close proximity of Harbour Lights. The owner is constantly looking at great new additions to the property, with meanings behind the items.
Family Friendly Southwold Holiday Cottage
Our party was a mixture of three couples and two children, Harbour Lights was absolutely perfect for us in every way. The four spacious bedrooms meant we each had our own room and the option of having them all as super-kings meant there was no arguing for the best room!
The super stylish spacious living room meant the children had an abundance of space to play, and still allowed plenty of room for the adults. The property is well equipped with a large variety of DVD’s and games for all ages. The children particularly enjoyed the puzzles – which were completed time and time again across the weekend.
On the Sunday morning it was a beautiful sunny and dry day. A walk into town was needed, enjoying the sun across the dunes whilst we headed to the park at Tibby’s Green. This is a particularly good park with climbing frames and play activities for all ages.
We were lucky enough to listen to the Church bells ringing – a special moment for one of our couples who actually got married there.
Harris and James
A busy morning of playing meant that we had earnt a tasty treat from Harris and James – a hot chocolate and yummy muffin were on offer!
The Sail Loft
Harbour Lights is located just a 5 minute walk away from The Sail Loft, which offers lunch and evening meals. We decided to take advantage of the location and booked to enjoy a Sunday lunch.
The Sail Loft at the time of our visit had just reopened after a refurbishment. We were greeted by the friendly team who showed us to our table. The restaurant offers a full menu and specials board, ensuring that they cater for every party.
Whilst it was a Sunday lunch, our party had chosen meals from the special children’s menu, Sunday lunch specials and the main menu itself. All meals came out in a timely manner and were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
We left with very full and happy bellies, so decided to enjoy an early afternoon walk by the harbour. Whilst there was no sunset that evening, the colours of the sky against the water was magical and the perfect end to another wonderful day in Southwold.
The Old Hall Café
Before heading home on our last morning we decided breakfast was in order. We chose The Old Hall Café. The sun was shining and there was some warmth in the air, so we braved our first alfresco meal of the year!
The Old Hall Café offers beautiful views across the river and marshes, with an amazing yummy locally sourced menu. This was the best end to our holiday.
If I Had More Time, I Would…
…Have a BBQ.
Harbour Lights has a wonderful garden and BBQ, ideal in warmer weather. After a long day at the beach the garden is the perfect space to enjoy an evening BBQ and glass of wine. The garden furniture has all been locally handcrafted by Novaboats, located at Southwold Harbour.
…Get a Pinky’s Takeaway.
Pinky’s Kitchen offers authentic Asian cooking delivered to your door. Their eye-catching bright yellow Smart Car is often seen delivering delicious meals including Pad Thai, Penang Jungle Curry and a number of seafood dishes.
…Bring the Dog!
We didn’t have a four-legged friend join us for our Tried and Tested weekend at Harbour Lights, but this could not be a more ideal holiday home to bring one!
The Verdict: Harbour Lights
Harbour Lights could not offer a more spectacular view, nor a better location for a holiday in Southwold. Everything is on your doorstep! Combining family and pet friendly effortlessly with luxury, whilst also placing importance on eco sensitivity. The owners have taken great care in renovating this wonderful holiday home in Southwold that also comes with that rare added bonus of parking for up to five cars and an electric car charging port.
If you’re looking for a pet friendly family holiday home in Southwold with sea views and parking, look no further! Harbour Lights is for you.