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The Swan Southwold

Southwold, United Kingdom

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The Premises 

Anchored to the Adnams brewery and distillery, The Swan Southwold is a lively cocktail of Georgian architecture, modern maritime style and award-winning booze. Part of the town for hundreds of years, this historic hotel and brewery survived fire and financial ruin before coming together to offer a unique (and free flowing) form of hospitality. Ocean blues, nautical artwork and weathered antiques ensure the hotel’s got plenty of coastal character, but a complete refurbishment saw them infused with bold, bright colours and copper details borrowed from the distillery next door. Sample the best of Suffolk’s fields and waters and sip all things Adnams, leaving the rest to your butler, who can arrange everything from restaurant bookings to brewery tours.

The Swan Southwold

Market Place Southwold, IP18 6EGUnited Kingdom



Compliments of the House 

A glass of Adnams champagne each

At the Hotel 

CHECK-OUT: 10:30am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Rates usually include the hotel’s à la carte breakfast. Keep things light with pastries and fruit from the Continental buffet, or go hearty with a Full English, made with bacon and sausages sourced by nearby farms. Eggs can be done however you like them.


Free WiFi throughout, laundry. In rooms: Samsung smart TV; Bose portable speaker; minibar; Nespresso coffee machine; free 20cl bottle of Adnams gin; tea-making kit; free bottled water; Temple Spa bath products.


Don’t forget your cycling gear – you can bring your own bike or hire one at the hotel; just ask your butler to arrange it.


The Swan sends its food waste to an anaerobic digester that provides renewable energy for Adnams' brewing operations, and recycles cardboard and plastics; the housekeeping team use eco-friendly cleaning products. They're also keen on conservation: the hotel keeps 250,000 bees in hives at Reydon, and many of the staff are regulars at Southwold beach cleans.


All the common areas are wheelchair accessible, and there’s a lift to all floors. Room 47 is specially adapted, and has a wet room shower with a fixed seat.
If you’re wondering why the hotel has Georgian exteriors when it’s over 400 years old, it’s because it was completely destroyed – along with most of the town – in Southwold’s great fire of 1659.


A booking for three rooms or more will be considered a group booking and will be subject to the hotel's group contract; these bookings must be made directly with the hotel.


Outstanding Rooms offer serious leg room, with space for a separate lobby, living area and a king- or superking-size bed. The Fabulous Rooms around the garden are the only ones without four-poster beds, so you might want to ask for a different room if you’ve got your heart set on sleeping in one.

Food & Drink 

Unforgettable Features 

The restaurant takes many of its design cues from the distillery next door, the most obvious being the being the gleaming copper bar, which is lit by four still-shaped lamps. Over the tables, lights are hidden inside cases of wine bottles – a nod to Adnams’ wine makers across the channel. The menu is the work of chef Rory Whelan, who’s kept things as local as possible: seafood like scorched mackerel and hand-collected scallops champion the bounty of the local waters; meat offerings like duck breast and pork fillet fly the standard for Suffolk’s fields and fens. You’ll have no trouble finding an appropriate tipple to pair with, either – there’s a lengthy selection of Adnams beers and a wine list curated by the hotel's commercial director, James Davis, who's a certified Master of Wine.

Liquid Bliss 

With brewing and distilling happening right on the doorstep, we think it’s fair to say that the Tap Room is the hotel’s heart – in spirit at least. The bar is the most maritime-influenced room in the hotel, complete with dark blue banquettes, bulbs hanging from thick ropes and white tiles emblazoned with nautical symbols. Things are just as impressive behind the bar, too, with 12 gleaming taps dispensing Adnams beer and all of the distillery’s offerings arranged across the shelves. The food is l

Experience the Extraordinary 

The Adnams brewery and distillery has become one of the most eco-friendly and forward-thinking in the country, making a tour worthwhile even if you’ve done a few before. If that isn’t hands-on enough for you, ask your butler to book you onto a gin-making class, held by one of Adnams’ expert gin makers. They’ll guide you through the entire process – from selecting your own choice of botanicals right through to labelling – so you can leave with a bespoke 70cl bottle of your very own gin. If you feel the need to offset your indulgence, join the free yoga class that runs each week (the day and time varies throughout the year). Backed by a row of vibrant beach huts, Southwold beach makes a fine swimming spot from July to September, when a lifeguard is on duty 10am–6pm. The modest waves make it ideal for paddle boarding and surfing lessons too – both can be arranged through the hotel. Another guest favourite is crabbing; those in the know head to Walberswick, a 30-minute walk along the coast. You might want to stop off at the Black Olive Deli along the High Street before you go, as Southwold crabs seem to have Continental tastes, proving partial to salami and Parma ham. If the weather isn’t playing ball, decamp to the Electric Picture Palace, a 70-seat independent cinema that screens a mixture of new art house films and classics. It’s got all the hallmarks of a retro picture house, including a manager in a dinner jacket and a ‘Tiny Wurlitzer’ organ that pipes up during the interval.


The Swan is on the high street in Southwold, a charming seaside town on the Suffolk Coast.


The closest airport in Norwich, just over an hour’s drive away. Flights touch down there from Manchester, Edinburgh and Exeter. If those aren’t convenient, you’re best off flying to London Stansted Airport, around two hours’ drive from the hotel. The hotel can organise private, one-way transfers for £150 from Norwich or £225 from Stansted.


If you’re by coming by rail, take a train to Ipswich or Norwich, then hop on to a regional service to Darsham, the closest local station. If you’re travelling from London, you might want to get off at Ipswich and have a car take you the rest of the way – the connecting train to Darsham can be unreliable.


Southwold is small enough that you won’t need a car, but having one will make trips along the coast a breeze. If you do want to hire, the Smith24 can arrange it. There’s onsite parking at the hotel, too.


Market Place Southwold, IP18 6EGUnited Kingdom

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