On my last day here at Southwold, I realise I haven't said much about where I'm staying.
When I booked it, it was called the Garden House but somewhere since then the name changed to Garden Studio. A sensible change as it certainly isn't a house, more like a glorified shed. No, that's not at all fair, it's really pleasant, very comfortable, well laid out with just a few personal niggles and the bed is just about the most comfy holiday cottage bed I have ever slept in.
However - garden? No way (although I suppose the whole area was probably a garden long ago)! It's actually sited up a narrow gravel road off between the High Street and Victoria Street so perfectly placed for everything. One or two minutes to the shops, three or four to the coast but, because of where it is, pretty private and away from any madding crowds. Not lovely though as it's behind the shops and you know what back of shops can be like. However, it is perfectly safe, the other cottages are a mix of holiday and residential and, huge, great, enormous plus, it has its own off road parking. A bit tight but absolutely fine!
Inside is just one room with a separate (tiny) loo/shower room. The cooking area has enough in the way of tools/equipment, although personally I would prefer a little more working space, more than two rings in a small hob, and one empty cupboard for my own food would have been welcomed.
See what I mean!
As I said, the bed (a pull down bed that I just left down all week) is great
. . . but the lack of clothes space is the weakest point in the whole place. I found it was not quite enough and it's supposed to accommodate two!
The living area is great. Roomy and comfortable. No complaints there whatsoever. Oh, yes, one. A little coffee table would have been nice.
Looking down from the front door:
And back up again:
Then, through a French window (that sticks at the bottom when you try to open it), a little courtyard for sitting out. I didn't, it wasn't that sort of weather at the right times, but it was nice to have the door open to let the fresh air in.
I've described Southwold as 'sleepy' and so it is early mornings and evenings too. During the day, the High Street and the shops are bustling but you don't have to go too far away to lose most of the crowds. I'm sure it is more crowded once schools are out but right now it is perfect and I guess (at risk of sounding a bit snobby which I don't mean to) the lack of 'popular' amenities wouldn't attract those out for a noisy night life. It doesn't have much (if any) in the way of the usual seaside stuff - night clubs, amusement arcades, funfairs, marinas, etc, and you have to search for ice cream/seaside rock/bucket and spade kiosks or shops and, for me, that all suits me down to the ground.
So I've seen young families happily doing seasidy things with buckets and spades, people walking dogs which have to be kept on a lead in certain parts of the shore (great), people enjoying their beach huts (which you can hire by the day - might do that next time) and people of a 'certain age', retired and enjoying life, strolling around in sensible shoes and clothing looking, like me, perfectly happy with their lot.
The beach is beautiful, a mixture of sand and pebbly patches (but hardly any shells). Most of it is well washed by the tide twice a day, there's a beach cleaning scheme going on and there are designated 'safe places' for swimming with a lifeguard on duty whenever people are swimming in the sea between the flags.
I know Southwold has taken some stick for fighting to stay as it is now but I wish them all power in their fight. There aren't enough places like this and those who want the livelier type of break have plenty of places to choose from.
Yesterday we had some rain here so the day started slowly as I stayed in, pottering about, doing a bit of cooking, sorting, tidying up, etc. I went for a sand stroll again (lovely) before coming home for lunch. I hadn't taken lunch with me because it hadn't looked promising but the sun came out and it was gorgeous so I could have! Never mind.
The market was up again and I saw some garden chairs that I truly coveted and, if I had been at home, I'd have bought at least one, stuff the price. For what they are, they're not shockingly expensive anyway. But I'd have had no way of getting it/them home.
Aren't they gorgeous?
In the afternoon I spent some time looking around the Church of St Edmund, Southwold.
I started having a good nosey round and then saw a notice saying that there would be a free tour of the church every Thursday afternoon, starting at two thirty. What luck. So I waited and joined the group and it was well worth it; the guide pointed out lots of things I would never have noticed or seen the significance of by myself. I took photos and will do a separate post about it. Here's just a few photos.
Sue (from The Cottage at the End of a Lane), have you ever visited it?
As it is last day, I'm just going to do all my favourite stuff from this week. A stroll along the beach to the Blyth estuary (while I am there I will have an ice cream and look round the RNLI thingies) and back again right along to the pier and back to the middle (depending on the weather - it's raining as I type). Then I will do a bit of shopping for little gifts for folks and maybe for me as well. I did catch sight of something in the amber shop that wasn't really exhorbitant but I'm not sure.
Then I have to pack and I'd like to load up the car with as much as possible to make for an easy morning tomorrow . Packing to go home is always so much easier and quicker than packing to come, isn't it? I also ought to just give the place a quick wipe around and sweep the floor. I know they properly clean places between tenants but I always like to clear the worst evidence!
And I will finish off with fish and chips from the Little Fish Shop and a free beer from the Adnams shop (we were all given a voucher after the tour).
Tomorrow, I may not post until I get home later in the day. I should be home by early afternoon. All's well with the house and garden, I gather, and I'm looking forward to seeing how much things have grown (except the weeds - I'm not looking forward to them at all).
And now it's time for coffee. Enjoy your day, everyone; I am sure I will.