Simple pleasures: Vintage bikes and bus rides in Suffolk

Heritage cycle hire and Olive
Southwold is one of my favourite places in the UK, full of quaint shops, pretty beach huts, cosy pubs and old people ready to tell you off for the slightest thing!

It is also full of DFL's (down from Londoners) who own second homes and take over the local greengrocers at weekend, shouting 'I need 20 ripe peaches, I've got 15 people for dinner tonight. Horace, Octavia did you get the sea bass from that delightful man on the beach'. 

Despite the Islington on Sea image, Southwold still manages to retain most of it's character and having visited regularly for the last eight years, I haven't noticed a great deal of change. I imagine the local council are highly resistant to anything new!

This summer however if you visit, you can't help but notice a lovely old bus rumbling along the High St. Driven by Fred, with the lovely Polly as the conductress, Olive is a delightful 1950's omnibus built at the local Lowestoft coach works, which for £3.50 will take you from the Randolph Hotel (where you can park your car), past the beach huts and pier and through the centre of Southwold, ending up at the harbour. You can hop on and off as you please, so it's possible to use the bus for the whole day. 

Polly is a font of knowledge about Southwold and her mum owns the lovely 1920's style tea room Tillys on the High St.

We also came across another new addition to the town this summer, which we will definitely be trying out in the future. Heritage Cycle Hire, situated in an old boat house in the harbour, rent beautiful vintage style Pashleys and Velorbis bikes, by the day or the week. They look super stylish and next time we visit, I shall be donning my vintage headscarf and tea dress for a retro day out.

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