Where did Southwold’s first visitors come from, and how did they get here?

These ape-like human ancestors came from what we now know as continental Europe. They were part of a gradual drift northwards from Africa as the climate changed.

At first, people walked here. They could travel over the land bridge which then linked Europe to the British Isles. They then probably travelled along the banks of the River Bytham – which was the biggest river in Britain at the time, but which vanished about 450,000 years ago. More recently (from about 2,500 years ago) people arrived at Southwold by boat.