On face value Southwold is a prosperous, popular and charming seaside town. Yet it is these very same qualities which are presenting the town its biggest ongoing challenge – it is a hugely desirable destination for second home owners. Over half of the towns properties are not permanently occupied, with many being used by the local holiday letting companies.

Yet this influx of wealthy migrants threatens the functionality of Southwold as a town which caters effectively to it’s locals. Rising house prices have forced local buyers out of the market, with only 8% of the homes in the town occupied by families. Services for locals are under strain, with the hospital recently closing, so too the police station, whilst the future of the primary school and library are uncertain.

A study considering the significant impact of the influx of holiday and second home owners and the subsequent process of gentrification. Students will use a selection of holiday home mapping, service surveys, environmental quality surveys, non-participant surveys and mood mapping as well as using data from Datashine

AQA: How urban change has created challenges

Edexcel: Causes of national migration and the impact on different parts of the city

OCR: Migration (national) and its impact on the city’s character

Primary Fieldwork can include:

  • Holiday home mapping
  • Service surveys
  • Environmental quality surveys
  • Non-participant surveys
  • Mood-mapping

Provided resources:

  • Fieldwork booklet
  • Secondary data
  • Classroom facilities
  • Write-up A3 summary sheet


Low season 1st November - 31st March


Mid season 1st April - 31st May
1st September - 31st October


High season 1st June - 31st July


GFA Southwold 07907299910 / 01728860631
GFA Skegness 07398257944 / 01507603980