The Southwold branch of The Arts Society was founded as the Southwold and Blyth Valley Decorative and Fine Arts Society in January 1988, with an inaugural lecture given to about 100 members by Mr Wellesley Clinton on "The Decorative and Fine Arts". In 2009 we simplified the branch's title to Southwold Decorative and Fine Arts Society and registered as a Charitable Trust (No. 1132568). In January 2018 we adopted the working name of The Arts Society Southwold. We welcome members from a wide area of North Suffolk including Lowestoft, Oulton Broad, Beccles, Halesworth, Yoxford and Westleton - not just Southwold.

The first Study Day, on Chinese Art, was held in 1992 and proved immesely popular so these have continued ever since. Visits to museums, stately home and various exhibitions have also taken place over the years, including one as far afield as Scotland in 1992.

Between 1996 and 2006, several overseas tours were very successfully organised by our President, Jack Storer, including some to capital cities in Europe such as Prague, Copenhagen, Paris, Vienna, Madrid and Dublin.

The Society celebrated its 21st birthday in 2009 with a series of lectures chosen by past Chairmen and members of the committee and by a celebratory tea party held at the Swan Hotel in Southwold. In May 2018 we celebrated the society's 30th birthday along with The Arts Society's 50th anniversary.