Felixstowe is a major port and 'garden resort' on the east coast of England, in the county of Suffolk. Felixstowe is long past its heyday as a tourist resort, and is best visited now as a place to enjoy some seaside calm.

Understand edit

Lying on the coast between the Rivers Orwell and Deben, the town is normally considered to include the adjoining town of Walton and the area known informally as Old Felixstowe. A seaside town that is famous for its container port (the largest in the UK).

Get in edit

By train edit

Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in Great Britain

Hourly trains from Ipswich take just under 30 min to Felixstowe. These connect with hourly trains from London Liverpool Street to Ipswich and Norwich, so the journey from London takes two hours. From the north change at Peterborough and Ipswich. From the Midlands it's probably quickest to travel via London.

1 Felixstowe Station   is north end of town. It's a simple platform terminus with a ticket machine and a little shelter, and that's all. There is step-free access to the sole platform.

By boat edit

2 Harbour Ferry, View Point Rd, Felixstowe, IP11 3TW, +44 1728 666329, . April - October: 7 crossings per day between 9:30AM and 4:30PM. Ferry for foot passengers & bicycles from Harwich and Shotley £4.50.

Port of Felixstowe is busy with freight but has no international ferries. Cross to Harwich Parkeston Quay for the ferry to Hoek van Holland.

By road edit

  • Felixstowe is about 90 minutes - 2 hr drive from Central London. It is easily reached by road from the Midlands via the A14.
  • The town in on National Cycle Route 51 running the SW to Harwich and Colchester and to the NW to Ipswich and on to Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire.
  • The town is on Regional Cycle Route 41 which runs N to meet National Cycle Route 1 between Shetland Islands and Dover, and Regional Cycle Route 42 which meets NCR 1 near Halesworth.

Get around edit

First Eastern Buses 75, 76 and 77 start from Ipswich. Bus 77 runs hourly to Felixstowe town centre (45 min) then Landguard Fort and port viewing area, but the town is best explored on foot or bicycle.

Taxi firms are Coastal Wizard (+44 1394 275555), Independent (+44 1394 284000) and 1st 4 Taxis (+44 1394 270078).

See edit

Port of Felixstowe

Felixstowe Ferry is perhaps the most charming part of the town. It's in the far north, beyond the golf club, at the mouth of the River Deben. It's a popular place for sailing and walks. It has good real ale pub (see below). It is best to park at the cliff top car park as there is little parking at Felixstowe ferry.

The promenade stretches 1 mile north and south of the pier two limes in total, and expect for a small length there is a good path (it is part of the Suffolk Coast long distance path) between Landguard Fort and Felixstowe Ferry. North is generally quite pleasant, with landscaped gardens and quiet shingle beaches.

In the centre of the tourist area, by the sea, there are some excellent arcades, including the famous Mannings Amusement Park (including crazy golf). There is a Sunday market beside Mannings, and a car boot sale on Saturday

Further south the beach gives way to a very industrialised dock area. In the middle of this is a little wildlife haven, around Landguard Fort. It's popular with bird watchers.

The sea shore is the site of the last opposed invasion of England in 1667 and the first land battle of the Royal Marines. The fort was built in the 18th century, modified in the 19th century with substantial additional 19th- and 20th-century outside batteries. The fort is open every day from Easter to October.

The nearby submarine mining building houses Felixstowe museum’s collections of local interest and is open Sundays & Wednesdays in summer.

Landguard Fort
  • 1 Landguard Fort, View Point Road, IP11 3TW, +44 1394 675900. adults £4.00, children £1.50, concessions £3.00.    
  • 2 Spa Pavillion (Theatre), Undercliff Rd, Felixstowe, IP11 2DX, +44 1394 284 962. Also café & restaurant.
  • 3 Walton Castle is now only visible on spring low tides. It was built late 3rd century as part of the "Saxon Shore" ring of defenses when the Romans panicked about their fragile empire. It stood on cliffs on the coast, but cliffs, castle and village of Walton were all eaten by the sea circa 1750.
  • 4 Bawdsey Radar, Bawdsey IP12 3AT (24 miles by road (round the River Deben), to get the 5 miles direct!), +44 7821 162 879 (mobile), . Closed until Sept 2017 for conservation works. Whilst radar was invested in Slough, the technology was developed to at Bawdsey Radar. Free parking.
  • 5 Sealand (Roughs Tower) (7 miles offshore). A Maunsell sea fort in the North Sea, two squat pillars supporting a platform, built in 1943 as an anti-aircraft position. At that time it lay in international waters, as the territorial boundary was only 3 nautical miles out, just over 4 imperial miles. It was decommissioned in the 1950s but in 1965 became a pirate radio station, beyond UK broadcasting law. The rival broadcaster Paddy Bates ousted the original pirates but never began broadcasting himself, instead claiming the tower as the independent "Principality of Sealand". He later added the business of passports, currency and the like. In 1978 the tower was briefly captured by rival pirates, German businessmen planning a casino. They were ejected but declared themselves the Sealand government in exile, and set up a trade in Sealand passports, selling some 4000 for $1000 a time to Hong Kong residents trying to escape the Chinese takeover. Meanwhile in 1987 the UK extended its territorial limits from 3 to 12 nautical miles, so Sealand is now firmly British. (The UK was surely tempted to offer it to the Chinese in exchange for keeping Hong Kong?) This has curbed further attempts to exploit its status, for instance as a data haven and "dark web" host. Paddy Bates died in 2012. His family continue to assert property rights and stage occasional stunts, such as a Sealand football team, but nobody now lives there.    

Do edit

Roughs Tower or "Sealand"

The fantastic amusement parks are a great day out, and for those looking to party away the night, you won't forget the über-cool bandbox nightclub.

Between the promenade and Felixstowe Ferry there's about a mile of beaches known as "The Dip". It's dominated by beach huts but not a bad place to enjoy the beach in the summer.

There are a variety of pleasant country walks around Felixstowe, particularly in the Orwell and Deben estuaries. However, you need a car to get to these areas from the town.

Buy edit

Bawdsey Manor was a radar base

The best thing that Felixstowe has to offer on the shopping front are two exceptional second-hand bookstores. The Treasure Chest and Poor Richard's are in the town centre. The former in particular is remarkably well-stocked and both are reasonably priced. The presence of two such shops in close proximity is justification for a visit to Felixstowe for any book affecionado.

Supermarkets edit

  • 4 Morrissons (Supermarket), Grange Farm Ave, Felixstowe, IP11 2XD, +44 1394 671333. M-Sa 7AM-10PM; Su 10AM-4PM. ATMs. Petrol station (different hours). Pharmacy (different hours).
  • 5 Lidl (Supermarket), 2-4 Langer Rd, Felixstowe, IP11 2BU. M-Sa 8AM-10PM; Su 10AM-4PM.
  • 6 East of England Co-op (Supermarket), 189 Hamilton Rd, Felixstowe IP11 7DT, +44 1394 272331. Monday - Friday 7am–9pm and Sunday 10am–4pm. Small supermarket at the north end of the high street. Bus stop out the front and train station just behind. ££.

Eat edit

Tracking aircraft at Bawdsey Manor

There are a few restaurants of note, a few very good Fish & Chip shops, and a decent Indian and Chinese on the lower Hamilton Road.

  • 1 Blue Naan, 7-9 Hamilton Rd IP11 7BE, +44 1394 671144. Daily noon-2PM, 5:30–11:30PM. Offers an all-you-can-eat buffet, as well as takeaway.
  • [formerly dead link] Sam Moi Oriental, 8 Hamilton Rd IP11 7AU (next to Blue Naan), +44 1394 282100.
  • Cafe Bencotto serves pizza and Med food at 128 Hamilton Rd near the station. It's open M-Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 10AM-5PM.
  • Alba Chiara, 91 Undercliff Rd West IP11 2AF (by pier), +44 1394 547180. Tu-Su noon-9PM. Good Italian, especially for seafood.
  • 2 Greenhouse Cafe, 5 Orwell Rd IP11 7HE, +44 1394 279311. W-Sa 10:30AM-3PM. Excellent vegan food.
  • 3 Regal Fish Bar, Sea Rd IP11 2DH, +44 1394 273977. M-Sa 11:30AM-2:15PM & 4:30-8:15PM, Su 11AM-4:15PM. Dine in or takeaway.
  • Winkles Cafe is next to the pier for Bawdsey ferry, open Tu-Su 9:30AM-3:30PM.

Drink edit

The few pubs in Felixstowe offering a wide of atmosphere to suit all tastes. The young and trendy should try either the Grosvenor which is behind the main shop street on Ranleigh road, or The Alex on the sea front. The Cork has a balcony with views across the sea.

Sleep edit

Beach huts at Old Felixstowe

Felixstowe being an English seaside resort, there is no shortage of overpriced, poor-quality B&B accommodation.

  • Premier Inn is at the junction of Undercliff Rd W and Garrison Lane.
  • 1 Fludyers Hotel, Undercliff Road East IP11 7LU, +44 1394 691929. 12-room hotel in a renovated Edwardian building, clean and comfy. Most visitors are just here for the pub lunch. B&B double £100.
  • Grafton Guest House, 13 Sea Rd IP11 2BB (by funfair), +44 1394 248881. Immaculate welcoming 8-room guest house on the beach front. B&B double £80.
  • 2 The Orwell Hotel, Hamilton Rd IP11 7DX, +44 1394 285511. Value-for-money hotel near the station, some facilities tired.

Connect edit

Felixstowe and its approach highway have 4G from all UK carriers. As of Sept 2022, 5G has not reached this area.

Go next edit

Routes through Felixstowe
BirminghamIpswich  W   E  END

This city travel guide to Felixstowe is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.