How to spend 24 hours in Felixstowe

Felixstowe

Felixstowe - Credit: Stephen Squirrell

Make the most of a day out in the busy port town with our thorough guide | Words: Jayne Lindill

Felixstowe Docks from the View point cafe Picture: JANICE POULSON

Felixstowe Docks from the View point cafe Picture: JANICE POULSON - Credit: Janice Poulson

Felixstowe has been a favourite Suffolk day out for generations. It's the perfect combination of traditional seaside attractions - arcades, pier, crazy golf and candyfloss - natural, unspoilt coast and wild estuaries.

It's also a working town, with the country's busiest container port at one end, a productive fishing hamlet at the other and a hub of independent businesses, shops and entertainment in between.

The promenade - more than four miles long from Felixstowe Ferry to Landguard Point - is a focus for activity and events.

The Fludyers

The Fludyers - Credit: Archant

Whatever the time of year you'll find people enjoying a stroll, tackling the Saturday Parkrun, cycling and dog-walking. It's the venue for hugely popular Art on the Prom (September 6), and the annual Ipswich to Felixstowe Historic Vehicle Run (May 3).

There's something for everyone in Felixstowe so put it on your list for 2020.

Landguard Fort in Felixstowe is said to be one of the most haunted places in the country Picture:

Landguard Fort in Felixstowe is said to be one of the most haunted places in the country Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The morning

Let's start with a walk. But first, as the sun comes up on Felixstowe beach, treat yourself to breakfast at Ruby's Kitchen on Bent Hill.

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The view from the back room is terrific. Fortified, head down through the lovely seafront gardens (grab a selfie with Tracy Barrett Brown's Victorian wicker family), then onto the prom all the way to Felixstowe Ferry.

Enjoy reading from Felixstowe's iconic beach huts at the Felixstowe Book Festival.

Enjoy reading from Felixstowe's iconic beach huts at the Felixstowe Book Festival. - Credit: Archant

It's an enjoyable stroll of about two miles, around Cobbold Point, past the rows of colourful beach huts, alongside the golf course, reaching the Martello Tower that signifies you've arrived.

Reward yourself with a cuppa and perhaps a fish and chips lunch at the Ferry Cafe, Winkles at the Ferry, or the Ferry Boat Inn.

If walking is just too much effort or you're short of time, you can drive to Felixstowe Ferry as there's a pay and display car park.

Touring Felixstowe in the sun Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORE

Touring Felixstowe in the sun Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORE - Credit: TIM GARRETT-MOORE

The hamlet is a great place to while away some time, crabbing off the jetty in summer, or hop on the ferry across the River Deben where you can visit the Bawdsey Radar Museum and learn about its vital role in Britain's WW2 defences.

The part of Felixstowe between the town and the Ferry is known as Old Felixstowe (mysteriously as it's newer than the Victorian and Edwardian town) and when conditions are right it's popular with kitesurfers and windsurfers. There are great views from the greens a Cliff Road car park and Brackenbury.

If you're into golf, Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club welcomes visitors on both its 18-hole and 9-hole Kingsfleet pay and play course.

Visitors flock to Felixstowe beach to enjoy the heatwave Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Visitors flock to Felixstowe beach to enjoy the heatwave Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Afternoon onwards

If the weather's fine then Felixstowe's shingle and sand beaches are a great place to be, whether you choose a quiet spot in front of the gardens, or base yourself close to the attractions of the amusement arcades.

Recently rebuilt Felixstowe Pier is an authentic seaside experience with lots of games to try your luck, mini ten-pin bowling, sea views, and the all-day/evening Boardwalk Café Bar.

Official opening of Felixstowe Pier. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Official opening of Felixstowe Pier. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Mannings Amusements have been keeping families entertained for decades with traditional arcade games and machines, magical golf, ten-pin bowling and more.

You could also spend the afternoon at Landguard Point. Wander through Landguard Nature Reserve, visit Landguard Fort, the site of the last opposed seaborne invasion of England, by the Dutch in 1667.

Drop in on Felixstowe Museum, housed in a building once home to a submarine mining establishment, now a mine of information about Felixstowe's fascinating ancient and recent history.

Felixstowe

Felixstowe - Credit: Stephen Squirrell

At the Viewpoint Visitor Centre and Cafe you can enjoy delicious all-day breakfasts and snacks, as you watch the huge ships sail in and out of the busy Port of Felixstowe. Don't forget to take your camera.

Day on a plate

Start with a hearty breakfast as the sun rises over the sea at The Boardwalk Cafe on the pier, at the Viewpoint Cafe at Landguard, or at Ruby's Kitchen on Bent Hill. They're all good spots for lunch too, of course.

Felixstowe

Felixstowe - Credit: Stephen Squirrell

For wonderful views over the sea try the Cliff Top Cafe above the seafront gardens.

Award-winning teas and coffee from Butterworths of Bury St Edmunds, freshly baked scones and cakes, soup, sandwiches, ploughmans, pies and salads as well as beer battered fish and chips. At weekends there are breakfasts and Sunday roasts.

The Fludyers Hotel at Cobbold Point is a lovely restored Edwardian hotel serving breakfast, lunch and dinner just yards from the beach.

Felixstowe

Felixstowe - Credit: Stephen Squirrell

One of the most popular spots in Felixstowe is the all-day and evening Alex Cafe and Brasserie on the seafront. Enjoy sea views from a seat inside or on the patio. Upstairs, the chic brasserie offers classic brasserie style dishes in a fabulous relaxed atmosphere. There's live jazz on Sunday nights throughout most of the year.

In town, buzzy Cafe Bencotto offers Mediterranean cuisine for lunch and dinner, or just drop in for coffee and cake.

The snazzy Blue Naan offers Indian fusion dining - traditional Indian dishes, and some with an Oriental influence, while there's Turkish cuisine at Anatolia and Vietnamese dining at Saigon.

For a vegan lunch or snack try the popular Greenhouse Cafe in Orwell Road.