How to spend 24 hours in Felixstowe
PUBLISHED: 16:07 10 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:07 10 March 2020
Make the most of a day out in the busy port town with our thorough guide | Words: Jayne Lindill
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
You may also want to watch:
Mannings Amusements have been keeping families entertained for decades with traditional arcade games and machines, magical golf, ten-pin bowling and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For a vegan lunch or snack try the popular Greenhouse Cafe in Orwell Road.