Felixstowe beach is a popular spot for families on the Suffolk coast. Although Felixstowe is best known as a port, it also has a great Blue Flag accredited beach. Or to be more accurate: two beaches.
Felixstowe, Suffolk, England
The town of Felixstowe is located in the East Anglia county of Suffolk. East Anglia is the area on the east of England with Suffolk forming its southernmost section. It’s a charming seaside resort, located between the rivers Orwell and Deben, and also home to Felixstowe Port, the largest container port in England.
There are two beaches in Felixstowe: the shingle North beach and the more popular South Beach. Before we go into more details, here’s an introductory video from the local ‘Visit Felixstowe‘ tourist authority:
North Felixstowe Beach
The North beach is less sandy and is made up of pebble, sand and shingle. In addition to that, it’s quieter than the neighbouring south beach. During summer, you can explore the beautiful beach huts and seafront gardens. What’s more, there’s a children’s amusement arcade and lots of places to eat.
The common seaside activities at Felixstowe beach include windsurfing, water skiing, and scuba diving. You’ll also find a section where barbecues are permitted. A little way further, there’s a section for golfers where they can enjoy stunning coastal views. Even better, the beach is dog-friendly, but there’re restrictions during the holiday season (May to September).
South Felixstowe Beach
The sandy South Felixstowe Beach, is a lovely place to visit either to take a dip in the sea or take a walk along the seafront.
This is the most popular Felixstowe beach for families as it has sand (for sandcastle building of course), gently slopes to the sea and has a sheltered bay. Also, the beach holds the prestigious Blue Flag award for cleanliness and is the only one in Suffolk with `excellent’ water quality for swimming. This award recognizes the environmental measures and the beauty of the beach.
Over the years, the beach has undergone significant refurbishment. You’ll find a variety of kiosk-selling ice creams, shops, and cafes. While the only activity permitted here is swimming, you can enjoy all the facilities at the seaside. Also, the area has some spaces for walks and cycling routes.
Another area you can explore at the South Beach is the Felixstowe tower. There’s a wide promenade that runs at the same level as the beach where you can take some refreshments.
The South Beach offers the perfect environment for a much-needed break throughout the year.
Is Felixstowe Beach Sandy?
The southern section is sandy during low tides. When you come here, make sure you bring a bucket and spade to construct a sandcastle masterpiece. On colder days, you can take a walk to the giant container ships and enjoy some beachcombing. Best of all, the enormous sandy stretch has lots of walking trails in it.
During a high tide, the beach will disappear. Be sure to check the tide times before you head there.
The Felixstowe Pier was opened in 1905 and stretches 2450 feet. It was constructed with timber – which was unusual during this period. Once the pier was opened, it became the landing point for steamers. But during the 2nd World War, the Pier was demolished. Later, this area was closed for public safety.
In 1996, the renovation plans started and no progress was made until 2004. The process to rebuild the Pier could occur several months in 2012.
Today, Felixstowe Pier is home to a lively amusement arcade with a gaming and family entertainment centre.
There’s also a boardwalk café that serves coffee, tea, refreshments, and ice creams. They serve fresh food every time, and there’s a variety of wines and cocktails.
What to do at Felixstowe Beach
Felixstowe Beach offers a multitude of fish species in the winter and summer months. It doesn’t limit when fishing is done if the conditions are right. Some of the summer species include sole, dogfish, mackerel, bass, and pouting. It’s worth mentioning that mackerel comes close to the beach. The rest can be fished at a range for the best results.
During the summer months, the best time to catch fish is early in the morning or late evening. In winter, the best baits to use are squid and works. This beach can be advantageous during the day. To get there, you can use the shore. You’ll find lots of parking when you follow this route.
Kayaking activities are allowed during the summer season and are designed for specific ages. You can also take a class trip to ensure you have unmatched fun.
Felixstowe beach accommodates regular windsurfers. The flat, fast water is the perfect ground for all racing types. If you don’t wait for the right conditions of the beach, it can be difficult to launch the carving pebble beach.
During the summer, Felixstowe accommodates different sailing activities that cater to the needs of beginners and experienced surfers. There’s also a youth sailing section that suits the needs of younger adults.
How to get to Felixstowe Beach
Felixstowe Beach is located 12 miles from Ipswich. You can join the mainline services and take the routes to Bury St. Edmunds and the Midlands North of England.
You visit Felixstowe beach via bus, taxi, car, or train. The first train to get to Felixstowe Beach Holiday is the greater ANGLIA. If you’re travelling from Ipswich, it can take up to 17 minutes to get there (it’s about 20 kilometres).
The FirstGroup operates between routes 75-77 (between Ispwich and Felixstowe). There’s also an express bus on the X7 that operates from Monday to Saturday.
Since Felixstowe runs on the A14, you must join the M1 and M6. If you’re coming from Ipswich, the A12 heads to the southern side before joining M25 in London.
Along the seafront, there’s a car park that charges 1.2 pounds every four hours. if you park the whole day, you should expect to pay up to 2 pounds.
If you’re prepared to park the car far away, the Tier allows for free parking.
Other things to do in Felixstowe
The Landguard Fort played a pivotal role in the defence of the eastern coast for over four centuries. You can explore the spectacular panoramic views of Harwich Haven, guided tours, re-enactments, and special events. Don’t forget to explore the maritime heritage and rich military by exploring the rooms and passageway.
You can also take a guided tour through an audio-visual presentation. Landguard offers lots of things to suit the needs of both locals and tourists alike. There’s something for people of all ages and interests.
Visit Felixstowe Museum which boasts of fascinating artefacts that date back to the 4th century AD. It’s housed within the Ravelin Block of the Landguard Fort and has a hidden treasure for children and adults alike.
There are 14 rooms with collections like roman ceramics, cannonballs, medieval coins, fossils, and mammoth tasks. You’ll also find some amazing displays from St Audrey’s Hospital.
This museum is managed by a group of friendly volunteers, not to mention you’ll always find special events and learning activities. Between the 1st and 4th centuries, the Romans lived here, so they left coins and jewellery – now part of the museum.
Felixstowe Ferry is located close to the mouth of river Deben. It offers a peaceful atmosphere that allows visitors to discover the better side of Felixstowe. The shore has many weatherboard houses, a sailing club, a boatyard, and a church.
The ferry was built in the 1880s and was an interesting World War II facility. You’ll also find a fleet of ships that were assembled by the legendary Edward III.
This magical place is always bobbling in the estuary waters and guarantees freshly caught mornings next to the water. If you’re using the promenade route, you can reach this charming place on foot. Keep in mind this stretch is an ideal spot for bird watching.
Martello Tower & Park
Martello Park is a remarkable recreational space that caters to the needs of every traveller. This grassy area can be a great spot for a picnic. The modernized playground holds a fantastic water play area that operates between April and October.
During World War 1, this was the signal station for intercepting the German radio messages. But after the war, the park transformed into a station for coastguards and revenue services. Recently, the park was restored to offer the best defence against the Napoleon forces.
Landguard Visitor Center
Landguard Visitor Center is located on the right side of Felixstowe Museum. It offers lots of exhibitions that tell more about the nature of the peninsula. Both kids and adults can get up-close with the hands-on displays. If the weather is clear, you can see the off-shore wind turbines that go beyond the Naze.
And after you’re done exploring, you can take a bite at the viewpoint café. They serve breakfast, snacks, lunch, and coffee.
Felixstowe Seafront Gardens
These delightful gardens form a continuous ground and have cascaded down the cliff. It’s the perfect location to explore the heritage of Suffolk.
On the cliffs rock, there’s a spring that allows visitors to take clean water. Since the gardens continue along the seafront, there’re lots of plants. And to bring out the signature look, you’ll find some fountains and grottos. While there, don’t forget to explore the trail points. Just behind the gardens, there’s a large car park.