Suffolk’s Rivers and Estuaries provide a wealth of natural attractions and experiences for sailing, fishing, walking and cycling. Bawdsey Quay is situated at the mouth of the River Deben which separates Bawdsey from nearby Felixstowe. From the Quay you can see a Martello Tower, one of the defensive towers constructed at the beginning of the 19th Century along the coast in order to ward off an attack from Napoleon. Today, a number of these towers are still standing in various parts of Suffolk.
To find out more about these amazing mini ‘forts’ – including how you can stay in one – take a look at our Guide to Martello Towers in Suffolk
At the Quay itself there’s a good stretch of sandy beach for children to play on, and a lovely Boathouse Cafe to enjoy freshly caught local fish (seasonal opening times apply).
If you drive from Bawdsey to Felixstowe you’d have to go via Woodbridge and the journey would take you about 40 mins. The good news is that the Felixstowe to Bawdsey Ferry operates from early May through to the end of September daily between 10am – 6pm, and October weekends only, 10am – 5pm.
Did you know that radar was developed and first tested in Bawdsey between the two World Wars? Today you can visit the place where much of the ground breaking work in radar technology took place. RAF Bawdsey, operational in 1937, was the first of a chain of radar stations to be built around the coast of Britain. During the Battle of Britain with 2,600 Luftwaffe planes to the RAF’s 640, it was the use of radar for detecting aircraft en route to the UK so they could be intercepted that saved the day.