Felixstowe is a well loved, traditional seaside resort known for its Blue Flag quality sand and shingle beach, long promenade, perfectly kept seafront gardens and variety of seaside attractions.
The resort became a fashionable seaside retreat in the 1880’s and has retained many of its attractive Victorian and Edwardian houses and hotels from that period. ‘Old Felixstowe’ has many of its own delights to explore, including Café Bencotto which is housed in an old fire station close to the town centre. They offer delicious breakfasts and Mediterranean style delights for lunch and dinner such as pastas, pizzas and grills from their open plan kitchen. There are also many items that can be shared at your table, they are open every day and – please click on the link above for more information.
The seafront has all attractions you’d expect from a traditional seaside holiday resort, with old-fashioned beach huts, fish and chip shops, a funfair, amusement arcade, miniature golf, bowling green, cafés and restaurants, and more.
Things to do in Felixstowe
If you prefer some traditional fayre, then try The White Horse a large pub & restaurant with secure garden to sit & enjoy either a catch up drink with friends or treat yourself to a variety of dishes from light lunches to super sizzlers & scrumptious home made desserts.
Also located in old Felixstowe, is the Orwell Hotel, an independent 60 bedroom hotel which offers restaurant dining, afternoon tea, a public bar and more. This historic Hotel also holds many great events throughout the year, to see what’s on click the link above.
On of the main attractions of Felixstowe is the seafront, it is over four miles long, with a wide promenade that stretches almost the entire length of the beach from Landguard Point to Felixstowe Ferry.
The Alex Cafe Bar & Brasserie, facing the seafront, is the perfect place to visit at any time of day. Stop by to sample some tasty offerings from the café such as coffee & cake or a light bite, share a jug of cocktail or enjoy a pint of Adnams at the bar, or visit in the upstairs brasserie and choose from a wide menu of seafood, grills and other delights – stop by between noon and 6pm for the set price menu. Find out more by clicking on the link above.
Mannings Amusement Park is a traditional Seaside Amusement Arcade, with children’s rides, penny pushers, video games, casino areas, crazy golf, a Sunday market, bars, cafes and more! It’s located just yards from Felixstowe’s beach so you can’t miss it.
Close to the Amusements, you will find Forum Fish & Chips a family run restaurant with a large seating area and a takeaway service. They offer cooked to order fish and chipped local potatoes, always fried in vegetable oil. See Forum Fish & Chips for opening times and address.
Also on the seafront is the family friendly Sands Diner which offers locally sourced, fresh prepared food as well as a warm welcome and relaxing atmosphere. With homemade specials, the diner offers great value for money.
Just along the promenade is the bustling Spa Pavillion Theatre, with lovely views across the ocean and two cafes/restaurants to choose from, it is an excellent place to spend an afternoon. The art deco auditorium hosts a varied programme of events all year round from local theatre companies to big names and touring productions. See what’s on at Spa Pavillion Theatre.
Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club was voted by Golf Monthly as one of the top 200 golf courses in the UK so for those more interested in golf than crazy golf, this is the place to head. There is an excellent “Pay & Play” 9 hole course, and all are welcome – Tourists, Beginners, Golfers and Juniors.
One of Felixstowe’s claims to fame is that it is the home to the UK’s largest container port, and Europe’s busiest. The viewing area at Landguard on the southern edge of the town offers great views of container and passenger ships coming in to Felixstowe and Harwich harbours from all over the world. Here too, at the mouth of the River Orwell, are the Landguard Bird Observatory and the Landguard Peninsular nature reserves, significant sites for shore and migrant birds, and rare shingle flowers.
History and Culture
If you’ve made it this far to Felixstowe why not visit the Landguard Peninsula which is just south of the town? There’s a range of things to do and see all in one place, including The John Bradfield Viewing Area, Landguard Nature Reserve, Landguard Bird Observatory
Landguard Fort is the site of the last opposed invasion of England in 1667 and the first land battle of the Royal Marines. Guided tours and audio tours of the fort are supplemented by a DVD presentation of the site’s history, and by guided tours of the outside batteries.
The View Point Cafe is well worth the trip alone. Here you can sit outside (or inside if you prefer) and watch the enormous cargo ships go past while you enjoy a relaxing coffee and a tasty meal in the Cafe pondering on the exotic cargo contained in these vessels. The Cafe offers all day breakfasts, fresh fish and chips, snacks, butties, salads, cakes, ice creams, teas and coffees.
Also situated on View Point Road, at the John Bradfield Viewing Area, you will find the Harwich Harbour Ferry. This foot and cycle ferry has been running since 1912 and operates an hourly service between April and October. The crossing is popular for families, cyclists, dog walkers, ship spotters and everyone who enjoys being on the water. You can also enjoy close-up views of the massive vessels travelling to and from the container terminal at Felixstowe, as well as the hundreds of yachts sailing through the harbour to their marinas up river.
The Felixstowe Museum has fourteen display rooms of Felixstowe’s social and military history, housed within the 1878-built submarine mining establishment.
Further North of the town are the Six Martello towers, built to prevent Napoleonic invasion, which stand on Felixstowe’s coast going up towards Aldeburgh. Five of these towers are private and unused (one pictured above), and one has been converted into a private residence house. Please see our article on Martello Towers for more information on these strange buildings, and click here to book a Holiday in a Martello Tower through the Landmark Trust.
North of the town centre is the fishing village of Old Felixstowe and, at the mouth of the River Deben, the hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry with its gallery, golf course, cottages, boat yard and riverside inns. Here you can explore coastal paths, see the Martello Towers, pick up fresh fish at The Shed fish stall, enjoy excellent fish and chips at the Ferry Café and catch the small ferry boat across the estuary to Bawdsey.