Walking in Suffolk (1) : Felixstowe Pier to Felixstowe Ferry (and back again)

felixstowe pier
Felixstowe Pier

Blue sea and blue skies, and a fresh breeze off the Suffolk coast – what’s not to like!

We visited Felixstowe on a Saturday in September, one of the last days of and Indian Summer, when you knew that the weather was about to turn, and autumn was truly on its way.

We hadn’t been to Felixstowe for many years, even though it’s only a about a 45 minute drive from home, as the Essex coast, and Aldeburgh and Southwold further up the Suffolk coast were always more attractive options.

We didn’t know what to expect, but we had a lovely surprise. The seafront is really well maintained, the pier has recently been updated, and the gardens, which are quite famous in East Anglia, looked beautiful as we walked along. We didn’t have time to explore them properly, and will be going back in the summer months to do so.

We walked from Felixstowe to the small fishing village of Felixstowe Ferry and back again. The beach is very soft sand at Felixstowe, but as you get towards the Ferry it becomes shingle. The coast is part of the Suffolk Coast and Heath Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The path is very well maintained and easy to walk along. There are wide views across the Suffolk countryside, and we passed by Felixstowe Ferry Golf Course, where the club house is inside a Martello Tower.

We had our dog Ringo with us, and there were lots of other dog walkers about. Every dog we saw was on a lead, which made for a very relaxing walk.

At one point the path is diverted away from the shoreline and we had the chance to explore some of the roads of Old Felixstowe. There are some very large imposing houses in the area, and we wondered whether they had been built for Sea Captains, or merchants trading out of Felistowe Port in the 19th century.

We stopped off on the way for a cup of tea at a seafront cafe, where there was also a very welcome bowl of water for Ringo. The young teenage lad who served us was very helpful and polite, which added to our enjoyment of the day It took us about an hour to walk to the Ferry from the pier.

The area was busy with day-trippers, and late summer holiday makers. There were lots of people catching the foot ferry across to Bawdsey. That’s something else we plan to do next summer. If you take your bikes with you there are lots of lanes to explore around Bawdsey. Bawdsey Manor was a radar research centre, and a base for the RAF until the 1990’s. It’s now a PGL Holiday Centre

We did have time to stop to eat at the Ferry Boat Inn, the pub owned by Adnams Brewery, which is based in nearby Southwold.

We had a lovely lunch, sitting outside in the sunshine, watching yachts sail up the River Deben. Sailing on one of the yachts that we watched, may have been one of my cousins, as we found out that he had sailed up the river that same day.

After our lunch we walked back to Felixstowe, listening to the waves breaking over the shingle, and watching the yachts and a water skier pass us by. Back in Felixstowe we rounded off a lovely day with an ice cream. Other couples go on exotic holidays for wedding anniversary treats. We went to Felixstowe and had a wonderful time walking in the sunshine on the Suffolk coast.