Living in Felixstowe
What is life like in Felixstowe?
Felixstowe is a quiet and historic town located on the east coast of Suffolk, where residents take great pleasure from its laid-back approach and relaxing and friendly atmosphere.
The town is perhaps most famous for its port, from where ferry services run on a regular basis to the continent. This gives residents a quick and easy link to several other countries, as well as a continental flavour to their local streets.
Some of the joys of Felixstowe include taking a stroll along the seafront past the golf course and the Martello tower, before heading into the beautiful surroundings of Deben marsh. Boatyards and beach shacks are the order of the day, giving the town an aesthetically pleasing side that reflects its strong links to the water.
People in Felixstowe can also benefit from the fact the town's beach is made up of golden sands, while just a few metres away in the Old Felixstowe area, the shoreline is formed of pebbles, meaning there is a surface for everyone.
Boulevards of Edwardian semis are common in the town, among a supply of housing that is renowned for its quality. Whether people are looking for a one-bedroom flat or a family home, they are sure to find it in a quiet and pleasant part of Felixstowe.
Old Felixstowe was centred on a pub and a church long before the Norman conquest and continues to be a popular part of the town. There was also a Roman fort built in the third century. In the early days, the town went under the name of Walton, as it only took its title of Felixstowe retrospectively in the 13th century.
The area became one of the UK's major ports in 1886, with increased shipping and tourism following. A pier was constructed in 1905 and it is still standing and in use today. During the latter part of the Victorian era, Felixstowe became a hugely fashionable resort.
It was visited by the German imperial family and this set it up to be a leading destination among visitors until the late 1930s.
The most famous person associated with Felixstowe is Wallis Simpson, the American socialite who was famous after King Edward VIII chose to abdicate in order to marry her. She stayed in the town for some time while her divorce went through prior to her marriage to the king.
Entertainment, sport and days out
There are several special events that take place in Felixstowe and attract plenty of visitors to the area each year. Residents should look out for the Historic Vehicle Run, the Book Festival, Art on the Prom, the Christmas Craft Market and Felixstowe Carnival, all of which are great fun.
At any time of the year, there is still plenty to do in and around the town. One good idea is to take a bike ride to the John Bradfield Viewing Area, which offers wonderful views. Alternatively, head to the seafront and play a game of adventure golf, take a swim and enjoy the amusement arcades.
The Landguard Nature Reserve is a fascinating place and ideal for anyone who loves to catch sight of local wildlife.
Sporty types can keep in shape at Felixstowe Leisure Centre, which is located in the town centre and offers everything from swimming and gym workouts to specialist classes and children's activities.
For a fun-packed day out, Felixstowe residents frequently head out into the Suffolk countryside, which is renowned for its low-lying terrain and pretty green panoramas. It is also possible to visit the iconic Norfolk Broads, the country's largest and most famous inland waterway.
Eating, drinking & shopping
A wide range of restaurants and other venues are open in Felixstowe, meaning people who live there are never far away from a delicious meal. Chilli and Chives @ The Cliff Top is one of the most impressive places to stop, as it boasts a remarkable location overlooking the seafront.
The Fish Dish Restaurant is a shrewd choice for anyone who likes to tuck into a tasty local catch, while Saigon, the Thai Hut and the Sands Diner are all popular among diners.
For a great pub in Felixstowe, people should look towards the White Horse, the Fludyer Arms or the Ferry Boat Inn, which sits at the mouth of the River Deben.
Felixstowe is a wonderful destination for a spot of shopping by the sea, with large high street chains and local independent stores mixing. Hamilton Road is the primary retail area in the town, with an array of boutiques positioned close to popular stores like Marks & Spencer, Boots and WHSmith.
Russell Smith, Maghan, Coes of Felixstowe and Madison are among the excellent local independent stores that are found in the town centre.
Schools & healthcare
Although it is a relatively small town, Felixstowe is home to about half a dozen schools that allow all children in the area to receive a high standard of education. There are two junior schools in Felixstowe – Causton Junior School and Colneis Junior School.
From those, most of the children in the town move on to Felixstowe Academy, which is the local secondary school and sixth form. It was formed after two previous institutions were merged to offer education all the way up to A-Levels.
The town's premier healthcare provider is Felixstowe Community Hospital, where treatment for all types of injuries and illnesses is available. There is also a hospital in nearby Ipswich, so local people can be confident they will never have to venture far for top-quality care.
Felixstowe is reasonably well connected, both to the rest of East Anglia are to London. Hourly trains run to Ipswich and take about 25 minutes, and once there passengers can change to London-bound trains that take approximately 110 minutes to reach the capital.
The town is also located at the end of the A14 dual carriageway, which can be used by drivers as a direct route to Ipswich. It takes approximately 20 minutes to complete that journey, while Colchester is an additional 20 minutes.