infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 51.9610
longitude= 1.3576
official_name= Felixstowe
population = 29,349 (2001 Census)
shire_district= Suffolk Coastal
region= East of England
shire_county = Suffolk
constituency_westminster= Suffolk Coastal
post_town= FELIXSTOWE|postcode_district = IP11
postcode_area= IP |dial_code= 01394
os_grid_reference= TM306345

static_image_caption= "Felixstowe beach"

Felixstowe is a seaside town on the North Sea coast of Suffolk, England. The town gives its name to the nearby Port of Felixstowe, which is the largest container port in the United Kingdom and is one of the Haven ports. The town is situated across the estuary of the River Orwell and River Stour from Harwich in Essex.


A village has stood on the site since before the Norman conquest, eventually becoming a linchpin in England's defence, as proved when in 1667 Dutch soldiers landed and failed to capture [http://www.landguard.com/ Landguard Fort] . The town only became a major port in 1886. In addition to shipping, tourism increased, and a pier was constructed in 1905 but is soon to be demolished. Indeed, during the late Victorian period (after circa 1880) it became a fashionable resort, a trend initiated by the opening of Felixstowe railway station, the pier, (see above) and a visit by the then German imperial family. It remained so until the late 1930s. In 1953, 38 died in the town in the North Sea flood.

Landguard Fort

The site of the last opposed invasion of England in 1667 and the first land battle of the Royal Marines. The current fort was built in the 18th century, and modified in the 19th century with substantial additional 19th/20th-century outside batteries. The fort hosts regular military re-enactments, including Darell's day with a Sealed Knot celebration of the last invasion, art exhibitions and alternative theatre. Landguard Fort is in the care of English Heritage and managed by the Landguard Fort Trust. It is open to the public 10 til 5 every day, April to the end of October.

Felixstowe Museum

A museum telling the story of Felixstowe, with a reference library, historic maps, photo archive and 14 rooms of artefacts from Roman finds, the Martello Towers, military social and domestic history through two world wars and into the new Millennium is managed by volunteers from the Felixstowe History and Museum Society. It is located in the old submarine mining establishment building at Landguard Point, between the Fort and Port and is open on Sundays, Bank Holidays and Wednesdays during the summer.


During the Second World War the majority of the pier, at the time one of the longest in the country and complete with its own train, was purposely demolished by Royal Engineers to prevent it being used as an easy landing point for enemy troops. Unfortunately after the war the damage was never repaired and the pier never regained its original length. Felixstowe was also one of the few places bombed by the Italians during the Blitz. Mussolini's airforce proved to be no match for the RAF, who shot down a fair number of Italian biplanes over the channel and around Felixstowe itself - one of the few pictures of a shot-down Italian plane over the UK being from here.

By the late 1990s the pier had been neglected so badly that it was deemed to be unsafe and closed to the public. Ambitious plans have been presented from time to time since the closure of the pier for its redevelopment along with large disused areas of the seafront near the former site of the Felixstowe Beach railway station, but nothing has come of them.

Railway stations

The sole remaining station, known as Felixstowe Town, opened in 1898 in the well-preserved building which now houses a "Solar" supermarket. In its prime the station saw more than 20 services an hour, but now hosts only one, the service to Ipswich. The station has only one platform, which has been created from the far end of one of the original platforms.

Felixstowe Beach railway station was demolished in 2004 despite a storm of protest from many local people keen on saving the 137 year-old historical building which the council had branded as 'unsafe'. The station was originally opened in 1877 and was used continuously until 1959, after which it was the site of a small printers for many years until its demolition. [ [http://homepage.ntlworld.com/suntrapman/page13.html Felixstowe Beach Station Destroyed] ]

Felixstowe also had a third station, Felixstowe Pier, which was sited inside the area of the modern day docks at a small pier popular with pleasure boats. This station was the first to close in 1951.



The main bus operators are Ipswich Buses and First Eastern Counties [ [http://www.ipswich.gov.uk/Services/Transport+and+Engineering/Public+Transport/ Bus Operators ] ] .


Felixstowe railway station is the terminus of the Felixstowe Branch Line service to Ipswich.

Foot Ferry

A foot ferry [ [http://www.harwichharbourferry.com/ Harwich, Felixstowe and Shotley harbour foot ferry ] ] . service operates between Landguard fort and Halfpenny Pier, Harwich throughout the summer.


Felixstowe is administered by Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council, and Felixstowe Town Council. Suffolk Coastal District Council, the local authority, is based in Woodbridge, although it has a part-time office in Felixstowe, which is open Mondays and Wednesdays. The local parish council, Felixstowe Town Council, is based in the Town Hall, on the seafront at Undercliff Road West. Felixstowe is twinned with the German towns Wesel and Salzwedel.


Landguard Fort is a scheduled ancient monument and major visitor attraction with a proud history and a nearby nature reserve. At the opposite end of the town is Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club which is amongst the oldest in the UK, having been established in 1881. The Rt. Hon. Arthur Balfour, Captain of the Golf Club in 1889, became Captain of the R&A in 1894 and British Prime Minister from 1902-1908.

Felixstowe has a pebbly beach, which has rapidly eroded in recent years, extending from the port at Landguard Fort to Felixstowe Ferry, an old fishing hamlet on the River Deben. A promenade runs along part of the beach, from the nature reserve in the south-west to Cobbolds Point (Maybush Lane in east), with traditional beach huts along most of that length. An amusement arcade with snooker halls and food outlets dominate the southern end. The pier, now disused except for a cafe and amusement arcade, stands before a leisure centre, with swimming pool, owned by the local council, now managed by a contractor.

From Cobbolds Point to Felixstowe Ferry there is a walkway and path, although it is necessary to walk inland and to rejoin the coastal path at Jacobs Ladder, where the path then runs before beach huts and the golf course. At Cobbolds Point the coastal protection work now prevents pedestrian access along the beach. At low tide from this walkway it is possible to glimpse the seaweed-covered remains of a Roman fort in the water about 50m from the coast.


The town's only senior football team, Felixstowe & Walton United, compete in the Eastern Counties Football League Premier Division. Other sports teams include Felixstowe Rugby Club and Felixstowe Harpers F.C.

The town has a sports centre, The Brackenbury, in High Road East, and football, hockey and rugby pitches, together with two bowling greens and other sporting facilities. The sports centre, owned by the council, is managed by a contractor.

Leisure facilities

The town has two main leisure facilities: The Brackenbury Sports centre in Old Felixstowe and the Felixstowe leisure centre adjacent to the pier. Most local associations have no meeting places, except for a small community centre in Old Felixstowe (Ferry Road), and they generally rely upon church halls.

The library was refurbished in 2006 at a cost of £1,500,000 and has since won national awards. [ [http://www.cilip.org.uk/specialinterestgroups/bysubject/public/awards/awards2007/delegates/DC07Felixstowe.htm The Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals (CILIP)] ] .

The Spa Pavilion theatre is a 900-seat art deco-style building on the promenade, owned by the district council and managed by a private contractor; Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Led Zeppelin and Showaddywaddy all played there. There is also a Sunday market that is larger than that at nearby Ipswich.

The Port of Felixstowe

Felixstowe is one of Britain's top three ports (along with Southampton and Tilbury), dealing with 35% of container cargo. In 2005, it was ranked 29th in the world, and Europe's 6th busiest. It is capable of handling over 3.7 million containers per year. As well as containerised traffic, the port also has a RO-RO terminal.

The main navigation channel is dredged to 14.5 metres below Chart Datum, and a depth of up to 15 metres alongside the quay, Felixstowe boasts deep-water able to accommodate the world’s latest generation of deep-draughted ultra post-Panamax vessels. There is a continuous quay of over 2.3km, equipped with 25 ship-to shore gantry cranes.

It has good road links to the Midlands via the A14 and to London via the A12 road. The single-track railway line to Ipswich has recently been upgraded to allow larger containers, and many containers are now transported by rail.

The port is owned by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd [cite web
author=Port of Felixstowe
title=Brief History
] but much of the land on which it sits is owned by Trinity College, Cambridge.

The port has its own Police Force.

Notable residents

Famous people originating from or associated with Felixstowe include:
* Actor Sir John Mills
* Wallis, The Duchess of Windsor - Mrs Simpson, who spent time at Felixstowe waiting for Edward VIII's abdication.
* Economist & writer Barbara Ward - Barbara Ward was a pupil of the Jesus & Mary Convent in Felixstowe
* Comedian Benny Hill - Owned a weekend home in Felixstowe where he spent time with his disabled daughter.
* Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby GCB GCMG GCVO (April 23, 1861 - May 14, 1936) was a British soldier and administrator most famous for his role during World War I, in which he led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of Palestine and Syria in 1917 and 1918.

External links

* [http://www.landguard.com Landguard Fort]
* [http://www.saintfelix.co.uk/ St. Felix RC Parish]
* [http://www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk/ Port of Felixstowe]
* [http://www.felixstoweradio.co.uk/ Felixstowe Radio]
* [http://www.felixstowe-museum.co.uk/ Felixstowe Museum]
* [http://www.lbo.org.uk/ Landguard Bird Observatory Web Site]
* [http://www.felixstowetv.co.uk/ Felixstowe TV]
* [http://www.eadt.co.uk/content/eduzone/seaside/content/timeline/1890s-1950s.asp EADT, Felixstowe Past & Present]
* [http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~owend/interests/rail/stnpages/felixstowe.html Felixstowe Station]
* [http://www.oldstratforduponavon.com/felixstowe Felixstowe in Old Postcards]
* [http://www.visitfelixstowe.co.uk/ Visit Felixstowe Website]
* [http://www.felixstowerugby.co.uk/ Felixstowe RFC]
* [http://felixstoweharpers.com Felixstowe Harpers F.C.]
* [http://www.felixstowegolf.co.uk/ Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club]


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