Suffolk is famed for its stunning waterways and coastlines. With experiences from sailing, kayaking, fishing and wild swimming, there are a plethora of activities to keep you and your family occupied while you’re holidaying in the area. With the array of breath-taking landscapes and wetlands comes a fascinating and diverse range of wildlife, some of which can only be discovered and admired from the water itself. There are many ways you can get up close and explore the natural attractions in Suffolk, but we think one of the best and most scenic is by one of the four celebrated Suffolk foot ferries. So, hop on board and enjoy the tour!
Foot ferries, as the name suggests, have the benefit of being away from the bustle of busy roads filled with cars; instead, they are strictly for pedestrians, cyclists and on some occasions, your four-legged friend too!
The Harwich Ferry has been running since 1912 and provides all the seaside charm you desire while on your holiday by the coast. The journey takes you across the Stour and Orwell estuaries, and you pass through where the two waterways meet. The adventure will be full of a variety of different and interesting things to be seen along the way. With stunning views of both sides of the peninsula, large container ships with towers of cargo heading to the Felixstowe docks, small fishing boats and elaborate, luxury yachts all sailing alongside one another. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for the array of wildlife that reside in the waters, from rare birds to seals.
The Felixstowe Ferry takes you along the River Deben which carves between Bawdsey and Felixstowe. From the quay, views of the 19th century Martello Tower can be enjoyed. The structure is around 40ft high, with an imposing and uncommon rounded appearance to it. The solid thick stone walls would have provided a 360-degree view, enabling an early detection and protection from Napoleonic attacks on the county.
The Butley to Orford ferry is run solely by volunteers, with the dedicated individuals rowing throughout the day along the Gedgrave banks of the river. It is claimed to be one of the oldest ferries in England, with records dating the journey to as early as 16C. In previous years, the crossing would be a lifeline for the surrounding towns and villages, with transportation of goods across the water taking place several times a day. The operation and running expenses of the ferry are now supported by the Alde and Ore Association, which promotes the preservation of the Alde, Ore and Butley rivers in Suffolk.
The ferry from Walberswick to Southwold not only provides the opportunity to travel through the Walberswick Nature Reserve which is an Area of Natural Beauty (AONB). The qualified skipper will also share stories of the local fishing industry, the rich history of the coastline and tales of smugglers. The traditional rowing boat can carry up to 12 passengers and takes passengers across the Blyth estuary.
For an adventurous and alternative day out, that is suitable for all the family (except those who are partial to sea sickness!) and is great value for money, one of the Suffolk foot ferries is a must! If the waterways of the county have charmed you, take a look at our holiday lets with boat moorings so that you can spend your holiday on the water more often.
Be sure to keep an eye on the weather, as if the seas are too rough or the weather is too extreme, the boats will stay in the marinas.