Is Felixstowe now the best coastal resort in Suffolk?
PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:35 01 September 2018
It's time for Felixstowe to step out of Aldeburgh and Southwold's shade - it's now more than a match for both.
For all the time I’ve lived in Suffolk – which is most of my 45 years – it’s played second fiddle to those upmarket coastal retreats.
They have always gained so much of the Suffolk coast spotlight – particularly from the national press – and they are, indeed, terrific places to visit.
Felixstowe was always the younger, brasher brother. More likely to get into trouble, and perhaps with a few more imperfections.
But I’m increasingly coming to the view that Felixstowe is now more than a match for them – and, dare I say it, even better in some respects.
I know, I know - it’s not a competition. There’s no need to play these resorts off against each other.
But my point is that we are blessed with great coastal resorts in Suffolk, and Felixstowe is now absolutely worthy of that word: Great.
For many years we saw potential investment in the town ebb away with the tide. There were lots of false dawns. It never really changed.
But time has moved on and things are changing. The new-look pier is a massive hit, the Spa Pavilion is back, and the seafront gardens now look terrific.
There’s an air of confidence about Felixstowe, and it feels a really good place to be when you’re there.
I’ve got a young family, and I can honestly say trips there are one of their favourite things to do.
And mine too - it’s a wonderful place to escape to, ignore the phone for a few hours, breathe in the sea air and enjoy the calming sound of the waves.
The beach itself would probably be enough, but there are great places to keep the children entertained, and lots of relaxed places to grab some food.
And, of course, you can get a very different Felixstowe experience depending on which bit you go to.
The other thing that’s worth noting is just what you’ll get for your money when it comes to property in the town.
For the price of a flat in Southwold, you can get some absolutely stunning homes in Felixstowe. I hope it stays that way, but that may be wishful thinking...
I always loved going to Felixstowe when I was boy. A trip to the beach and arcades, followed by fish and chips from the chippie opposite The Ordnance (all long since gone). These are treasured family memories.
So it makes me happy to see such good things happening in Felixstowe.
Does it still have imperfections? Yes. But it’s got so much good stuff, I don’t notice them.
And I very much hope this resurgence continues.