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Ferries and river trips in Suffolk

On a hot Summer’s day, there’s no better way to cool down that getting out on the water. Not all of us can afford a cruiser, so how about a ferry or river trip. Here’s our favourites…

There are two ferries in Felixstowe, at either end of the town. There’s a foot ferry across the River Deben to Bawdsey. Before heading off take refreshments at the Ferry Café. Established in 1946, this quirky café offers 50s-inspired nostalgia with local fishing history and an American diner vibe.

If you fancy getting up close and personal with the biggest container ships in the world, there’s a Foot & Bicycle Ferry between Felixstowe in Suffolk and Harwich or Shotley Gate in Essex. While you’re waiting have a cup of tea in the View Point Café.

At Ipswich, Suffolk’s waterfront town, enjoy a River Orwell cruise aboard the Orwell Lady. There are cream tea themed cruises, dinner events in the evening, but the bread and butter trips head all the way to Harwich, to lovely Pin Mill or just out to the majestic Orwell Bridge before returning to the port.

Take a boat trip to the National Trust-run Orford Ness from Orford harbour and experience the eerie wildness of this six-mile-long shingle spit where pioneering work on radar was done before the Second World War. The hiking trail passes many abandoned military buildings.

From Orford harbour you can also take a boat trip to the RSPB nature reserve at Havergate Island.

A Summer ferry operates from near Butley to just south of Orford – useful if you’re walking the Suffolk Coastal Path.

Our final foot ferry crossing Suffolk’s coastal rivers and estuaries is on Blackshore harbour, operating between Walberswick and Southwold.

Inland, how about The Big Dog Ferry which plies a lovely forty minute journey along the picturesque River Waveney between the Beccles Lido and Geldeston Locks, where you can enjoy refreshments at The Locks pub.

If you fancy a swim, book yourself into The Lido – it’s often mentioned on the BBC Weather as being the hottest recorded place in the country.