With temperatures primed to reach sweltering point over the next couple of weeks, Londoners will once again be fighting to keep cool.
If you’re looking to escape the heat this weekend, which is set to reach peaks of 31C, your best bet might be to look outside of the city.
Beelining for the coast in a heatwave can be a risky business for Londoners – southern England’s best beaches are hard to keep secret, and most will likely be packed.
(Image: Giuseppe Pinto)
READ MORE:Surprising historic town 2 hours from London that’s been named top UK holiday destination
So if you’re happy to head slightly off the beaten track, one slightly lesser-known coastal town in Suffolk might just have your name written all over it.
The seaside resort of Felixstowe, on the east coast of Suffolk and reachable from London in under two hours, really does have something for everyone.
As well as the traditional British seaside selection of arcades and attractions, this south-facing sun trap has a historic fort museum, as some great places to eat, drink and shop.
Having long been the UK’s busiest container port – dealing with 48 per cent of Britain’s containerised trade – Felixstowe has also made great use of some of the spare wares, which have been upcycled into a shipping container high street.
Most importantly, the resort has an incredible four mile sand and shingle beach.
(Image: Bob Jones)
Two beaches, in fact – Felixstowe North, gently sloping to the sea in a sheltered bay, might be the one to head to if you want some peace and quiet.
Felixstowe South, on the other hand, which runs from Arwela Road to the Town Hall, is more popular with families.
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Felixstowe South holds a prestigious 2021 Blue Flag and Seaside Award, which means it complies with several criteria including environmental education, water quality, safety, and services.
(Image: Simon Mortimer)
And services abound – a full range of beach front kiosks offer cakes, ice creams and hot food, as well as various beach paraphernalia like buckets, spades and crabbing nets.
As you head to the beach, you can wander through a haven of greenery in the top-rated Seafront gardens, stopping to admire the pretty pools and waterfalls, or to catch some shade in one of the little band stands.
With such a major trade in containers, Felixstowe has a fascinating industrial aesthetic.
You can watch the giant ships on the horizon arriving and departing at the port – a view perhaps best enjoyed with a cup of coffee at the View Point Cafe.
Meanwhile, the John Bradfield Viewing Area at the town’s historic fort museum, Landguard Point, offers stunning views across the estuary to the Shotley Peninsula and the Essex towns of Harwich and Dovercourt.
(Image: Department for Transport/Flickr)
If the weather is really clear you might even see the off-shore wind turbines beyond The Naze.
To get up close and personal with some of the shipping containers, and for the full Felixstowe experience, head to Beach Street.
This exciting shipping container complex on the seafront is a community of local and creative outlets where you can grab some delicious street food, or browse the range of boutique shops.
Pizza, waffles and a good selection of vegan food are all on the menu, and independent coffee shop The Shore features some rave reviews from visitors on TripAdvisor.
If you’re looking for the more traditional seaside vibe, Manning’s Amusements and the seaside pier are both failsafe family classics, and the local fish and chippie is a firm favourite, hauling in accolades from its many visitors.
The Regal Bar was branded “the best fish and chips ever” by one recent visitor sharing their experience on TripAdvisor.
They added: “Worth the queue or get here at 11.30am on a Monday like me and my boys and take it on the seafront to eat. Fantastic.”
How to get there
To get to Felixstowe from London, you can drive from Dagenham via the A12, getting there in one hour and 44 minutes, or hop on the train from Liverpool Street station, which will get you there in one hour and 46 minutes.
Which is your favourite beach spot to head to from London? Let us know in the comments here.
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