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7 September 2023
Stage five combines a start and finish in Felixstowe, one of Suffolk’s most recognisable seaside towns, with a clockwise loop through the county’s quintessentially British villages.
Kesgrave, Ipswich, Hadleigh (the location of the day’s cottages.com sprint), Needham Market, Stowmarket, Framlingham, Leiston, and Woodbridge will all feature during stage five, which marks both the longest of the 2023 edition and the race’s first visit to Suffolk since 2017.
The final six kilometres replicate the finale of the Women’s Tour in 2021, a stage which saw a memorable victory by the then world champion Elisa Balsamo in front of 10,000 spectators.
Felixstowe – Sea Road 10:45am
Freston (category three) 11:35am
Holbrook Hill (category three) 12:00pm
East Bergholt 12:17pm
Needham Market 1:04pm
Felixstowe – Sea Road 3:34pm
Click here for the full stage timetable
Host venue for the first time
Everybody loves a great day by the sea and Felixstowe has something for everyone. With the Tour of Britain starting and finishing on Sea Road, there’s no better time to visit!
There’s so much to see and do, including playing on the seafront amusements, building sandcastles on the beach, walking the promenade and exploring the Edwardian gardens as well as shopping in the town centre, eating in one of the many restaurants, bird watching at the nature reserve or uncovering history at the magnificent fort and museum.
Nestled between the rivers Orwell and Deben on the east coast of England, Felixstowe is a charming Edwardian seaside town with a vibrant town centre and a wonderful mix of attractions and activities to suit all ages and interests.
Enjoy a walk along the seafront with its fine Edwardian architecture, colourful beach huts and four miles of lovely beaches – don’t forget your bucket and spade! Overlooking the waters are the newly restored Seafront Gardens, with their colourful and unusual planting, historical features and structures stretching for a kilometre.
For family fun, try your luck on the slot machines at Felixstowe Pier, head to the thrilling children’s rides at Manning’s and Ocean Boulevard, make a splash at the Leisure Centre or challenge your friends to a round of adventure golf.
Martello Park offers fun play areas and kiosks. You can’t visit the seaside without trying the delicious fish and chips or an ice-cream made using the milk from Felixstowe’s very own dairy herd. In the evening, relax and enjoy shows and entertainment at The Spa Pavilion, grab some street food in the Beach Village or enjoy a meal at the Alex or the Boardwalk.
Just up the hill is the bustling town centre, home to a great selection of big-name stores, plus speciality boutiques, crafts, gifts and independent shops – pick up something special as a souvenir of your day by the sea, then relax with a classic cream tea on the cliff-tops.
At the northern end of the town is the charming fishing and sailing hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry. Take a walk along the banks of the river Deben, hop on the little foot ferry for a trip to Bawdsey, pick up some fresh fish for tea and see how many of the iconic Napoleonic Martello Towers you can spot.
Head south to visit the unique Landguard Peninsula with its 18th century fort, one of England’s best-preserved coastal defences, alongside the fascinating collections of the Felixstowe Museum. Stroll along the boardwalk at the nature reserve, home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna; the viewing area here offers spectacular views of the giant ships arriving at the Port of Felixstowe, Britain’s busiest port.
Felixstowe spectator information
HOW TO GET TO FELIXSTOWE
The Ipswich to Felixstowe line is part of the East Suffolk Lines community rail partnership.
Ipswich to Felixstowe trains run at 7:14am, 8:25am, 8:57am, then 58 minutes past the hour from 9:58am to 7:58pm.
Felixstowe to Ipswich trains run at 28 minutes past the hour between 3:28pm and 9:28pm, with the last train departing at 11:01pm.
FirstGroup operates frequent bus services on routes 75 and 77 between Ipswich and Felixstowe. In addition, there is an express bus service, the X7, which runs at various times of the day from Monday to Saturday.
Due to road closures and limited parking, please consider parking outside the town and completing your journey by train or bus.
There is no dedicated spectator parking for this event. You can find the nearest car park on the East Suffolk website.
Where parking charges apply, East Suffolk Council operates the RingGo service. Click here for more information.
The Promenade car park, the Pier car park and Undercliff Road West car park will be closed on the seafront on Thursday 7 September.
If you do need to drive, please park responsibly. Do not park on the race routes, in lay-bys or on verges.
Please note there is no dedicated Blue Badge parking that can be booked in advance. You will need to make use of existing provision within Felixstowe. These will fill up quickly and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis only.
The Harwich Harbour Foot and Bicycle Ferry runs from the John Bradfield Viewing Area at Felixstowe to Harwich and Shotley. It is the only public ferry service connecting Suffolk and Essex.
Please visit the website for full timings and fares. It is advisable to buy tickets online in advance. The ferry will only operate in safe weather.
01728 666329 harwichharbourferry.com
Felixstowe sits on Sustrans Route 51 (part of the National Cycle Network).
Click here to download the Felixstowe Cycle Map.
There is dedicated bicycle parking in the Tour Village for up to 300 bikes.
Click here for more information.
Details of parking suspensions and (where relevant) road closures across the entire stage five route can be downloaded below.
There’s no better way of watching the action at this year’s Tour of Britain than with our hospitality packages!
Secure a front-row seat at our stage starts and finishes, topped off with delicious food and drinks specifically chosen for cycling fans.
Fans can now book their hospitality passes for the Felixstowe stage via Sportsbreaks.com, the official hospitality partner of the Tour of Britain.
Additionally, our expert team can build bespoke packages throughout the Tour to suit your needs. Contact Seb Roberts for more information.