Situated in the modern, bustling Ipswich marina, we at Viking Mariners take great pleasure in offering boat trips along the River Orwell and River Stour. Whether you want to relax and enjoy great food and company on one of our leisure sails, gather your friends and family for a celebration on an exclusive use yacht charter, or even partake in a half day taster sail to (metaphorically) dip your toes into the water, there is much to see along the rivers of Suffolk to make your trip even more exciting.
Our county is filled to the brim with unique and historical landmarks, and our boat trips allow you to view them from a completely different perspective. Many of our clients remark upon how they have driven past these gems, but weren’t able to fully appreciated them due to concentrating on the road. A boat trip takes that aspect away, and allows you to absorb your surroundings from the comfort of one of our luxury yachts. To us, and many sailors, there is nothing more relaxing than being out on the water in beautiful weather, glass of wine in hand, viewing Suffolk’s ancient monuments, charming waterside villages and serene coastline.
Below, we’ve listed five sights to view on your next Viking Mariners boat trip. Why not book now by calling 01394 421209, and take this list along with you when you sail with us?
5 Suffolk landmarks to spot on your boat trip:
The Orwell Bridge (from underneath!)
If you’ve driven the A14 in Suffolk, chances are you will have passed over the Orwell Bridge. Opened for public use in 1982, the bridge took two and a half years to build. With a main span of 190 metres across the River Orwell, the concrete bridge was designed to make minimal impact to the estuary and was even approved by the Royal Fine Art Commission.
To residents, the Orwell Bridge is a well known feature of the Suffolk landscape. Many have driven it countless times, but to sail beneath it is a completely different experience. It’s only when you float by the enormous columns and look up at the underside of the bridge that you can comprehend its massive size.
Located on the Shotley Peninsula in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Pin Mill is a hamlet along the River Orwell that was once home to many small industries, including sail making and a maltings. Now, the hamlet is known mainly for the Butt & Oyster Inn, a pub which dates back to 1456 in historical records. The inn was featured in a children’s novel by Arthur Ransome, who was once a resident of Pin Mill.
Standing proudly on the edge of the Freston Manor estate, Freston Tower is a grand spectacle which overlooks the River Orwell. Built in 1578/9, the clearly Elizabethan structure features no less than 26 windows, extravagantly designed with the view in mind.
Now owned by the Landmark Trust, the building has been refurbished as holiday accommodation. Its pristine facade can be spotted from the river, with all six storeys visible amongst the surrounding woods.
Britain’s busiest container port, Felixstowe handles nearly four million 20ft containers per year. These containers are piled high in stacks alongside towering cranes, which can be seen for miles, and mark a bustling hub of activity in an otherwise quiet coastal town.
One way to see the Port of Felixstowe up close is to visit the nearby viewing platform, where you can grab a bite to eat and watch the ships pass through the area. However, this only allows you to view one end of the port, and doesn’t provide you with the full scale.
Sailing to the mouth of the River Orwell is one of the best ways to see the entire length of the port. From the water, you can watch as the enormous metal boxes are skillfully loaded onto colossal container ships, with some carrying over 11,000 containers. Being on a yacht, you can sail close enough to the ships to see just how big they really are – something you can’t quite comprehend on land.
The Royal Hospital School
Originally based in Greenwich, the Royal Hospital School moved to its purpose built Suffolk premises in 1933. Overlooking the Stour Estuary, the school is situated on a campus which encompasses 200 acres of bountiful countryside.
A Grade II Listed building designed in Queen Anne Style, the school grounds include the grand main building, accommodation and various other buildings, and a majestic clock tower which can be seen from miles away in all directions, thanks to Suffolk’s flat landscape.
Come at the right time of year and you may spot the students undertaking their sailing training, as the RHS proudly exhibits its naval heritage.
These landmarks are just a taster of what’s available to see on a Suffolk boat trip. Enjoy the county’s natural beauty with the knowledge that you are in safe hands with Viking Mariners. Whilst on board our luxury yachts, our experienced crew make it their mission to help you get the most out of your trip with us, from ensuring your safety and comfort, to providing delicious food and drink. Whether you’re after exhilaration or relaxation, we highly recommend a sailing experience with Viking Mariners.