Catching a ferry is one of the pleasures of cycling the North Sea Cycle Route. I counted 26 in total but I probably missed a few. Some services run for just 6 weeks in summer, so careful planning is needed to avoid long detours.
This is a rough guide to the main ferry services, but it is not exhaustive and some of the ferries mentioned are not strictly on the NSCR.
Starting from London and working clockwise:
LONDON to SHETLAND
- Brightlingsea Ferry from Mersea Island to Brightlingsea – brightlingseaharbour.org you cycle across Mersea island down a rough lane and then have to push your bike to the end of a shingle spit. There are no signs or indication that a ferry even runs, but phone the number and they come and pick you up
- Harwich to Felixstowe Ferry – the Harwich Harbour Ferry harwichharbourferry.com takes you across the River Orwell and past the huge container port of Felixstowe, landing you on the beach near Languard Fort, very friendly, with a café at the Harwich embarkation point
- The Harwich Ferry is the first of the Four Foot Ferries, see pdf http://www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org/assets/Publications/Other-Publications/2016-Four-Ferries.pdf you can then take the Bawdsey, Butley and Walberswick ferries to Southwold. This route is not strictly on the NSCR but worth a detour if the ferry times work and the weather is good. Some run to a schedule, others you have to call.
- The next ferry is much further north at South Sheilds (excellent fish and chips at Colman’s), a regular commuter ferry which takes you into Tynemouth