Often referred to as Suffolk’s liveliest town, Ipswich offers a pleasant city life experience without the frantic activity. The abundance of green spaces paired with the plentiful shopping destinations, as well as the gorgeous waterfront, it is evident the town does not disappoint to entertain.
As one of the UK’s oldest towns, Ipswich shows pride in old English history; whilst still welcoming in the modern world, the historic buildings of the town continue to stand proudly. It is home to over 650 buildings listed for historic interest, such as the Ancient House and Christchurch Mansion that showcase a fascinating insight into the town’s history.
The town also shows respect to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Ipswich’s most famous former resident and educator, through his statue as well as establishing the Wolsey Art Gallery and the New Wolsey Theatre after his name.
The waterfront is the must-see location of the town, showcasing the beautiful views of the open water and the alongside marina. It is another example of Ipswich’s rich history as it has been the heart of the town’s trade and economy throughout its transformation.
Not only does the quay inhabit some of the best bars and restaurants in Suffolk, but also holds the annual Maritime festival; this summer festival is free to enter and hosts live music, a naval demonstration plus delicious street food.
The waterfront is popular for those keen to appreciate the stunning views by walking along the quay and the people who enjoy eating or drinking in the company of the glistening water.
For shopping enthusiasts, the stores of Ipswich do not disappoint. The city is home to a variety of popular retail and also unique shops; the Buttermarket shopping centre is where you’ll find the popular shops as well as various sit-down and fast food restaurants.
Alternatively, if you’re interested in the niche market, The Saints area (St Peters Street and St Nicholas Street) is a great place to discover some hidden gems – it also runs into the waterfront and so creates a pleasant route for a day out walking and shopping.
Ipswich is the perfect location for fine quality food and drink; many of Suffolk’s local producers and award-winning eateries are located in the sea front town. There are exquisite restaurants, bars, and cafés located in the waterfront, the town centre and even in parks - there is always a place to satisfy your taste.
The most popular locations to dine are in St Nicholas Street (home to a range of cuisines from Europe and Asia) and of course the waterfront, home to the highly rated Salt House Harbour Hotel as well as the popular Bistro On the Quay as well as many local choices.
For those wishing to enjoy a relaxing summer drink, the waterfront is the place to go; Isaac’s is very popular, with four bars along the quay. There are also a number of bars and clubs in the town centre, all great for nights out as well as quiet drinks in the evening.
Don’t be fooled by the town’s small size, Ipswich has something for everyone to enjoy. Whether it’s taking a pleasant walk across the waterfront or spending a day out at the Transport Museum, there is never a dull day.
If you’re interested in creative culture, the town is thriving within the theatre and arts scene - with numerous theatres, cinemas and galleries there is always a chance to embrace the creative side of Suffolk. There is always an opportunity for those with families to get together for a guaranteed amazing day out in Ipswich.
Why not go out into one of the many local parks? Christchurch park has activities for everyone to enjoy; there’s a bowling green and a table tennis area for those who enjoy competitive games as well as a play area for the children to enjoy. Alternatively, take some time to appreciate the vast green space and go on a relaxed stroll.
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