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The intriguing town of Ipswich offers visitors an enigmatic blend of both the modern and the historic. With striking architecture, ancient landmarks and a thriving cultural scene, the town has become increasingly popular as either a domestic city break or an exciting urban base from which to explore the stunning Suffolk countryside and coastline. Culture lovers will find internationally-acclaimed dance, theatre, and comedy as well as a fantastic nightlife with waterfront restaurants and quirky bars. With direct railway and road links to London, there’s never been a better time to pay a visit to Ipswich.
Where to stay in Ipswich
As a modern UK town that welcomes more of its fair share of visitors every year, there’s no shortage of great places to stay in Ipswich. Anyone planning an extended stay in the town might want to check out its offering of stylish serviced apartments - which range from city-centre studios to luxury corporate housing close to the more commercial areas. These properties not only offer many of the benefits of a traditional hotel, such as room cleaning, concierge and reception services, but also come with the added convenience of a fully-equipped kitchen and dedicated secure access - giving you a kind of home-from-home for the duration of your stay.
What to do in Ipswich
A bustling market town, Ipswich offers a huge range of attractions and amenities. Whatsmore, as one of the UK’s oldest continuously inhabited towns, its streets are steeped in history and local landmarks - with some dating back as far as the Saxon era. Many first-time visitors will find they are able to spend an entire day simply enjoying the blend of historic and modern architecture the city has to offer.
Those looking for a spot of culture will also not be found wanting, as Ipswich offers several museums, as well as a number of galleries devoted to everything from local photography to modern art. There are also two local theatres, both of which offer a varied catalogue of events including opera, ballet, drama and comedy.
The city is also known for its thriving nightlife culture, with numerous restaurants, bars, clubs and traditional pubs to explore. Whatever your tastes, you’re sure to find somewhere to while away the evening, whether it be dancing, listening to live music or simply enjoying one of the city’s many fine dining spots.
Tips for staying in Ipswich
Places to eat
Ipswich has plenty of fantastic restaurants - most of which are conveniently located in the city centre. Aurora Bar and Restaurant or Trongs are great options for those seeking fine dining, whilst Mariners Restaurant offers classic brasserie fare on an elegant, wood-lined 1899 boat with marina views. Alternatively, for something a little more casual, there’s Cosy Club, Love Thy Burger or the Last Anchor.
Ipswich has two main shopping centres, which are conveniently located just a short walk from each other. The Buttermarket has four floors of shops and entertainments, with numerous high street fashions and homeware goods, as well as a cinema complex. Sailmakers Shopping Centre is a little smaller, but still offers a good selection of familiar retailers. Ipswich also offers a traditional market, open Tuesday to Saturday.
Ipswich offers plenty of attractions, for both young and old. A great way to see the city and its surrounding landscape is to take a river tour from the bustling marina at the Ipswich Waterfront. Alternatively, for those looking for something more cultural, why not check out the artworks on display at Christchurch Mansion, or learn about the town’s history at the Ipswich Museum. Those visiting the city with family also have the option of visiting Jimmy’s farm, which offers nature trails, activities, and an on-site restaurant.
Like anywhere else in the UK, Ipswich benefits from excellent public transport, comprised of bus and train services. Ipswich Station offers up to five services into London per hour, with a journey time of just over an hour, as well as regular services to Norwich, Colchester, and Cambridge. Buses run regularly throughout the town centre - including a free shuttle service - as well as routes out towards Westerfield and Felixstowe.
The local economy in Ipswich has been historically driven by agriculture, however, in recent years it has diversified to include telecoms, research and financial services. The Adastral Science park is one of the major employers for those working in the fields of science and research, whilst insurance firms like Axa, Churchill, Legal & General, LV and Willis are also major contributors to local commerce.