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Ipswich Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    The position of Ipswich has made the town a gateway to Europe for centuries. It was also a centre for emigration to America throughout the 1600s. Ipswich’s history is on display through its buildings including town centre medieval churches, the Ancient House, Christchurch Mansion, Isaac Lord merchant's house on the Waterfront and the timber-framed Unitarian Meeting House. A...Read morertist Thomas Gainsborough lived in the town in the 1750's, and John Constable was born a few miles away and visited Ipswich frequently to study and to paint. King Henry VIII's Chancellor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, was born in Ipswich. Wolsey's Gate, near the town's Waterfront, is remaining evidence of his time in the town. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Ipswich Waterfront is being transformed, and has new marinas, restaurants, bars and homes. This area was formerly a Victorian wet dock, opened in the 19th century. The town has the most significant collection of works by Constable and Gainsborough outside London. The collections are housed in Christchurch Mansion. University Campus Suffolk has its main hub in Ipswich, forming...Read more a big part of the town’s life. Ipswich Town Football Club is also an important element in the town’s identity. Read less

  • 3. Events

    The Ipswich Arts Festival, also known as Ip-art, is one of the main events on the town’s annual calendar. The festival celebrates film, music, literature and visual art. Foxhall International Raceway, just on the outskirts of Ipswich, is a Spedeworth track. Car racing takes place on Saturday evenings, some Sundays, bank holidays and the annual Spedeweekend in July. Regular c...Read morear boot sales are also held at the site. Regular football fixtures take place at Ipswich Town Football Club’s Portman Road Stadium. The Pulse Fringe Festival runs for two weeks in May and June. Events take place at the New Wolsey Theatre and other venues in the town. Harvest at Jimmy’s is a food and music festival at Jimmy’s Farm every September. Jimmy’s Doherty’s Farm, as seen on TV, is in Ipswich. Many other events also take place here throughout the year. Read less

  • 4. Attractions

    Jimmy’s Farm, as seen on TV, is in Pannington Hall Lane, Ipswich. It is a working farm and is open seven days a week. The farm also has a nature trail, woodland walk, gardens, farm shop, adventure play area and field kitchen. Christchurch Mansion is a fine Tudor manor house in the town centre surrounded by beautiful parkland. Period rooms show history from the 16th century t...Read moreo the 19th century. The building has collections of toys, games, porcelain and Constable paintings. Ipswich Museum has artefacts from all over the world and a Victorian Natural History Gallery containing a woolly mammoth and more. Ipswich Transport Museum is based in a former trolleybus depot and has everything from prams and cycles to horse-drawn carriages. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do

    Football fans can arrange a tour of Ipswich Town Football Club’s Portman Road Stadium and see parts of the ground that are usually off limits, including the dressing room. Cruises are available on the River Orwell aboard the Orwell Lady. These leave from the town’s Waterfront area. Orwell Country Park covers about 200 acres and offers visitors walks, wildlife and scenery....Read more Bus tours, walking tours and ghost tours are all available in the town centre. Read less

  • 6. Business

    The two modern shopping centres in the town are TowerRamparts and The Buttermarket. Tavern Street is known as the “golden mile” and contains many high street stores as well as local businesses and specialist shops. The Walk, St Peters Street and St Nicholas Street have boutiques, delicatessens, antiques shops, art shops and much more. Weekly markets are held in Cornhill in...Read more the town centre on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Farmers’ markets and continental markets are regularly held on Sundays. Read less

  • 7. Transport

    By car, the major trunk roads leading to Ipswich are the A12 from London and the South, and the A14 from the Midlands and the North. Trains travel to Ipswich from London’s Liverpool Street and take just over an hour. The main East Coast line (serving the North of England and Scotland) connects with an Ipswich service at Peterborough. The nearest airport to Ipswich is Stanst...Read moreed, which is 50 miles away. Coach and rail services are available. Read less

  • 8. Entertainment

    Eastern Angles is a touring theatre company from Ipswich. When in the town they perform from their base, the Sir John Mills Theatre. This theatre space is available for hire at other times. The Ipswich Regent and Corn Exchange has a varied programme of events throughout the year, including live music, dance, theatre and comedy. The New Wolsey Theatre is a 400-seat theatre off...Read moreering diverse and accessible work from touring companies and from its own performers. Read less

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    Ancient House is a Grade I listed building from the 15th century that sits in the town centre. It has impressive decorative plasterwork and carving, which was added in the 17th century. The Unitarian Meeting House is a Grade One listed building and is one of the finest surviving Dissenters' Meeting Houses in the country. The interior has many original features including the spy...Read morehole used to keep watch for attackers centuries ago and a decorated high pulpit. Read less

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    Many Ipswich Football Club players were in the 1981 film Escape to Victory, including John Wark, Russell Osman, Laurie Sivell Kevin O'Callaghan, Robin Turner Paul Cooper and Kevin Beattie.


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