Sitting at the head of the River Orwell, Suffolk's county town of Ipswich was once a busy port dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. It has since reinvented itself with its stylish waterfront development and marina.
Get your Christmas shopping all wrapped up
Shopping in East Anglia's Waterfront Town provides the discerning shopper with a vast array of global brands and individual bespoke items with its blend of national retailers and independent boutiques.
The Saints - St Peters and St Nicholas Street plays host to a cluster of interior design stores, fragrant flower stores, exquisite eateries and watering holes as well as tea rooms and designer boutiques.
Queen Street, a key link between national and independent chains is also home to a nationally acclaimed independent retailers with a deceptively small shop front hiding an enormous range of brands, including Superdry and Vivienne Westwood.
For national chains, head towards Westgate Street, Tavern Street and Buttermarket Street where Fat Face, Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Next, H&M, GAP, TopShop (and many other top names) provide you with a vast array of products.
On a Blue Badge walking tour of the town, you will see the town's medieval prosperity reflected in 12 beautiful churches and stunning Tudor architecture. Marvel at the richly decorated Ancient House with its pargetted plasterwork, and admire a 20th century Norman Foster masterpiece in gleaming black glass. Delve further into history at Ipswich Museum and Ipswich Transport Museum to reveal more about the town's enthralling past.
Ipswich has over 1000 acres of beautiful parkland including Christchurch Park stretching from the north of Ipswich's medieval walls, with its lavish Tudor mansion housing an important collection of Constable and Gainsborough paintings. Take a river cruise on the Orwell Lady and enjoy panoramic views from the top viewing deck. Former merchant's homes and a magnificent Victorian Old Custom House combine with Cranfield Mills' redevelopment, chic, ultramodern quayside apartments along the Waterfront.
At the heart of Ipswich's £70 million Waterfront development, DanceEast's Jerwood DanceHouse is the new regional hothouse for dance performance and participation. With some of the best dance facilities in Europe. Celebrate the rich variety of the arts growing in Ipswich today by taking in a show at one of four theatres boasting national and international reputations including: the New Wolsey Theatre, the Corn Exchange, the Regent Theatre, and the Sir John Mills Theatre.
Linger in quayside restaurants and pavement cafes such as Bistro on the Quay overlooking the subtle lights from the boat-studded marina or take afternoon tea at Arlingtons Brasserie, in the Grade 11 listed building that was the old Ipswich Museum in Museum Street.
For unlimited bus travel around Ipswich to get to all the attractions, buy a PLUSBUS ticket with your train ticket (at station or online). For details about Ipswich PLUSBUS click here.
It’s not every day you get to walk in the footsteps of two of the greatest artists the world has ever known. Constable painted his legendary ‘Haywain’ in the beautiful Dedham Vale and Gainsborough’s remarkable collection is displayed at the painter’s own birthplace in nearby Sudbury.
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