You might be wondering where this Ipswich place is. It is a large port town in the East of England. This area is usually known as East Anglia and Ipswich is one of the oldest towns in England.  You might also be wondering why I chose this town to move into. It was very much a stroke of luck. I moved to the UK for love almost 3 years ago. When visiting Ipswich by chance one day, I fell in love with the town streets and corners, the closeness to the seaside, and the River Orwell. 

Through these years, it has been amazing to discover the multicultural environment that is Ipswich. For such a “small” area it is remarkable how diverse Ipswich is. I have been loving this area and I would like to take you along with me on a one-day adventure through Ipswich. We have 24 hours to discover the secrets of this port town, come with me and have some fun. 

Meeting Point: Ipswich Station

First, we should meet at the station. It is connected to London and Cambridge and makes it an easy stop for connecting train lines. From there, I will take you to our first stop of the day.

1. Norwich Road

Along Norwich Road, you can find a mix of cultures and nationalities that work together every day to bring change and novelty to Ipswich.  I can recommend the Bicafe (Portuguese Cafe) which offers you fancy good coffee and Portuguese pastries.

On the other hand, if you want to have a taste of Turkey you can have a meal at Ararat, where you can find delicious Turkish meals at a very reasonable price. Also, you can find lots of small Eastern European supermarkets that can help you discover these countries without leaving town. I absolutely love to go to Bicafe for breakfast. It is a way to taste a bit of Portugal first thing in the morning. 

After breakfast, we can cross the road and have a quick stop at the Hive. It is a new community center that aims to bring access to culture and arts to Ipswich. They always have a cool gig or an impromptu gallery with art from local artists.   

2. Christchurch Park

Our second stop is not far from Norwich Road. Probably a 15-minute walk and we reach. Christchurch Park is located at the heart of Ipswich and has easy access to most areas of town.  I love coming to this park since it is very close to where I live. Besides, you can have a lovely time walking around, or have a picnic during the summer. Besides, if you are lucky enough you may even be able to see Matilda, our resident Tawny Owl. 

While at the park we can take some time to visit Christchurch Mansion. It is a house is from the Tudor time with a whopping 500 years of History. The Mansion also works as a museum and has various collections and exhibitions that we can visit during the whole year. 

Christchurch Park – Image by Ana Marques
Christchurch Mansion Image by Ana Marques

3. Town Center

After visiting the park and the mansion, we have a short walk until we reach the Town Center.  It is usually busy with people and it’s famous for its shopping areas. The Town Hall building is beautiful and on occasion, we can find interesting exhibitions there.  We can stop at the Buttermarket and have some lunch in one of the many restaurants. 

Ipswich has a lot of variety in terms of restaurants, so we can “travel” almost anywhere depending on the place we choose. Do you fancy curry? We can go to Zaika. Do you want Japanese? We can stop at Takayama. Today you want Portuguese? Let’s go to Papaki.  Now that our bellies are full, we can continue our Ipswich adventure through The Walk and in the direction of the Marina. 

Town Center – Image by Ana Marques
Town Center – Image by Ana Marques

4. Ipswich Marina

The Walk is a path through two historical buildings with small shops and cafes. When you go through it, it’s almost like you went back in time. On the other hand, when getting to the Marina, you will get into a modern-looking area with new buildings, the University, and lots of fancy yachts.

It is great for a walk along the pedestrian area and also for a night out since a lot of the Ipswich nightclubs are also in this area. I really enjoy walking around here and stopping for a coffee at Paddy & Scott’s Ambition House or The Cult Cafe. 

Marina – Image by Ana Marques

Walking by the Marina – Image by Ana Marques

5. Escape Ipswich

Our last stop of the day is at Escape Ipswich. This is an Escape Room chain that has a presence in Ipswich. They have 6 different rooms that we can choose to Escape. If you are a beginner, we can do the Da Vinci Room, an “easier” room that focuses on codes-breaking, symbolism, and association problems. If you are very experienced in these games we can go for the Locked Inn where we need to release the owners of the Inn from the Unicorn Curse. 

Escape Rooms are great for team building and great fun that helps you learn to work together as a team. They usually have a time limit of 60 minutes for you to Escape. Will we be able to do it? 

This will conclude our day in Ipswich, but don’t think that’s all Ipswich and Suffolk have to offer.  There are plenty of sites to discover in Woodbridge, Framlingham, or up to the coast side in Felixstowe, Orford, and Aldeburgh. 

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of SPEAK

Author:Ana Reis

Ana is the founder of SPEAK Ipswich. She has lived in many small towns around the world. Including in Poland, Romania and China. She is a travel addict and loves to explore the hidden gems in small towns.

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