Ipswich, Suffolk’s county town and the jewel in Suffolk’s crown is a glorious Waterfront town and can be considered widely as the Culture Capital of the region. Here’s our 10 best places to visit in Ipswich all year round:
Ipswich Regent Theatre
The Ipswich Regent has been part of Ipswich for many years and celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2019. Many famous acts have performed on the Regent’s stage in its 90-year history. Now you will find a variety of shows coming to the Regent throughout the year, including top stand-up comedians, Strictly professionals, pop stars and West End musicals. 2020 is an exciting year for the Regent, with iconic musical ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ coming to Ipswich in March and much more.
Ipswich Corn Exchange
The Corn Exchange is a historic building located right in the centre of Ipswich. Both local and touring shows perform at the venue, and it also hosts events such as Christmas parties. You’ll find classical concerts, sport, comedy, music and more coming to the Ipswich Corn Exchange.
Discover history, wildlife and more across the two floors of this historic Victorian building. Travel through Ancient Egypt in Suffolk’s only Egyptology gallery, stand eye-to-beak with an eagle in the Ogilvie British Bird Gallery or marvel at ship models reflecting Ipswich’s maritime past. Plus, meet family favourites the giraffe and Rosie the Rhino. Events for all ages are held regularly at the museum, including family activities during the school holidays.
From intriguing toys in the Victorian nursey to paintings by renowned Suffolk artists Gainsborough and Constable, there is lots to see in this magnificent Tudor mansion. Discover furniture, ceramics and more, all displayed in atmospheric period rooms. Christchurch Mansion is situated in the stunning surroundings of Christchurch Park and also hosts major temporary exhibitions.
Christchurch Park & Holywells Park
Christchurch Park was the first public park in Ipswich, opening in 1895. Located right in the heart of the town, it’s the perfect place to take a stroll. Christchurch Park plays host to many of Ipswich’s biggest events, including Ipswich Music Day, which will this year celebrate 30 years of providing a platform for upcoming artists.
Holywells Park is a beautiful open space to visit with stunning trees and ponds, as well as being a wildlife hotspot in Ipswich. There is also a children’s play area, gym equipment, walled garden, visitor centre and café.
This iconic area is what makes Ipswich ‘East Anglia’s Waterfront Town’. This vibrant area of the town is alive with restaurants, cafes, bars and home to the University of Suffolk, all perched on the water’s edge. A great place day and night; watch world-class contemporary dance and performance at DanceEast, relax on a river cruise down the Orwell River or enjoy the nightlife with drinks and live music.
Ipswich Transport Museum
With a fabulous collection of transport and engineering objects relating to Ipswich and the surrounding area, the Ipswich Transport Museum has preserved over 100 buses, lorries, bikes, cranes, carriages and more for more than 50 years. The Museum also has a large model railway for children to control and play with, a gift shop and their Sunbeam Tea room.
New Wolsey Theatre
New Wolsey Theatre is a 400-seat theatre and production company with a dynamic programme of drama, comedy, contemporary theatre and, of course, their famous panto! The theatre is nationally renowned for the quality and diversity of its shows, with a reputation for their musicals. Often employing actor-musicians, the New Wolsey is a leading player in the development of new musicals in the UK along with regularly staging world premieres.
The Ancient House
Also known as Sparrowe’s House, The Ancient House is a Grade 1 listed building dating from the 14th Century that was owned by a string of local merchants throughout the 15th and 16th Centuries. The decorative plasterwork and carving on the outside of the building was added in the 17th Century and is one of the finest examples in the UK. The interior still has many of the original features including the staircases, paintings and secret courtyard!
The Giles Statue
One of the most popular landmarks in Ipswich, the Giles Statue depicts the ‘Giles Family’, famous cartoon characters created by Ipswich-based cartoonist Carl Giles. Also known as the ‘Grandma Statue’ the landmark features the infamous Grandma character, the naught twins Lawrence and Ralph, Rush the dog and the oldest sister Vera. The statue is positioned so that Grandma is looking up at the studio window of where Giles used to create his cartoons for Daily Express and Sunday Express, above what is now a Costa Coffee shop.
Compiled by Ipswich Borough Council and All About Ipswich. Visit allaboutipswich.com to find out more and plan your visit!