15 Best Things To Do In Ipswich, England

15 Best Things To Do In Ipswich, England

By will

When it comes to exploring the charm and history of England, Ipswich is a hidden gem that should not be overlooked.

From its picturesque waterfront to its fascinating museums and historic landmarks, there are plenty of things to do and see in this vibrant town.

As a local resident of Ipswich, I have had the pleasure of immersing myself in its rich culture and heritage, and I can confidently say that there is something for everyone here.

One of the first places I recommend visiting is the Ipswich Waterfront. With its vibrant atmosphere, stunning views of the River Orwell, and a plethora of restaurants and bars, it is the perfect spot to relax and soak in the beauty of the town.

Whether you choose to take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront or hop on a boat tour to explore the river, the Ipswich Waterfront offers a unique and memorable experience.

Another must-visit attraction in Ipswich is the Ipswich Museum. With its diverse collection of art and artifacts, including ancient Egyptian mummies and local archaeological finds, it offers a fascinating insight into the town’s history.

From exploring the Ipswich Old Town to taking a tour of the magnificent Christchurch Mansion, there are endless opportunities to discover Ipswich’s rich heritage.

So, whether you are a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Ipswich has something to offer for everyone.

Explore the Ipswich Waterfront

Ipswich Waterfront
Photo by David Smith

Get ready to be mesmerized as you explore the charming Ipswich Waterfront!

As soon as you set foot in this vibrant area, you’ll be captivated by its picturesque scenery and lively atmosphere.

The waterfront is lined with beautifully restored buildings, bustling cafes, and quaint shops, making it the perfect place to spend a leisurely day.

One of the highlights of the Ipswich Waterfront is the marina, where you can see a variety of boats and yachts docked along the river. It’s a sight to behold, especially during the summer months when the marina comes alive with activity.

Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade and you’ll come across a wide range of restaurants and bars offering delicious food and refreshing drinks. Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, international cuisine, or traditional English fare, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds.

In addition to the dining and shopping opportunities, the Ipswich Waterfront is also home to several cultural attractions. The waterfront is dotted with art galleries and museums, offering a glimpse into the rich history and heritage of the area.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Ipswich Museum, which houses a fascinating collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Ipswich through the ages.

The Ipswich Waterfront truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or simply someone who appreciates beautiful surroundings, this area will not disappoint.

So grab your camera and get ready to explore all that the Ipswich Waterfront has to offer!

Visit the Ipswich Museum

Ipswich Museum
Photo by Oxyman

Immerse yourself in the rich history and captivating exhibits at the Ipswich Museum, where you’ll discover a world of wonder and inspiration.

As I step through the museum’s grand entrance, I’m immediately drawn to the impressive collection of artifacts that spans thousands of years. From ancient Egyptian mummies to intricate Anglo-Saxon jewelry, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.

One of the highlights of the Ipswich Museum is the Natural History Gallery, which houses a remarkable variety of specimens from around the world. As I wander through the exhibits, I’m surrounded by towering dinosaur skeletons, vibrant tropical butterflies, and intricately preserved fossils. The museum’s knowledgeable staff are always on hand to provide insightful information and answer any questions, making the experience even more enjoyable.

In addition to the stunning displays, the Ipswich Museum also offers a range of interactive activities for visitors of all ages. From hands-on workshops to guided tours, there are plenty of opportunities to engage with the exhibits and delve deeper into the stories they tell.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the world around you, a visit to the Ipswich Museum is sure to leave you with a newfound appreciation for the wonders of the past.

Take a tour of Christchurch Mansion

Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich
Photo by Humphrey Bolton

Discover the breathtaking beauty and hidden treasures of Christchurch Mansion as you embark on a captivating tour through its magnificent halls and enchanting gardens.

As you step inside the mansion, you’ll be transported back in time to a world of elegance and grandeur. The stunning architecture and exquisite furnishings will leave you in awe, while the knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into the history of the mansion.

As you explore the halls, you’ll come across rooms filled with priceless artworks, including works by famous artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable. The mansion also houses a collection of beautiful ceramics, silverware, and textiles, giving you a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the past.

Each room tells a story, from the opulent dining room to the cozy library, and you’ll be captivated by the tales of the people who once lived within these walls.

Outside, the mansion boasts enchanting gardens that are perfect for a leisurely stroll. The meticulously manicured lawns, vibrant flowerbeds, and peaceful ponds create a tranquil oasis in the heart of Ipswich. Take a moment to sit on one of the benches and soak in the beauty of your surroundings.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply appreciate the splendor of a bygone era, a tour of Christchurch Mansion is a must-do when visiting Ipswich. Prepare to be transported to a world of elegance and charm as you uncover the hidden treasures of this magnificent mansion.

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Discover the historic Ipswich Town Hall

Step inside the majestic Ipswich Town Hall and be transported to a bygone era, where the echoes of history and the grandeur of the past will leave you awe-struck. Built in the mid-19th century, this iconic landmark stands as a testament to the architectural brilliance of its time.

As you enter the town hall, the ornate Victorian interior greets you with its intricate woodwork, stained glass windows, and beautifully decorated ceilings. The sense of history is palpable as you walk through the grand hallways, imagining the important meetings and events that have taken place within these walls.

The Ipswich Town Hall also houses a fascinating museum that showcases the town’s rich history and heritage. Here, you can explore exhibits that highlight the town’s maritime past, its role in the wool trade, and its connections to famous figures such as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

The museum offers a glimpse into the lives of the people who shaped Ipswich and the pivotal moments that have shaped its identity. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the town’s past, a visit to the Ipswich Town Hall is a must-do when exploring this charming English town.

Wander through Christchurch Park

Take a leisurely stroll through Christchurch Park and experience the tranquil beauty of this picturesque oasis in the heart of Ipswich. As I entered the park, I was immediately struck by the lush greenery and the vibrant colors of the flowers in bloom.

The park is a haven for nature lovers, with its well-maintained pathways that wind through the grounds, inviting visitors to explore at their own pace. As I wandered further into the park, I came across the stunning Christchurch Mansion. This magnificent Tudor-style mansion is a true architectural gem and is now home to the Ipswich Museum. Inside, I was fascinated by the extensive collection of art and historical artifacts, providing a captivating glimpse into the town’s rich heritage.

The park also offers several attractions for families and children. There is a playground with swings, slides, and climbing frames, providing endless entertainment for the little ones. Additionally, the park features a boating lake, where visitors can hire rowing boats and enjoy a peaceful glide across the water.

One of the highlights of my stroll through Christchurch Park was the peaceful atmosphere. Despite being located in the heart of Ipswich, the park offers a sense of tranquility and escape from the hustle and bustle of the town. The well-manicured gardens and the serene lake create the perfect setting for a relaxing afternoon picnic or a quiet moment of reflection.

Overall, a visit to Christchurch Park is a must for anyone looking to escape the city and immerse themselves in nature’s beauty. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or simply enjoying a peaceful walk, this picturesque oasis has something for everyone. So, grab your walking shoes and take a leisurely stroll through Christchurch Park – you won’t be disappointed.

Attend a performance at the New Wolsey Theatre

While exploring Ipswich, don’t miss the chance to catch a performance at the New Wolsey Theatre. This vibrant and contemporary theater is a cultural gem in the heart of the city.

As soon as you step inside, you’ll be captivated by the cozy and intimate atmosphere that makes every performance feel special.

The New Wolsey Theatre offers a diverse range of shows, from classic plays to innovative new productions. Whether you’re a fan of drama, comedy, or musicals, there’s something for everyone here.

The talented actors and performers bring each show to life with their incredible talent, leaving the audience mesmerized and entertained. The theater also hosts workshops and events, allowing visitors to get a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process.

Don’t forget to check the schedule and book your tickets in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience. The New Wolsey Theatre is a must-visit destination for theater lovers and anyone looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant arts scene of Ipswich.

Shop at the Ipswich Market

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Ipswich Market as you stroll through the bustling stalls, filled with a colorful array of fresh produce, unique crafts, and delicious street food.

The market is a true gem in the heart of Ipswich, offering a diverse range of goods and a lively atmosphere that is sure to captivate your senses. As you browse the stalls, you’ll find everything from locally grown fruits and vegetables to handmade jewelry and artwork.

The market is a haven for food lovers, with vendors offering a variety of international cuisines, from mouthwatering Thai curries to piping hot pies and pastries. You can grab a quick bite to eat or sit down at one of the outdoor seating areas and enjoy your meal while soaking up the vibrant ambiance.

Not only is the Ipswich Market a great place to shop for unique and locally made goods, but it also provides a wonderful opportunity to support local businesses and artisans. Many of the stallholders are passionate individuals who’ve put their heart and soul into creating their products, and they’re always happy to share their stories and expertise with visitors.

Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift or simply want to indulge in some retail therapy, the market is a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere makes it a joy to explore, and you may even stumble upon some unexpected surprises along the way.

So, why not spend a sunny afternoon wandering through the vibrant stalls of Ipswich Market and experience the true essence of this charming town?

Enjoy a picnic at Holywells Park

After a satisfying shopping experience at the Ipswich Market, I highly recommend taking a break and enjoying a delightful picnic at Holywells Park. This charming park is the perfect spot to relax, unwind, and indulge in some delicious food amidst the beautiful surroundings.

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As you enter Holywells Park, you’ll be greeted by lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and towering trees that create a tranquil atmosphere. The park boasts sprawling lawns, picturesque gardens, and a serene lake, providing a peaceful setting for your picnic.

Find a cozy spot under the shade of a tree or spread out on the grassy expanse, and take in the beauty of your surroundings. While you enjoy your meal, you can watch as families play games, children run around, and ducks swim gracefully in the lake.

The park is also home to a charming walled garden, where you can explore a variety of plants and flowers in bloom. After your picnic, take a leisurely stroll along the park’s winding paths, and discover hidden treasures like the historical orangery and the stunning Victorian conservatory.

Holywells Park truly offers a peaceful and idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing picnic.

Take a boat trip along the River Orwell

To fully experience the beauty of the River Orwell, why not hop aboard a boat and enjoy a leisurely trip along its tranquil waters? As I embarked on the boat trip, I couldn’t help but marvel at the stunning scenery that unfolded before my eyes.

The gentle ripples of the water, the lush greenery along the riverbanks, and the occasional glimpse of wildlife all contributed to the serene ambiance of the journey.

As the boat glided along, the knowledgeable guide pointed out various landmarks and shared fascinating historical tidbits about the area. I learned that the River Orwell has played a significant role in the town’s history, serving as a vital trade route and a source of inspiration for many writers and artists.

The guide’s captivating storytelling made the trip not only visually captivating but also intellectually enriching.

The boat trip along the River Orwell was a truly delightful experience. It provided a unique perspective of Ipswich and allowed me to appreciate the town’s natural beauty in a whole new way.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, I highly recommend taking a boat trip along the River Orwell for an unforgettable adventure.

Explore the Ipswich Transport Museum

Hop on over to the Ipswich Transport Museum and dive into a world of vintage vehicles and fascinating history. As you step inside the museum, you’re immediately transported back in time.

The museum showcases an impressive collection of over 100 vehicles, ranging from bicycles and motorcycles to buses and fire engines. Each vehicle is meticulously restored and tells a unique story of Ipswich’s transportation history.

One of the highlights of the museum is the chance to see and even climb aboard some of the iconic vehicles. Imagine yourself sitting behind the wheel of a 1920s steam-powered fire engine or riding a vintage double-decker bus. The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to provide interesting facts and insights about the vehicles and their historical significance.

But it’s not just the vehicles that make the Ipswich Transport Museum a must-visit attraction. The museum also houses a fascinating collection of artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that bring Ipswich’s transport history to life.

Learn about the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the town’s transportation infrastructure or discover how Ipswich played a vital role in the development of the railway network. Whether you’re a transport enthusiast or simply curious about the history of Ipswich, a visit to the Ipswich Transport Museum is sure to be a captivating experience.

Visit the Ipswich Art Gallery

Step inside the Ipswich Art Gallery and immerse yourself in a world of captivating artwork and cultural exploration. The gallery is a haven for art enthusiasts, with its diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and installations.

As you wander through the gallery’s spacious rooms, you’ll encounter masterpieces from both local and international artists, each showcasing their unique perspective and creative expression. From vibrant landscapes to thought-provoking abstract pieces, there is something to inspire and delight every visitor.

One of the highlights of the Ipswich Art Gallery is its ever-changing exhibitions, which offer a fresh and exciting experience with each visit. Whether you’re interested in contemporary art or classical works, you’ll find a wide range of styles and mediums on display.

The gallery also hosts regular events and workshops, providing opportunities to engage with the art community and deepen your understanding of different artistic techniques. As you explore the gallery, take the time to read the informative plaques and descriptions accompanying each artwork, allowing you to gain insight into the artist’s inspiration and creative process.

The Ipswich Art Gallery is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a culturally enriching experience in Ipswich.

Take a walk along the Ipswich Old Town

As I stroll along the streets of Ipswich Old Town, I’m instantly transported back in time. I’m immersing myself in the rich history and charm of this quaint neighborhood.

The cobblestone streets, timber-framed buildings, and narrow alleyways all contribute to the unique atmosphere of this historic area. Each step I take reveals a new sight or hidden gem. From the stunning medieval churches to the picturesque Tudor houses, it’s like walking through a living museum. Every corner holds a piece of the past waiting to be discovered.

One of the highlights of my walk through Ipswich Old Town is exploring the vibrant market square. Here, local vendors set up stalls selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. The lively atmosphere is infectious. The sounds of chatter and laughter fill the air. I can’t resist stopping by the traditional tea rooms for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. I indulge in a well-deserved break while taking in the bustling scene around me.

As I continue my stroll, I come across charming independent shops, art galleries, and antique stores that line the streets. It’s a shopper’s paradise. Unique treasures are waiting to be found at every turn. The friendly shop owners are always ready to share stories and recommendations, adding a personal touch to my experience.

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Walking through Ipswich Old Town is not just a journey through time, but also an opportunity to appreciate the present. The mix of historical architecture and modern amenities creates a harmonious blend that’s truly captivating. I can’t help but feel grateful for the chance to experience this hidden gem and soak in the beauty of Ipswich’s past and present.

Discover the Ipswich Regent Theatre

After enjoying a leisurely walk along the charming streets of Ipswich Old Town, I couldn’t wait to discover the next gem this town had to offer. My curiosity led me to the Ipswich Regent Theatre, a true cultural hub in the heart of the city.

Stepping inside, I was immediately captivated by the grandeur of the theater’s architecture and the vibrant atmosphere that filled the space.

The Ipswich Regent Theatre is a true treat for both locals and visitors alike. With its rich history dating back to the 1920s, this iconic venue has hosted a wide range of performances, from West End musicals to comedy shows and live music concerts.

As I settled into my seat, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of anticipation for the show that was about to unfold before me. The stage came alive with dazzling lights and the sound of talented performers, transporting me to a world of entertainment and wonder.

Whether you’re a fan of theater, music, or comedy, the Ipswich Regent Theatre offers a diverse program that caters to all tastes and interests.

Not only does the Ipswich Regent Theatre provide exceptional entertainment, but it also serves as a cultural hub that brings the community together. It offers a platform for local talent to shine, providing opportunities for aspiring actors, musicians, and performers to showcase their skills.

The theater also plays an active role in supporting and promoting arts education, with workshops and events designed to inspire and nurture creativity in individuals of all ages.

As I left the theater, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the incredible experience I had just witnessed. The Ipswich Regent Theatre truly is a hidden gem that should not be missed when exploring the vibrant city of Ipswich.

Explore the Ipswich Maritime Trust Museum

Immerse yourself in Ipswich’s rich maritime history at the Ipswich Maritime Trust Museum. As you step into this captivating museum, you’re instantly transported back in time to a bustling port town.

The museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits that bring to life the stories of Ipswich’s maritime past.

One of the highlights of the museum is the impressive display of model ships, each intricately crafted to depict different eras of Ipswich’s maritime history. From the majestic sailing ships of the 19th century to the sleek steamships of the early 20th century, these models provide a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of maritime technology. You can’t help but be amazed by the level of detail and craftsmanship that went into creating these miniature works of art.

Another must-see exhibit at the Ipswich Maritime Trust Museum is the recreated captain’s cabin. Step inside and experience what life was like for the captains who sailed the seas from Ipswich. The cabin is filled with authentic period furniture and personal belongings, giving you a sense of the challenges and comforts that these seafaring adventurers experienced during their journeys.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about Ipswich’s maritime heritage, a visit to the Ipswich Maritime Trust Museum is a must. It’s an opportunity to learn, explore, and appreciate the significant role that Ipswich played in the maritime world.

So, come and delve into the captivating stories of the sea, and let the Ipswich Maritime Trust Museum transport you to a bygone era of adventure and discovery.

Visit the Ipswich Tourist Information Centre

After exploring the fascinating Ipswich Maritime Trust Museum, I decided to head over to the Ipswich Tourist Information Centre to gather more information about this charming town.

As I walked through the doors, I was greeted by friendly staff who were eager to assist me with any questions I had.

The centre was filled with brochures, maps, and displays showcasing the best attractions and activities Ipswich had to offer.

The Ipswich Tourist Information Centre proved to be a valuable resource, providing me with a wealth of information about the town’s rich history and vibrant culture.

The staff recommended various guided tours that would allow me to delve deeper into Ipswich’s past, from its medieval architecture to its famous landmarks.

They also provided me with suggestions for local events and festivals, ensuring that I wouldn’t miss out on any of the town’s lively atmosphere.

With their help, I was able to plan my itinerary and make the most of my time in Ipswich.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply looking to explore a new destination, a visit to the Ipswich Tourist Information Centre is a must when in town.


In conclusion, my visit to Ipswich, England was nothing short of amazing. From exploring the Ipswich Waterfront and taking in the stunning views, to delving into the rich history at the Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion, there was never a dull moment.

I was captivated by the beauty and charm of the Ipswich Old Town, with its cobblestone streets and medieval architecture. One of the highlights of my trip was attending a performance at the Ipswich Regent Theatre. The grandeur of the venue and the incredible talent on display left me in awe.

And let’s not forget about Christchurch Park, a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. Taking a leisurely stroll through its lush gardens and serene lakes was the perfect way to unwind and recharge. I also had the opportunity to learn about Ipswich’s maritime history at the Ipswich Maritime Trust Museum. The exhibits were fascinating, shedding light on the city’s seafaring past.

And when I needed any information or guidance, the Ipswich Tourist Information Centre was always there to assist me, providing invaluable advice and recommendations. Overall, my time in Ipswich was filled with memorable experiences and a deep appreciation for the city’s heritage. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a delightful getaway, Ipswich has something for everyone.

I can’t wait to return and discover even more of this charming town.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.