There is no doubt Ipswich is a fantastic place to live. There isn't a shortage of things to do- with a wealth of cultural heritage combined with excellent amenities, you are bound to enjoy a staycation on a daily basis. Imagine waking up to a magnificent, picturesque waterfront just a stone's throw from your doorstep, enjoying different cuisines as you please and having an abundance of retail outlets including independent shops and high street favourites on hand for retail therapy moments! Ipswich is definitely the place to ‘live large’ under reasonable budget unlike the big cities, such as London.
Here are 10 reasons why you should consider moving to Ipswich:
Are you a fan of history, all things ancient and rich cultural heritage? Get ready to be wowed by Ipswich’s over 650 listed buildings. The town is one of UK’s oldest settlements so it is home to some popular listed buildings such as the Ancient House and Christchurch Mansion. Both sites are popular tourist attractions, providing a valuable insight into the town's history. There are currently 7 active medieval churches in Ipswich and its suburbs. One of the most interesting of these is St Margaret; built in the 1300s. The exterior of the church is a sublime example of historical architecture and is certainly worth visiting. The oldest church in Ipswich is St Peters; built in the 1130s. It isn't in the best condition but its still standing(!) and it still manages to attract attention.
Enjoy A River Cruise
Sail down the River Orwell and savour the best views across the region! There are several river tour options to choose from which start from the marina at Ipswich waterfront. The scenery changes as you leave Ipswich- sail under the elegant Orwell bridge and drift peacefully along the river, passing the picturesque Shotley Peninsula. Tripadvisor distinguishes Sailing Barge Victor as the top pick of the bunch- a traditional rigged 19th century sailing boat equipped with modern facilities and popular amongst those looking for a relaxing experience, with a chance of bird watching. Another highly recommended cruise is by Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant, a more traditional cruise experience that comes with a hot meal. It’s packed with all you could wish for for a perfect day out.
Take A Stroll Through The Parks Of Ipswich
Ipswich has an abundance of beautiful parks both in the town itself and on the outskirts. They are sanctuaries for wildlife and perfect for taking a stroll along their footpaths and pretty lakes. Some offer beautiful views- Orwell Park on the banks of the River Orwell has stunning views along the river, while others hold events throughout the year. All of them offer a peaceful space for a few hours of relaxation. Christchurch, in particular, is the most popular green-space in the town, covering over 33 hectares on the centre of the town. It is also the oldest park in the area, having opened in 1895. It has some fantastic facilities including, a bowling green, a table tennis court, bandstand, a cafe and a children’s play area. Other popular parks include Bourne, Holywells Park, Chantry Park, Trinity Park Conference and Event Centre and Orwell Country Park.
If you are a fan of retail therapy, you will find your sanctuary in The Saints and Waterfront areas, where there is an abundance of independent shops and restaurants. The usual array of high street favourites can also be found in the town centre. Visit All About Ipswich for a comprehensive directory of all the shops Ipswich as to offer.
The Ipswich Maritime Festival
This is an annual festival that has been running since 2010 and it has become an extremely popular event with over 65,000 visitors. The event hosts numerous fun activities ranging from music and naval demonstration to some mouth-watering street food and games. The best thing about the festival is that it’s free. It’s a real treat bustling with fun colours and excitement that is worth experiencing.
Step Through History in Ipswich's Museums
With such a long and interesting history, it is no wonder Ipswich is home to several museums. The most popular of them is the Ipswich Transport Museum, which houses a collection of over 100 major transport and engineering objects used in the Ipswich area. The collection, which started about 50 years ago with just one bus, has grown into one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind looked after by dedicated volunteers. A strong attraction there is a large railway for children to control and play with. Another remarkable art scene is the Ipswich Museum, which offers a step back in time into early Ipswich and has a Victorian Natural History Gallery and a Geology Gallery. Yet another is the previously mentioned Christchurch Mansion.
Watch A Show At The Theatre
Living in Ipswich will provide you with some exceptional theatrical experiences. The town boasts numerous theatres, with the most popular venue being the New Wolsey Theatre. It was established in 1979 and can seat about 400 spectators. The largest in Ipswich is the Regent Theatre, with over 1,500 capacity, you can expect to see larger productions and live music in this venue. Other noteworthy performance and theatre include DanceEast and Red Rose Chain Theatre.
The Silver Screen
If you would rather opt for the big screen then Cineworld Ipswich is the place to be. It has 11 screens, with a total capacity of 500. The newer Empire Cinema is also a great option, having been ranked the highest in Ipswich on TripAdvisor. It offers the perfect balance of comfort and value for money. If you are more interested in niche flicks, then the Ipswich Film Theatre is for you!
Enjoy The Great Outdoors
You can enjoy the great outdoors with a beautiful walk within Ipswich, along the waterfront or savour other spectacular walks in Suffolk. Priestly Wood is considered to be one of the best examples of an ancient woodland in the UK. The region has a magnificent array of different flora and fauna. Another interesting walk is Rendlesham Forest- a 1,500 acre of woodland which is home to the UFO trail and synonymous with the 1980 UFO sighting. You can relive the incident with the help of very detailed information boards scattered along the walk. There are other regular guided walks within Ipswich that take place from May to September, and there are seasonal (Halloween, Christmas and afternoon tea) walks at other times of the year too.
The Famous Ipswich Waterfront
The vibrant waterfront is a buzzing mix of cafes, restaurants, luxury apartments, the impressive Suffolk University building and The Salthouse boutique hotel. It has emerged as the beating heart of the town. Evenings here are magical with the yachts bobbing gently on the water and live music blaring out from nearby bars.
You can find out everything you need to know about renting, and moving out for the first time in our free guide, where we explain the key things you need to be aware of before, during and after the rental application process - you can find the whole guide here!