11 Best Things to Do in Ipswich
28th April 2023

11 Best Things to Do in Ipswich

Are you moving to Ipswich and looking for some of the best things to do in the area?

Look no further!

Ipswich is a charming town in Suffolk, with a rich history and a range of activities on offer.

Regardless of whether you’re interested in exploring the local culture, enjoying nature, or indulging in some delicious food and drinks, Ipswich has something for everyone.

In this article, we explore 11 of the best activities the town has on offer.

You will surely find something to suit you in Ipswich, no matter your interests!


Ipswich, located on the estuary of the River Orwell, has a rich history.

The Saxons founded the town in the 7th century and it has been a crucial port for the region since.

Today, it is a vibrant and modern town that offers an abundance of attractions for locals and visitors alike.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best things to do in Ipswich, including historical landmarks, natural attractions, and some of the best food and drink available in the area.

Visit Ipswich Waterfront

Ipswich Waterfront
Ipswich Waterfront. Image credit: Depositphotos

The Waterfront is a bustling area with many restaurants, bars, and shops.

You can enjoy a stroll along the quayside and watch the boats go by, or visit the historic Old Custom House.

This vibrant location is the perfect spot to enjoy a warm summer’s evening for locals and tourists alike.

Explore Christchurch Mansion

Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich
Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich. Image credit: Wikipedia

This beautiful Tudor mansion is a must-visit for history buffs.

Christchurch Mansion was originally built in 1548 by Edmund Withipoll, a wealthy merchant and MP for Ipswich.

Over the centuries, the mansion has been owned by a number of prominent families, including the de la Pole family and the Cobbold family, who were famous for their brewing business in Ipswich.

Christchurch Mansion is home to a range of exhibitions and displays that showcase the history and culture of Ipswich and the wider region.

Some of the location’s highlights include:

  • The Ipswich Art Gallery: The art gallery at Christchurch Mansion features a range of works by local artists, as well as pieces by nationally and internationally renowned artists.
  • The Wolsey Art Gallery: This gallery is named after the famous Cardinal Wolsey, who was born in Ipswich in the 15th century. The gallery features a range of paintings and decorative artwork from the Tudor period.
  • The Victorian Kitchen: The mansion’s Victorian Kitchen has been restored to its former glory, complete with authentic cookware and utensils.
  • The Red Room: This room features a collection of fine art, including paintings by renowned artists including Gainsborough, Constable, and Reynolds!

Ipswich Museum

The Ipswich Museum was established in 1846. The museum has developed and grown from its small beginnings, and it now contains a collection of more than 100,000 items.

The museum has exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to the history of Ipswich.

Some of the most popular exhibits include:

  • Woolly mammoth skull: This impressive specimen is one of the most popular exhibits at the museum. It dates back to the last Ice Age and was found in Suffolk.
  • Egyptian mummy: The museum has a mummy that dates back to the 22nd dynasty of Ancient Egypt. Visitors can see the mummy and learn about the rituals and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians.
  • Roman Britain: Ipswich was an important Roman town, and the museum has a collection of artefacts from this period, including coins, pottery, and jewellery.
  • Local history: The museum also has exhibits about the history of Ipswich, including the town’s maritime heritage and its role in the English Civil War.

Take a tour of Ipswich Town Football Club

If you’re a football fan, you won’t want to miss a tour of the Ipswich Town Football Club.

Ipswich Town Football Club has a long history and was established in 1878.

The team has won one FA Cup, one UEFA Cup, and one former First Division championship. The team currently competes in English Football League One, the third division in the sport.

The stadium tours at Portman Road offer visitors a chance to see behind the scenes of the football club and learn about its history.

You can see the stadium, the trophy room, and even the players’ dressing rooms.

A stadium tour of the Ipswich Town Football Club’s Portman Road stadium is a great way to experience the excitement and history of this famous club.

Visit the Ipswich Transport Museum

Ipswich Transport Museum
Ipswich Transport Museum. Image credit: Wikipedia

The Ipswich Transport Museum, which was established in 1965, is run entirely by volunteers and celebrates the town’s transportation history.

The museum’s collection includes over 100 vehicles, ranging from bicycles and motorbikes to buses and fire engines.

In addition to the vehicles themselves, the museum also has a collection of transport-related artefacts, such as petrol pumps, road signs, and license plates.

It’s a great place to learn about the history of transportation in Ipswich.

Enjoy a Pint or Some Food

Ipswich is home to a host of traditional pubs where you can enjoy a pint of local beer and some good food.

The Lord Nelson and The Fat Cat are both popular choices with locals and are well worth considering if you are nearby.

For some of the best restaurants in the area be sure to check out Tripadvisor’s top 10 list.

Go Shopping at Sailmakers Shopping Centre

The Sailmakers Shopping Centre opened in 1981 and has undergone several renovations over the years to keep up with changing shopping trends.

Today, the centre is home to over 50 retail stores, including major brands such as Primark, H&M, Boots, and New Look.

In addition to shopping, the centre also offers a variety of dining options, including cafes, restaurants, and popular fast-food outlets.

With its central location and good transport links, it’s the perfect place to visit for locals and tourists alike!

Explore the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Oystercatcher with Chick
Oystercatcher with Chick. Image credit: Depositphotos

The Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a stunning stretch of coastline and countryside in the east of England.

The area covers over 150 square miles and includes a variety of habitats, including salt marshes, shingle beaches as well as heathland and woodland.

This region also includes the Suffolk Coast Path, a 60-mile long-distance walking trail running from Felixstowe in the south to Lowestoft in the north.

The path provides stunning views of the coastline, as well as access to many of the area’s beaches, nature reserves, and historic sites.

This AONB is easily accessible by car, train, or bus, with many towns and villages located within the area.

There are also plenty of campsites, holiday parks, and B&Bs throughout the region.

This makes it the perfect spot for those who wish to stay overnight (if you don’t already live in the area).

Be sure to explore this wonderful region when in Ipswich!

Attend a Performance at the New Wolsey Theatre

New Wolsey Theatre
New Wolsey Theatre. Image credit: Wikipedia

The New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich is a popular theatre located in the heart of the town.

It is a vibrant and modern theatre that produces a diverse range of productions, including drama, comedy, musicals, and family productions.

The theatre has two performance spaces, the main theatre and the Studio.

Both of these spaces offer excellent facilities and state-of-the-art equipment.

The theatre also has a strong commitment to accessibility, with a range of services and facilities available for disabled visitors.

It also has a reputation for supporting new and emerging talent!

Its annual Pulse Festival showcases the work of up-and-coming artists from across the UK.

The New Wolsey Theatre is easily accessible by car, train, or bus, and there is plenty of parking available nearby.

The theatre also has a bar and restaurant, as well as a range of pre-show dining options to enjoy.

Tickets for productions at the theatre can be purchased online or at the box office so if you are in the area be sure to check what is on!

Historical Landmarks to Visit in Ipswich

Ipswich has an extremely rich history meaning there are plenty of historical landmarks to explore in and around the town.

History buffs living in the area are sure to love some of the locations on offer!

Here are some of the best options:

  • Ancient House: This beautiful Tudor building dates back to the 15th century and is now a fascinating museum.
  • St. Mary-le-Tower Church: This stunning church has been a landmark in Ipswich since the 15th century.
  • Ipswich Castle: This medieval castle was built in the 12th century and is now a popular tourist attraction.
  • St. Lawrence Church: This 15th-century church is known for its impressive stained glass windows and is a great spot for history lovers.

Best Spots For Nature Lovers

Ipswich is also home to some beautiful outdoor spaces.

Living in the area ensures you have access to a range of amazing locations sure to appeal to all of your nature lovers out there.

Here are a few to check out:

  • Orwell Country Park: This park has beautiful views of the River Orwell and is a great place for a picnic or a walk.
  • Alton Water: This man-made lake is a popular spot for fishing, sailing, and windsurfing.
  • Ipswich Arboretum: This peaceful park has a variety of trees and plants from around the world, making it a great place for a relaxing stroll.
  • Rendlesham Forest: This beautiful forest is located just outside Ipswich and is a great place for a hike or a bike ride.