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Day trip to Ipswich or??

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Day trip to Ipswich or??

Are there interesting things to do in Ipswich on a Sunday day trip up from London? I like architecture, walking around a historic or natural area, going for tea, etc. Would it be better to suggest somewhere else to meet a friend who will be in Ipswich for the weekend? I'll need to get there by train/bus, though once I meet my friend, he will probably have access to a car. I'll be on vacation from N. America, and will only have a few days in London, so I do want to make the most of it if I leave London for the day.


Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Day trip to Ipswich or??

Ipswich is OK and has some old parts, but nothing that would fill the guidebooks. It's very easy to get to from London though - fast trains from Liverpool St Station make the journey in less than an hour and they are frequent

If you like history and architecture, a short train ride or car journey (20 miles, about 45 minutes) from Ipswich to Bury St Edmunds might be more your thing. This is a very historic town dating from the 8th century, with a centre stuffed full of historic buildings, mostly medieaval (15th-16th centuries) and Georgian (18th century), with beautiful gardens surrounding the ruins of the ancient abbey. It also has historical connections as being the place where the Barons met to determine the Magna Carta they intended to force King John to sign - this was the foundation of law and democracy in England in the 13th century. The town also has some historical oddities - the smallest pub in the country (about big enough for 6 customers!) and the only mediaeval grid system of streets, insisted on in the 13th century by the Abbot after a devastating fire. Just outside the town is also the country estate of Ickworth, which is a unique 18th century stately home in lovely parkland

Upminster, United...
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2. Re: Day trip to Ipswich or??

"nothing that would fill the guidebooks"

Nothing that would fill one page of a guide book to be more exact.

Colchester UK
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3. Re: Day trip to Ipswich or??


About fifty minutes by train from London and about 20 minutes from Ipswich is Britain's oldest recorded town and first capital, long before that young upstart London, Colchester. Home of the largest Norman castle keep anywhere, built on the foundations of the Roman temple, Roman walls, with the biggest surviving Roman gateway in Britain, the historic Dutch Quarter, museums galore and much more besides. Oh, and plenty of tea rooms in the narrow streets of the town. www.camulos.com will tell, and show, you much more.


Colchester UK
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4. Re: Day trip to Ipswich or??

Nice one Mr Cellophane. This could cause problems with the Tractor Boys though.

Yorkshire Dales...
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5. Re: Day trip to Ipswich or??


Despite my 'North Yorkshire expert' tag I'm a Suffolk girl (have to agree about comments about Ipswich), and there's lots to do in this area.

Best thing would be to meet your friend and then head off in the car. Some suggestions -

1) Constable Country - Flatford Mill etc.

Maybe a meal at The Boathouse and hire a boat on the river for the afternoon?




2) Drive to Lavenham, and then to Long Melford.

Lavenham is truly beautiful medieval village - have a look at the pictures here!


Don't miss the amazing 'wool' church and the Guildhall.

Long Melford is just up the road, famous for its antique shops.

Long Melford Hall and Kentwell Hall are close by.


There are other beautiful Suffolk villages to explore close by such as Kersey and Polstead.

3) Drive to the Suffolk coast, visiting Orford, Southwold, Aldeburgh etc



The Crown and Castle in Orford is superb www.crownandcastle.co.uk

as is this place


4) Visit the Sutton Hoo treasure


Hope this helps! Give me a yell if you have any questions.


West Yorks, England
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6. Re: Day trip to Ipswich or??

"Nothing that would fill one page of a guide book to be more exact."

Says a man posting from Hornchurch.

The town may not be on many tourism radars but it is pleasant nevertheless.

Your best bet in the town would be to visit Christchurch Park and Mansion - I still consider this one of the best urban parks in the UK and my favourite. The Mansion is an interesting museum / gallery and worthy of a visit. It has the largest collection of Gainsborough paintings outside of London. The Ipswich Museum on High St is also very interesting for a town museum.

The docks are being transformed - always worth a little look if you are interested in regeneration.

Shopping is poor although there are plenty of coffee / tea outlets - above Burridge's the jewellers on Dial Lane is quite nice.

If you are not tempted by Ipswich, Woodbridge further to the East is a great small town to visit - highly recommended - quaint architecture and maritime history. Sutton Hoo, the burial site of a saxon ship is nearby there too. Orford close to Woodbridge is a quaint village - now said to be the home to some of the first settlers of Jamestown - nice for a wander / lunch and it has a castle too. My Great Grandfather was once the town crier of Orford!

Ipswich, United...
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7. Re: Day trip to Ipswich or??

Gosh, you've revived a fairly old thread, Travelmike, but your points are valid for all that.

Ipswich must be one of the most underrated towns in the country. I recently moved here from London. Okay, property prices were one reason (a great house here for half what I got for my flat in London) but my family had lived here for a while when I was younger and I had always longed to come back. Far enough from London to have a distinctive identity of its own (not a commuter town), while not so far as to lose contact with my old friends or to visit the metropolis whenever I want. What I like about it is the pleasant mix of everything, a proper working town that nevertheless has some quaint old sections; big enough to have all the restaurants and (very good) pubs you'd want, but not so big as to be overpowering. I was sceptical when people started telling me about the swish new marina, but when I finally visited it I was amazed. It really does what it says on the tin, and will be even better when it's finished. Ipswich was named the cleanest town in England earlier this year, and has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. Then there is the great countryside and coast nearby and the wealth of stunning villages.

Above all I find the people very friendly. Even the staff in the two Wetherspoon pubs are efficient, polite and cheerful (perhaps because the minimum wage goes so much further here than in London). I went to Paris with some London friends last week and my friend made a point of reminding his two young daughters always to say 'Bonjour' before asking for what they wanted in a shop. I was surprised for a moment, as I thought that (or rather its English equivalent) was what everybody did anyway. Two months in Ipswich had made me used to such curtesies.

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8. Re: Day trip to Ipswich or??

I wouldn't even bother.

Even Christchurch park and mansion aren't worth it.

And as for the waterfront, most of the buildings are awful.

Colchester or Bury are much better bets.

Ipswich, United...
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9. Re: Day trip to Ipswich or??

I think the name you've used, Startsomething, gives the game away!

I considered both Colchester and Bury before moving here, and decided that Ipswich had more to offer. It's friendly, easy going and has an unpretentious charm. I love it.

Stowmarket, United...
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10. Re: Day trip to Ipswich or??

Hmmm...I know this is an old thread but I had to have a say...Ipswich may not be on every1s must do list but there are things to see..

Christchurch Mansion/Park ...already done, but you can easily spend a couple of hours here, spend some time to walk the park, watch people watch the soul of teh park, from the elderly enjoying a stroll, toddlers feeding the ducks, people playing cricket, footballers, teenages on "hippy hill" kids rolling or boarding down the hill, (well I enjoy people watching1 lol) Christchurch Mansion is interesting and educational.

Move on to the Ancient House in town centre, built in the 15 century it is an amazing place en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_House,_Ipswich

The docks, go have a walk along the docks, see how a down and dirty area has been turned round and become part of the town again.

Willis Building, 1 of the first buildinge designed by Norman foster and 1 of the youngest to be classed as Grad 1 listed http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willis_Building_(Ipswich)

Orwell Bridge - one of the longest continuous post-tensioned concrete bridges in the UK,

BLACKFRIARs - Remains of 13th-16th Century Friary Church located in Foundation Street, Ipswich


Pykenham's Gatehouse, Northgate Street, Ipswich - 15th Century Gatehouse built by Archdeacon of Suffolk and restored by the Ipswich Building PreservationTrust.

Unitarian Meeting House - As one of Ipswich’s most important historic structures this Grade One listed building is one of the finest surviving Dissenters' Meeting Houses in the country.

WOLSEY'S GATE - Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was born in Ipswich and Wolsey's Gate near the town's Waterfront, is testament to the great college that was destroyed in the Reformation

Just a few, if you want more let me know.

It is also a great base for exploring the countryside around.