8 things to see and do in Ipswich

Described by many as the cultural capital of Suffolk, there is no shortage of captivating venues and exciting activities to keep you entertained in and around Ipswich.

To celebrate the opening of our Ipswich Central hotel, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to exploring this refreshing town.

1. Dine out on the waterfront

Ipswich waterfront

Discover all kinds of delicious eateries on the Ipswich waterfront, from classic pub grub to international flavours of the world. For a unique dining experience, Mariners restaurant is situated upon an antique Dutch customs gunboat, Moored along Neptune Quay. All of their menus are seasonally crafted using local suppliers within and around Suffolk, to create astonishing dishes of the greatest standard.

2. Motorsport at Ipswich Stadium

Motorsport at Ipswich Stadium

Foxhall International Raceway is the largest and fastest track promoted by Spedeworth Motorsports, home to many of their major championships. With covered seated grandstands and a capacity of around 10,000, you’ll find a fantastic race atmosphere perfect for any motorsport fan. The 2023 season opener National Bangers commences on March 4th in Ipswich, with Superstox and 2 Litre Hot Rod also taking place this spring.

3. Catch a show at the theatre

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New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich

Ipswich has a thriving theatre scene with East Anglia’s largest theatre Regent, Corn Exchange and award-winning New Wolsey Theatre all holding their own providing locals and visitors with top-tier entertainment. Indulge in live performances from comedy and children’s entertainment to music and thought-provoking plays. Catch An Evening of Burlesque, Around the World in 80 Days and Brief Encounter at New Wolsey this spring.

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4. Explore the Food Museum in Stowmarket

The UK’s only Food Museum located in Suffolk has an incredible array of experiences and activities for all ages to enjoy. Children can learn the ins and outs of where their food comes from, have a go at hands-on farming and meet the resident horses. For the adults, discover A Portrait of British Cheese on the 30th of March where Angus D. Birditt will discuss his adventures and the writing of his book, whilst everyone enjoys a selection of inspired cheeses and local wines. Alternatively, experience the East Anglian Storytelling Festival or the 26th Festival of Beer and Brewing later in the year.

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5. Take a trip on the River Orwell

Operating as a family-owned business for more than 20 years now, Orwell Lady provides guests with an unrivalled river experience along one of England’s most historic bodies of water. Relax and absorb the stunning sights from the open-top viewing deck, or if you’d like some shelter, there is a fully enclosed lower deck with panoramic viewing windows to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

6. Have a picnic in the park

Editorial credit: Rob Atherton / Shutterstock.com

A great selection of parks and grounds can be found in Ipswich ready for you to explore and relax within. Take a picnic at Christchurch Park for the day and marvel at the grand mansion. If you just can’t resist, take a look inside the Tudor mansion as admission is free of charge. You can join the ‘Peep into the Past’ tour or have a bite to eat in the tea room. Only craving the wide open space of the countryside? Holywells Park is the place to be with 28 hectares of beautiful grounds featuring grand trees and tranquil ponds.

7. Visit the Transport Museum

Transport Museum

The Ipswich Transport Museum was formerly an Ipswich Corporation Transport trolleybus depot built in 1936. Coming full circle, today the museum hosts a delightful collection of Ipswich’s Transport and Engineering Heritage spanning around 200 years. Take a look inside the restoration zone and view what’s currently being resurrected by the team, or have a go driving a train on the G-scale model railway (suitable for children of all ages). The museum closes for winter refurbishment and is set to reopen on March 19th 2023.

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8. Visit a local farm

Ipswich is home to a number of local farms and animal reserves bringing thriving wildlife of all kinds to locals and excited visitors. Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park has a wonderful selection of exotic animals from Grant’s Zebra and Wallaby to Emu and Crocodile. Book an animal experience to get up close and personal, with over 100 animal species and breeds to choose from. For more insight into rare breeds, Baylham House Farm welcomes you to visit the animals under threat. Feed the animals whilst you learn more about the different breeds and what’s being done to protect them.

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