10 of the best things to do in Ipswich

Last Updated on March 9, 2023

Ipswich – a vibrant town located in East Suffolk and not a far drive from our Barns and Barges for rent, offers just about everything that Suffolk has a reputation for. With quite a bit of history around the area, including the famous findings of Sutton Hoo at the neighbouring town of Woodbridge, and a great range of things to see and do, you may want to consider the following options when planning a visit of your own.

1) Alton Water

Located only five miles south of Ipswich town centre, you will find the manmade reservoir at Alton Water, and there are a range of different activities on offer here. These activities range from a bike ride around the perimeter of the lake, to taking in the beautiful scenery which nature holds. On the watersports side of things, you can experience fishing, canoeing, kayaking and much more, as well as just taking a stroll around the reservoir. Ultimately, for taking in the natural beauty of nature in and around Ipswich, Alton Water is a must visit when staying with us!

2) Ipswich Waterfront

Just a short stroll away from Ipswich Town Centre you’ll find the Ipswich Waterfront. Situated on the Neptune Mariana, which is just separated from the River Orwell, there’s a wide range of different restaurants, cafes and bars to sample at your leisure.

3) Christchurch Park

Fancy a bit of sunbathing on a hot summer day, or a picnic in the park after exploring the town centre? Well, take a quick meander through Ipswich to find Christchurch Park. As well as that, tucked away in the corner of the park, you will find Christchurch Mansion, which dates back to the 1540s. This incredible piece of heritage is located in the centre of a busy, bustling modern town. Quite the one off.

4) National Trust – Sutton Hoo

For those who are interested in history, this next destination is just perfect for you. Located in the neighbouring town of Woodbridge, you will find Sutton Hoo. Sutton Hoo has been the site of major archaeological finds since the last 1930s, with various artefacts found here dating back from the Anglo-Saxon period, which you can find in their exhibition centres. The destination recently featured in a critically acclaimed Netflix special which we wrote about on our blog.

5) Regent Theatre

There’s nothing quite like catching a show on stage. At the Regent Theatre in Ipswich, you have the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of musicals from West End classics to homegrown features.

6) Shopping

When it comes to a day out shopping, Ipswich has so much going for it. With it being the biggest town in Suffolk, it has the biggest town centre with a huge variety of clothes, stationary, retro and lots of modern stores easily accessed around the town centre.

7) Clifford Road Air Raid Museum

Fancy a blast from the past whilst visiting Suffolk? Well, near to the centre of Ipswich, you will find the Clifford Road Air Raid Museum. What used to be a WW2 Air Raid shelter during The Blitz has since been converted into a museum, with bits of it showing the conditions in which many people faced during The Blitz.

8) Watching sports at the stadiums

Boasting the only Championship league club in Suffolk, and the highest placed football club in Suffolk, Ipswich offers its visitors the opportunity to catch a game. The home of Ipswich Town Football Club since 1884, Portman Road is ultimately something of a historic tourist attraction, too!

9) Ipswich Museum

Located just outside the town centre, you will find the Ipswich museum. Inside, you will find a range of exhibitions, from natural sciences to world cultures, and models and remains from quite a few species of animals from around the world. For a day learning about history of many different branches of sciences and cultural elements, as well as the local history around Ipswich, why not take a stop via the Ipswich museum?

10) Activities on the River Orwell

Finally, one of the main reasons in which the settlement of Ipswich was started many centuries ago was due to the River Orwell, which flows right through the heart of Ipswich. Today, it is still used for a range of different activities. For example, why not go on a river cruise down the River Orwell and take in the breathtaking scenery around the rural areas outside of Ipswich. Or, with the Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant, you can take a trip down the River Orwell, whilst tucking into a beautifully cooked meal, to top off your day of exploring Ipswich.