Let’s go to … Ipswich, Suffolk

January 3, 2015

It’s overshadowed by prettier Suffolk neighbours but this ancient town has some great modern attractions – including a fab hotel

Why Ipswich?
OK, so it isn’t the first place in Suffolk that springs to mind for a weekend away. Ipswich is somewhat overshadowed by prettier neighbours Aldeburgh, Southwold and Lowestoft, but this ancient town has some great modern attractions.

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So what can I do?
Stroll around the redeveloped docks on the river Orwell. The waterfront is now home to the university, the Jerwood DanceHouse, a few bistros and cafes, and the town’s best hotel, the flamboyantly decorated Salthouse Harbour (doubles from £123 a night). Its restaurant is strong on seafood – try the scallops and the risotto. St Peter’s Street is good for shopping, with independent vintage, homeware and gift shops. The Ancient House is an incredible 15th-century building with pargeting and wood carving (though today it houses a branch of Lakeland). The Ipswich Museum (free) is in a leafy part of town and has a great natural history collection (including Wool.i.am, a huge replica woolly mammoth). Christchurch Mansion (free) has a good collection of Constables and Gainsboroughs – both local lads – and is in a lovely park; look out for the colourful mandarin ducks.

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