Gate­way to the county

Ip­swich is your start­ing point for an ex­plo­ration of the county. The bustling town is a great place for cul­ture, arts, food and drink, and some mar­itime fun

EADT Suffolk - - SUFFOLK HERITAGE - WORDS: Jayne Lindill

Ip­swich is a per­fect place to start your ex­plo­ration of Suf­folk. For cen­turies it was the bustling com­mer­cial heart of the county, where com­merce and trade was car­ried out ev­ery day, where ships from near and far brought their goods to be traded, where farm­ers came to sell their pro­duce and catch up on the busi­ness and pol­i­tics of the day, a cen­tre of ed­u­ca­tion, art and cul­ture.

In the 21st cen­tury Ip­swich is still a hub for the county, a cen­tre of com­merce, tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion, a place to do busi­ness, a cru­cible of cul­ture of­fer­ing world class the­atre, dance, mu­sic and art,a place to re­lax and en­joy its nat­u­ral set­ting on the River Or­well, its green spa­ces and at­trac­tive Wa­ter­front.

Ip­swich is a great place to spend a cou­ple of days be­fore con­tin­u­ing your ex­plo­ration north, east and west, or if you live in an­other part of the county you can en­joy a short break with a dif­fer­ence. Why not stay on the Wa­ter­front, take in a show or con­cert at the new Wolsey The­atre, Ip­swich Re­gent or the Corn Ex­change, see some of the most ex­cit­ing dance you’ll ever ex­pe­ri­ence at the Jer­wood Dance­house? En­joy din­ner at one of the town’s ex­cel­lent eater­ies – the mul­ti­cul­tural menu is vast!

Pop into some of the de­light­fully dif­fer­ent in­de­pen­dent shops, while away an af­ter­noon in glo­ri­ous Christchurch Park, or take a trip on the River Or­well, one of the most beau­ti­ful water­ways in the coun­try.

Talk­ing of which, a sum­mer high­light is Ip­swich Mar­itime Fes­ti­val, Au­gust 18 and 19, a cel­e­bra­tion of all things nau­ti­cal and the town’s mar­itime her­itage on the Wa­ter­front. It’s a week­end of live en­ter­tain­ment, street per­form­ers, his­tor­i­cal re-en­act­ments, and a daz­zling fire­works dis­play on the Satur­day night.

Go dressed as a pi­rate or sailor and en­joy food from around the world in the mar­ket, plus real ales, tra­di­tional beers, wines, spir­its, ciders and soft drinks at the fully li­censed bar. There will be a mar­itime fun­fair, craft stalls, his­toric ships sail­ing into the ma­rina, and Mar­itime’s own Cap­tain Jack Spar­row, set­ting sail to Ip­swich where it is his in­ten­tion to com­man­deer a ship, pick up a crew, raid, pil­lage, plun­der and other­wise pil­fer his weasley black guts out.

Ip­swich Wa­ter­front, Nep­tune Quay, Ip­swich, Suf­folk, IP4 1QJ

ABOVE:Ip­swich Wa­ter­front ready for Mar­itimeTOP RIGHT:Peo­ple en­joy the sun­shine in Christchurch Park, Ip­swich.BE­LOW RIGHT:Tall ships and a fun­fair on Ip­swich Wa­ter­front.

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