Ipswich is a vibrant and culturally diverse county town and regional centre with a strong heritage. A town steeped in history and you’d be hard pushed to move far in the town centre without seeing something worth stopping for. It is the oldest Anglo-Saxon town in England and has a rich heritage and proud history.

There’s evidence to suggest that Ipswich was initially founded in the early 7th century as a trading settlement. Being connected to the rest of the country via a large river and the sea made Ipswich a great place to trade for early settlers.

In the 18th century, the town had a number of artistic connections. At that time, it would have been possible to spot the famous artist Thomas Gainsborough at work here. John Constable was also born in the area and is thought to have often visited the town to paint.

The town’s literary connections continued into the 19th century, when Charles Dickens stayed here. It’s believed that certain local people inspired many of the characters that appeared in ‘Pickwick Papers’, as did the hotel in which he stayed.

During more recent history, Ipswich has continued to evolve. And in 1963, work began on extensive civic centre redevelopment, not all of which was well received. In 1975, the architect Sir Norman Foster designed and completed the glass-fronted Willis Building, which is the youngest Grade I listed building in Britain. While in 2008, the town’s transformed Waterfront Wet Dock became the home of the main hub of the University Campus Suffolk (UCS).

Arts and Culture

Ipswich’s vibrant arts and culture offer includes numerous festivals and events. Three heritage parks; four museums and lots of open spaces make the town one of the greenest in the country; and good transport links make Ipswich a great place to live, work and study.

There are many famous galleries, including Christchurch Mansion, the Town Hall, in Ancient House and the Artists’ Gallery in Electric House. There are 2 art galleries which can be used as theatre in the Town Hall.

There are three museums in Ipswich. Visit the grand Tudor house of Christchurch Mansion and the Wolsey Art Gallery and discover the UK’s most significant collection of Constable and Gainsborough paintings and drawings outside of London.

The museum is filled with local Anglo-Saxon artefacts along with relics from Ancient Egypt and spectacular natural history exhibits. The Transport Museum has become the history of transport and engineering objects. The Ipswich Transport Preservation Group started the collection of the museum in 1965.

Ipswich is known with many artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, Richard Ayoade. Besides, the most famous people also born in Ipswich that are Tudor Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and Sarah Trimmer. Giles (the cartoonist), Margaret Catchpole, Horatio, Lord Nelson (Steward of Ipswich).

Explore Ipswich

One of England’s oldest towns with a cutting-edge theatre and arts scene and home to cosy pubs, authentic restaurants and cool, waterfront bar; all surrounded by the beautiful Suffolk countryside and coastline.

Whether you’re into drama, musicals, dance, comedy, art or music; there’s always a something cultural to experience in. DanceEast has an incredible program of contemporary dance and performance, and regularly hosts some of the UKs’ best dance companies and the world’s top choreographers.

New Wolsey Theatre houses exciting drama and comedy from their in-house theatre company, niche touring shows and local drama groups. Whilst the Regent Theatre is the venue of big-name comedians, singers and touring shows. Modern art and design exhibitions at Ipswich Art Gallery bring popular and contemporary exhibitions to town.

With over 1,000 years of maritime and agricultural history, Ipswich is full of historic sites to see and a plethora of myths, tales and stories to tell.

All about Ipswich

Surrounded by rural landscape and dramatic coastline, the restaurants and bars in Ipswich create delicious, international menus made fresh from the county’s produce. Have lunch in a cosy Suffolk pub or quirky bar, grab a coffee from a waterfront café or wind down in the evening for dinner at one of the town’s many award-winning restaurants or bistros.

Discover your favourite brands and plenty of quirky indie stores and passionate small businesses in the heart of Ipswich. With so many shops selling a wide range of items, Ipswich really does have something for everyone.

Alongside the quays are the Jerwood DanceHouse, Salthouse Harbour Hotel, floating restaurant and marinas. Just a one hour train journey from London, Ipswich is the perfect place to stay and explore the rest of our beautiful county. Wander the shores of the Suffolk coast, explore the Shotley Peninsula or take a day trip to Bury St Edmunds or one of the charming Wool Towns. All can easily be enjoyed on foot over a weekend, or spread your exploration over a longer stay in the area.

How to get around

Ipswich is just over an hour from the capital by train and benefits from road links (for those who still use cars) to the Midlands and the North and is also close to Cambridge, Norwich and Essex.

There are two railway stations, named Ipswich and Derby Road. Whereas First Norfolk and Suffolk, Ipswich Buses, and several smaller companies operate the bus services in Ipswich. Besides, municipal airport was opened in 1929 by the Ipswich Corporation.

Stone Lodge Apartments are ideally situated to explore the surrounding areas of Suffolk Norfolk and Essex.