Ipswich is one of England’s oldest towns, with over 1,000 years of naval history. Today it is a thriving city where the old and new exist side by side. It is a tourist hotspot in the UK with 3.5 million visiting each year.
Ipswich is located in East Anglia about 66 miles northeast of London. The town has been continuously occupied since the Saxon period.
Under the Roman occupation, Ipswich was an important through route to isolated inland towns. During Anglo-Saxon times, the port at Ipswich played a vital role in trade and defence of the island. It was a lucrative trade route between Britain and Scandinavia.
Towards 700 AD, Frisian potters from the Netherlands area settled in Ipswich and set up the first large-scale potteries in England since Roman times. Their wares were traded far across England, and the industry was unique to Ipswich for 200 years.
In later centuries, silk became the big trading commodity. The town was heavily bombed during World War II, forever transforming the look of the of the port and surrounding area.
Today, Ipswich is divided into a number of districts:
Each district has something different to offer, making it a town of endless surprises. Central district is the heart of the town, home to the high street and Town Hall. Christchurch is full of parks and big open spaces. Eastgate is lined with Tudor houses and is home to theatres, the library and cultural buildings.
And that is just a taster! There is so much to see and do in Ipswich. It is home to many galleries and theatres and is a popular destination for a variety of touring shows. The town also holds annual music festivals.
Ipswich is also home to the University of Suffolk. This regular influx of students helps support the town’s cultural and artistic community. They mostly keep to the Innovation and Waterfront districts, which allows the town to avoid that student-feel.
Visitors can choose from a variety of high-quality hotels, restaurants and pubs. Its long history means that there is plenty for tourists to explore – from Christchurch Mansion to the Ipswich Museum and more.