Yachts on the River Orwell

One of the oldest towns in England, Ipswich has a wealth of historical treasures up its sleeve for curious visitors. From Roman relics and Anglo-Saxon artefacts, to fine examples of pargeting (a form of decorative plastering that is more exciting than it sounds), modern Ipswich has a long way to go before it matches its pleasures of the past, but it is getting there with heavy investment, especially around the buzzing marina area.

Stay in Ipswich hotels to explore the pleasant county town of Suffolk, which sits on the estuary of the River Orwell. The delightful waterfront town isn't overflowing with attractions, though there are plenty of ways to spend your short break, such as shopping, trips to one of the three theatres, and people-watching down by the water.

A road encircles the very centre of town and you can check in to a limited number of hotels in this area, which is highly convenient for things to see and do, and places to tuck into dinner and drinks of an evening.

There are a handful of luxury hotels in Ipswich, with a couple of notable choices beside the waters and yachts of Neptune Marina.

Budget hotels and cosy B&Bs are located around the city, with some neighbouring the town's lovely green spaces, such as Christchurch Park to the north of the town centre, Alexandra Park and Holywells Park, which are both to the east of the central area, and Gippeswyck Park, which can be found to the south of the river and close to the railway station.

Check in at a number of well-known chains in the city. Hotels are on offer from Ramada, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Novotel, Premier Inn and Travelodge.

For the luxuries of afternoon tea and spa treatments, consider one of the charming country-house hotels that surround Ipswich and sit in acres of manicured gardens.

A little further afield, be sure to get your feet wet at one of the nearby pebble beaches, and savour freshly-caught seafood. Car hire is available to make getting around that bit easier,

Top five attractions

Sutton Hoo

Arguably Britain's most important archaeological site, Sutton Hoo is a royal burial site. You can't fail to be amazed at the display of priceless Anglo-Saxon treasures.

Ipswich Museum

Potter around this delightful anthology of culture and heritage showcasing the past, present and future of both Suffolk and Ipswich.

Portman Road Stadium

The home of Ipswich Town FC since 1884, this ground is famed for its atmosphere and tradition. Take a stadium tour and experience life through the eyes of a footballer as you see the dressing room and walk down the tunnel onto the pitch.

Willis Building

View one of the first buildings designed by famous 1970s' architect Norman Foster, regarded as an architectural gem with its three-storey dark glass panels.

Christchurch Mansion

Imagine life as a Tudor in this huge mansion in Christchurch Park, which also houses a collection of works by John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough in the Wolsey Gallery.


Suffolk Show; May: Get caught up in the county's annual celebration of lifestyle and agriculture.

Aldeburgh Festival; June: An arts and music event that has been running every year since 1948. International talent performs shoulder-to-shoulder with upcoming local artists.

Latitude Festival; July: A huge, four-day music festival with a multitude of spin offs including theatre, dance, comedy and live art. It won of Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2012.