Adventures around IpswichSuffolk
Great museums, boat trips, country walks and a foodie destination... Suffolk's county town has something for everyone. You can explore Ipswich all day with a PlusBus ticket. Just ask for it as an add-on when you buy your train ticket to add unlimited bus travel. Here are just three of the adventures you could have.
1. Marvel at the museums
Ipswich has several memorable museums with exhibits ranging from woolly mammoths to antique musical instruments. The Ipswich Art Gallery and the Ipswich Museum are both being upgraded and will reopen in 2025. But you can visit Christchurch Mansion in its wonderful leafy park. Inside, there are antiques and paintings by (among others) famous local artists John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough. You can wander through rooms that represent different historical eras, from Tudor to Georgian.
- How do I get to Christchurch Mansion by bus? Bus 12 and bus 13 run from Ipswich railway station every few minutes between them and stop opposite the library. From here, Christchurch Park is just a couple of minutes’ walk.
- You can also see all kinds of exhibitions at The Hold, the University of Suffolk’s new heritage centre at Suffolk Archives, near the waterfront. This stylish building with a café and gallery opened in late 2021. Nearby, you can take boat trips along the River Orwell.
- How do I get to the Hold by bus? Several buses run from Tower Ramparts, near Christchurch Park, to Fore Street near Ipswich Waterfront. Bus 1 and bus 4 and others make the journey every few minutes. The simplest way to get to Ipswich waterfront from the railway station is to walk along the path beside the River Orwell.
2. Have lunch at the Suffolk Food Hall
Your PlusBus ticket will take you as far as the epic Orwell Bridge, which spans the wide waters of the estuary in the countryside outside Ipswich. The Suffolk Food Hall has shops and cafes, a cookery school and a beauty salon. You can take tea outdoors with views across the water to the woods or warm up inside with Suffolk coffee and toasties. The kids can play for free on a giant bouncy pillow while you relax in the sunshine. The waterside bus journey to the food hall is a treat too.
- How do I get to the Suffolk Food Hall by bus? Bus 92 and bus 97 run from Ipswich railway station and stop at Red House by the Orwell Bridge. Walk a couple of minutes along the signed lane by the bus stop and you will soon be tucking into the warm savoury tartlet of the day or a Red Poll beef and vegetable pasty.
- This is also a good area for walking to work up an appetite for cake at the food hall. Paths lead off the track nearby to reach woods, fields and river.
- The buses can have a bit of a gap between them so it’s best to plan ahead. If you do have to wait, don’t worry – just time for another cup of tea.