September 18 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Accidental tourists discovering Ipswich
Ipswich is becoming a tourist destination in its own right.
The wonderful weather over recent weeks has brought many accidental tourists in to Ipswich.
The vibrant Waterfront area is often buzzing with visitors, promendading, eating and drinking in restaurants or coffee bars, or just relaxing.
Out on the water too, there is a considerable and growing tourist trade via the marinas.
Marc Ward, general manager of Neptune Marina, said: “They come from around this country, and across the continent too, from France, Germany and Belgium and especially the Dutch.
“What we have seen a lot of this year is people coming in for one day and staying for more.
“Once they have tasted the wonderful Waterfront they like to stay for more, it tends to be four or five.
“They are on touring holidays so they have the flexibility.
“We are also seeing a big influx of Dutch visitor. They are a big maritime nation.
“They love their families holidays and it starts a couple of weeks before our schools break up.
“We have a group of 14 boats next week, a sailing club.
“Then we have the Maritime Festival and we already have 35 boats coming in for that.”
“Some of our marine residents are off for their holidays now, and we are squeezing in many visitors.”
Also recently there was an Argentine sailing boat in the marina.
He explained: “It was a father and son, from Italy.
“They got the boat from Argentina in a container and it was unloaded at Cliff Quay.
“The sailing yact was here for a week, while they got her ready to sail back to Italy.”
Of course, the constantly changing backdrop of boats, cabin cruiser, yachts and barges and pleasure craft is one of the attractions for the casual visitors too.
There are also plenty of opportunities to get out on the water and discover the delightful river Orwell.
Marc, with a young family, is not going far for his family holiday.
He is staying in the county - at Center Parcs in Thetford Forest.