11 spots which prove Ipswich is just as beautiful as the rest of Suffolk

Orwell Country Park is one of Ipswich's most spectacular parks. You can walk for hours through woodl

Orwell Country Park is one of Ipswich's most spectacular parks. You can walk for hours through woodland and down to the River Orwell with incredible views of the area. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Suffolk gets a lot of praise for its beauty-spots, but often the county town Ipswich gets unfairly overlooked. 

Here are 11 spots around town which prove it is just as beautiful as the rest of Suffolk.

1. Christchurch Park and Mansion

Mabels tree. Monuments in Christchurch park PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mabel's Tree in Christchurch Park. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Boasting more than 500 years of history, Christchurch Mansion is a beautiful example of Tudor architecture set in a sprawling park in the centre of Ipswich. 

The park itself is a designated county wildlife site and is located in one of Ipswich's conservation areas.

It has trees dating back almost as long as the mansion and boasts an enormous collection of features listed by Historic England.

2. Ancient House

The Ancient House in Ipswich - did it once hide a king?

The Ancient House in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

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Thought to be one of the oldest buildings still standing in Ipswich, Ancient House dates from the 15th century and has beautiful pargetting on the front.

The house has acted as the home base for a parliamentary family trying to impress Charles II and a homeware store. 

3. Unitarian Meeting House

Unitarian Meeting House in Friars Street, recently restored

The Unitarian Meeting House in Friars Street was restored last year - Credit: Archant

Constructed in 1700 for Ipswich's non-conformant community, the Unitarian Meeting House has managed to retain its original character.

It is believed to be the only remaining example of a purpose-built timber-framed dissenters meeting house in the world.

4. Pykenham's Gatehouse

Pykenhams Gatehouse in Northgate Street, Ipswich, suffolk

Pykenhams Gatehouse in Northgate Street - Credit: Timothy Bradford

Pykenham's Gatehouse in Northgate Street, which dates from the late 1400s, is all that remains of a grand residence built for the Archdeacon of Suffolk William Pykenham.

Archaeologists believe that the room above the gate was used for storing title deeds, and other important documents. 

5. Cliff Quay Brewery

The deserted brewery at Cliff Quay, Ipswich. It was completed by Cobbolds in 1896 and extended in 19

The deserted brewery at Cliff Quay, Ipswich was completed by Cobbolds in 1896 and extended in 1904. - Credit: DAVID KINDRED

A towering gothic structure on the edge of the Ipswich Waterfront, Cliff Quay Brewery once provided Tolly Cobbold pubs with beer. 

Nothing has been brewed there since the early 2000s and the building was devastated by a fire in 2020.

6. Ipswich Waterfront

High tide at Ipswich waterfront PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

High tide at Ipswich waterfront - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Once an area for industry and trade, Ipswich Waterfront has been transformed over the past couple of decades into a centre of entertainment and education. 

With a combination of new architecture alongside pre-existing heritage assets, it features The Old Customs House and the marina. 

7. St Mary-le-Tower Church

Meet the people behind St Mary le Tower, Ipswich

The Spire at St Mary-le-Tower, in Ipswich - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Described as the "nearest thing Ipswich will ever have to a cathedral", St Mary-le-Tower is probably the best example of a Victorian church building in Suffolk.

It has a 60m tower and the largest collection of 19th century stained glass in the county. 

8. Pin Mill

Sunset over the water at Pin Mill - one of the many Suffolk scenes which is popular on Instagram

Sunset over the water at Pin Mill - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

Located on the River Orwell, Pin Mill offers beautiful views of Nacton Shores.

It is home to Thames and Dutch barges, as well as some more higgledy-piggledy houseboats, and the Butt and Oyster pub. 

9. The Walk

The Walk. Ipswich town centre is like a ghost town during the second weekend of lockdown 2. Picture

The Walk in Ipswich town centre - Credit: Charlotte Bond

When you enter The Walk you get a sense of what the medieval town must have felt like, with the exposed beams and tight alleyways.

Designed by Henry Cautley and his colleague Leslie Barefoot, it is hard to believe the structure was only built in 1938. 

10. Orwell Country Park

Orwell Country Park is one of Ipswich's most spectacular parks. You can walk for hours through woodl

Orwell Country Park is one of Ipswich's most spectacular parks. You can walk for hours through woodland and down to the River Orwell with incredible views of the area. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Consisting of more than 400 acres of lowland habitats including heaths, mudflats and ancient woodland, Orwell Country park is set within the Suffolk Coasts and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It contains bird species including Skylarks, Peregrine Falcons, and Black-tailed Godwits. 

11. Nacton Shores

A walk on Nacton Shores

A walk on Nacton Shores - Credit: Amy Peckham-Driver

Located on the north side of the River Orwell, Nacton Shores is an island of green and calm offering views over the Orwell to Pin Mill. 

Watch ships journey up the river from the closest sandy beach to Ipswich.