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Reviewed on 22 Mar 2020
Reviewed on 3 Aug 2020
Reviewed on 15 Mar 2020
The Suffolk town of Ipswich lies along the banks of the River Orwell, as it meanders out towards the sea, and is one of East Anglia's best kept secrets. Its central district is packed with high-street brands and independent boutiques, enough to satisfy even the pickiest of shoppers, plus you'll find historic buildings like the Town Hall and Ancient House. Then there's the renovated waterfront, a vibrant area where you can take river cruises during the day, then hit the riverfront restaurants and trendy bars when it comes alive at night. Throw in some fascinating museums and galleries, the odd theatre showing year-round performances and a variety of parks, and you've got a mighty fine place to visit on a weekend break.
Ipswich bed and breakfasts come in all shapes and sizes, and whatever your taste or budget, you're bound to find one that fits the bill. Though there are several hotels in town, nothing can beat the friendly atmosphere and low prices of a traditional B&B. The best place to start looking is Expedia, which lists every property, along with detailed descriptions and photos, to help you make the right choice for you. All you need to do is plug in the location and filter the results by budget, before booking in just a few clicks. Arranging your weekend break just got a whole lot easier. Some are traditional little B&Bs whose retro decor and furnishings haven't changed all that much over the years – they offer plenty of bang for your buck. If you've got deeper pockets, you could opt for one of the gorgeous detached properties surrounded by well-manicured gardens. There's even a few scenic rural hideaways outside the town if you'd prefer to be closer to nature. Whatever you choose, you'll always have an enjoyable stay when you book a night through Expedia.
No 2 guestrooms are ever the same when you stay in a bed and breakfast in Ipswich – that's the charm of it – but you can expect most to have all the modern conveniences that you might find at home, like a flat-screen TV on the wall, free WiFi, to help you plan your trip and a kettle for making hot drinks. There are often other facilities, too, like a desk where you can catch up on a few emails, a fridge stocked with cold drinks and an ensuite bathroom, perhaps with a separate shower unit and tub. If you're bringing your car, you could always nab a bed and breakfast in Ipswich with free parking spots, while those bringing kids can opt for a family-sized room. Come daybreak, you can head down to the sunny dining room to enjoy a proper start to the day with full English breakfast – there are also veggie options – and plenty of freshly brewed tea. Looking for a different type of break? Why not head to London, to explore the theatres, galleries and museums?
One of the best ways to start exploring Ipswich is on foot, either by yourself or with one of the local guides, who can help introduce you to the city's history and architecture. Another way to see the city is aboard one of the daily boat trips that gently cruise down along the River Orwell, passing the spectacular Shotley Peninsula as they go. During the summer, there are special events, including candlelit dinner cruises and wildlife spotting trips. If you're interested in art, you shouldn't miss the chance to visit Christchurch Mansion, a 16th-century property housing some magnificent works of art by the likes of Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable. After a day of sightseeing, make a dash for the waterfront to grab an early dinner, before catching one of the musicals or plays at the 400-seater New Wolsey Theatre.