Coach Holidays to Ipswich – Suffolk’s county town is an extraordinary historical patchwork with more than 660 listed buildings from all periods of English architecture including 12 medieval churches. It was a prosperous trading port in the Middle Ages and near the docks, on the River Orwell, solid warehouses are evidence that it was later a busy port for coal and other goods. The Town Centre has an ancient but well-preserved street pattern, parts of which date back to the seventh century.
The museum in the high street displays replicas of two rich hoards of Roman silver unearthed nearby. A Tudor gateway, built for Cardinal Wolsey dates from 1527 and the fronts of several old houses, including the 16th century Ancient House, display fine examples of the traditional Suffolk craft of pargeting – ornamental plaster relief work. The surrounding countryside was the home and inspiration of England’s best known landscape painter, John Constable and indeed the art gallery in Christchurch Mansions has the finest collection of his works and those of Gainsborough (another Suffolk born artist) outside London. To complement this remarkably eclectic history, Ipswich is also a startlingly modern city, with some fine modern architecture as well as great shopping opportunities, fantastic leisure facilities, cinemas and East Anglia’s largest theatre.
We use the Cameo Hotel, situated in the quiet village of Copdock close to Ipswich.
In addition to the fantastic shopping opportunities in the pedestrianised centre of Ipswich, there are a number of fascinating buildings to explore as you stroll around. These include the Wet Dock, which opened in 1842 and is most notable now for the imposing Victorian Old Custom House. Towards the centre stands an extraordinary pargetted medieval house at Buttermarket, Wolsey’s Gateway, Pykenham’s Gatehouse, the Unitarian Meeting House and the Willis Corroon building, a world-famous example of modern architecture, designed by Sir Norman Foster and now an officially-protected historic building.