Culture, codebusting and cafes

Experience the vibrant buzz of Ipswich marina, explore independent shopping at The Saints, catch some culture at the New Wolsey Theatre or take a tour of Mauldons Brewery, the oldest in Suffolk. Get kids codebusting and sightseeing on the Hunt Fun Ipswich Trail, slaloming at the Ski Centre and being creative at the Wild Raspberry Ceramic Café.

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Country kids

There’s plenty around these parts to keep kids so busy they don’t realise how tired they are. Which means peace and quiet at bedtime. Start by knocking down some pins at Superbowl Ipswich. Or try a day of codebusting and sightseeing on the Hunt Fun Ipswich Trail.

Try ski play, race training, ski toboggan and the inflatable ringos at Suffolk Ski Centre. Or head to Ipswich Transport Museum for an amazing selection of local vehicles, including buses, bicycles, prams, a police car, lawnmowers, lorries, fire engines and a funeral hearse.

Enjoy treetop adventures and segway rides at Go Ape Thetford – the original Go Ape site and home to giant swings, pyramids, a treehouse and the Sound Trail, where kids can make their own music. Or paint your own ceramics such as plates, jugs and dog bowls, at Wild Raspberry Ceramic Café.

Keep it wild at Jimmy Doherty’s Farm and meet ponies, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats and more. Or meet happy farm animals at Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm and get a free bag of feed for the pigs, goats, poultry and alpacas. Make a day of it with a cream tea and a walk along the lakeside paths.

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For the grown-ups

Experience the vibrant buzz of Ipswich waterfront, with its shops, cafes and restaurants. Settle back for an al-fresco coffee as the boats bob on the water amid the reflected lights of this Med-style marina. Keep the party going at cool bars such as New York Exchange, Revolution and Sin.

Shopping? Explore neat independents in The Saints, full of boutiques and unusual treasures. Catch the regular farmers’ markets on St Peter’s Street or time your visit well and catch the twice-yearly market, packed with craft and vintage stalls. Or indulge in a smorgasbord of tasty treats at the Suffolk Food Hall.

Craving culture? The 400-seater New Wolsey Theatre is central to Suffolk life, with productions written in-house or on tour from London. Maybe you’d prefer a little modern music and dance at Jerwood Dance House on the waterfront? Or a lovely collection of work by Gainsborough and Constable at Christchurch Mansion?

Take a trip along the beautiful River Orwell, beginning at the waterfront, passing under the elegant Orwell Bridge and the pretty Shotley Peninsula, itself worth a detour to enjoy watching the wildlife from the Butt and Oyster pub. Wrap up the day with a cocktail from The Gallery on the waterfront.

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