Ipswich is the oldest continuously occupied town in the UK and is steeped in history and culture. Under the Roman Empire, the surrounding area formed a major inland route to settlements and rural towns via the Gipping and Orwell rivers. Today, the town reflects extensive rebuilding and gentrification which has seen the former industrial dock transform into a thriving commercial and residential centre. Ipswich was awarded the title of cleanest town in 2007, and regularly welcomes an influx of visitors and travellers keen to explore its range of culture, history and entertainment.
Ipswich is home to many artists and houses several galleries such as Christchurch Mansion on the edge of the town. Settled within 70 acres of land the Tudor brick mansion offers contemporary art galleries, exquisite pottery and glass collections and paintings as well as rooms that have been carefully preserved to provide an authentic glimpse into the past.
The rich and varied visual arts are heavily supported throughout the town with many unique sculptures to be found at easily accessible locations. The Council prioritises the design and creation of new public works of art and ensures this element is included in applications for planning permission.
This year saw the introduction of the Ipswich Jazz Festival, which gives a platform to rising and established stars. The festival also features photography and art exhibitions, film screenings and various workshops. Amongst its range of theatres and venues the town boasts the Sir John Mills theatre named after the famous actor who once resided in the town. The Arts Festival commonly known as ‘Ip-Art’ has been an annual event since 2003 and offers a packed and diverse programme of performing and visual arts, literature and film, as well as a free day of music in the legendary Christchurch Park.
If you are looking for a hotel in Ipswich where you can base yourself as you explore all these cultural attractions, make a booking at the Gatehouse Hotel. We are perfectly located for guests looking for a short break in Ipswich, and our recently refurbished rooms offer the ultimate in comfort and elegance. Whether you wish to hit the bars and theatres or the museums and galleries, you are only a few minutes away when you stay with us.