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Living in Ipswich
The county of Suffolk is not a place you could describe as ‘hectic’, but neither is it completely remote. Ipswich, its largest town, is on one of the main routes connecting Suffolk to London by both road and train so the rest of the country is easily accessible... but only when you want it to be!
The university campus is based very near the centre of Ipswich, occupying a great spot overlooking the marina. This also puts you right next to the Waterfront area, which is one of the main hubs for leisure activity in the town. You’ll find restaurants, gyms, a good selection of clubs and bars along the riverside area, and of course a vast number of boats get moored here at different times of the year. There’s also the nearby Cardinal Park, where you’ll find the cinema and a couple of restaurants to spend the evening hanging out with your housemates. The local independent cinema is the Ipswich Film Theatre Trust, which will show you all the cool films that the mainstream multiplexes assume are just too intellectual for most people. Well, you are not most people!
There’s a good variety of pubs, bars and clubs to suit different tastes in Ipswich. Popular locations includes The Swan for its music nights, Zing and Isaacs for some creative cocktails, and Liquid just for sheer size. It’s one of the biggest nightclubs in Ipswich and hosts the official weekly student night as well as a range of music genres from rock to RnB.
Despite being a large modern town you can still see hints of the history in Ipswich, such as in the original timber-framed buildings still exist in the town centre and particularly around St Nicholas Street. This is also where you’ll find your independant artsy shops and boutiques. For more mainstream shopping you have a couple of options; Tower Ramparts and the Buttermarket are the two big shopping centres which exit onto the area around Tavern Street and Westgate Street where you’ll find most of the high street shopping.
The rest of the time rural East Anglia and its famous beaches are at your disposal! The best ones within a nice student-friendly distance of Ipswich are at Southwold and Walberswick, only an hour away.
What should I do today?
- Sports?: Yes. there’s several leisure centres within a short distance of the university. Locals support Ipswich Town ‘Blues’ or ‘Tractor Boys’ Football Club with a lot of enthusiasm, and there’s an ongoing rivalry between them and the Norwich ‘Canaries’ from neighbouring county Norfolk.
- Shows?: Yes. The Ipswich Regent is the biggest theatre, with the New Wolsey bringing up the rear
- Festivals?: Yes! The annual Ipswich Music Day takes place in Christchurch Park every summer, and is absolutely free. Bring a beer, a picnic blanket, and prepare to chill.
Good to know
- Taxi: Hawk Express Cabs
- Bus: There is a bus service that goes between the train station and university, and then around the town. It takes a longer route between the houses so unless you have masses of gear you can make the walk in 20mins.
- Car?: Not really. Ipswich is pretty compact and anywhere you might want to visit is accessible by public transport. It’s pretty flat though, so bring a bike if you like.