While googling for information about Ipswich, I came across the website of the Ipswich Museum and decided to go there.
It's about 10 minutes to walk from the town centre, up a hill in a residential area.
The Ipswich Museum - not to be confused with the Transport Museum there - has a large exhibition of local wildlife and local history.The staff were very friendly and helpful. Nothing there of the bored attitude that you often find in a more famous museum.
Even though it was pouring and admission is free, it seemed I was the only visitor in the museum.I had a nice talk to some of the staff and I enjoyed my visit there very much.
Approx 12.9 miles from Ipswich on the A1141, is Hollow trees Farm, with a shop, cafe, plant shop, working farm and farm trail.
The Farm is a 140 acre mixed farm, and the farm attracts lots of visitors. There is no entrance fee to the farm, trail etc., but they do like you to either purchase from the farm shop, or just buy bags of animal feed at 30p per small bag, which the children love to feed to the livestock.
There are free range chickens (their eggs are on sale in the shop), goats, sheep, pigs, cows, couple of horses, a few birds in an aviary, guinea pigs. In addition to this there is a welli boot throwing area, which is huge fun for the children, and a few picnic tables where you can take your picnic and enjoy. But beware the free range chickens like to come to the party as well !!!!!!
Look at the picture of the goats waiting for their feed, which you place in a little blue box on a contraption that you wind up to them via a handle at the bottom.
Do visit the website and see all that is on offer, and see the third generation of farmers at this site.
Ipswich is home to the river Orwell. The Ipswich docks are quite big and have some big ships sailing in and out, including some war ships on occasions. There are many different countrside walks to go on in various areas in Ipswich, but the walks alongside the river Orwell is one of the best. You head towards Holbrook or Shotley, two villages on the outskirts of town. To get to them you have to go alongside the river and under the Orwell bridge. The Orwell bridge is an impressive size and going directly underneath it whilst looking out across the main shipping channel over the Orwell river is a nice romantic walk. Drive a bit further, into Shotley village and there's a lovely little beach with a friendly quayside pub. You can enjoy a meal, drinks and stroll along the beach, whilst looking across the water to Harwich.
Shotley Peninsula is approx 16 miles from the centre of Ipswich and to reach it you pass through little villages, but also the road partly runs along the river Orwell. Along this stretch of road, there are a few laybys where you can watch boats sailing up the river to the Ipswich Marina and view the huge expanse of the Orwell Bridge, which is part of the A14 road link to Felixstowe and beyond
The Penisula is popular with birdwatchers, with riverside walks, a few traditional inns, two waterside restaurants, and lovely scenery.
There are frequent bus services to and from Ipswich.
When you arrive at Shotley you can go no further because there in front of you is the river Stour, and across you can see the Quay at Harwich, where the cruise ships arrive and depart from.
The day we spent a few hours there, the cruise ship Jewel of the Seas was preparing to Depart for a cruise to Norway. I did take a photograph of the cruise ship, and a distance shot showing the cranes of Felixstowe in the background while the ship was slowly negotiating the river prior to heading out to the North Sea.
Looking to the left you can see the huge cranes of Felixstowe , and if you park the car and walk around the corner to the left of you, you arrive at the Lock Gates which takes the boats from the river to the Marina Basin.
Along by the Lock gate, there is the Harwich Harbour Foot and cycle ferry, a small craft which takes 10 minutes Harwich to Shotley (& return) and Harwich to Felixstowe, 15 minutes.
there is a timetable posted by the berthing pier.
Also here by the Lock and Marina, where there is some parking available, there is a small museum housing memorabelia of HMS Ganges. There are a lot of photographs, interesting uniforms of most of the ranks, a host of information on HMS Ganges, and there are volunteer personnel on hand to answer your questions. There is no charge, but donations may be made.
Concession pass holders can use the ferry free of charge. Check out the website of www.suffolkonboard.com .