We already know that humble Ipswich is not only the greatest town in the South East but also the entire country.
While the overcrowded, overpriced, and over-polluted capital might hog all of the limelight, it is actually Suffolk that houses the most fascinating and lively metropolis of these islands. With a history stretching back thousands of years and a leading role in countless important historical events, true culture vultures would be better off avoiding the Big Smoke altogether and heading straight to our sunny shores.
Here are the three indisputable ways that Ipswich is better than London.
Sure, the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral might look impressive, but once you’ve elbowed your way through the crowds of gawking tourists, there really isn’t that much to get excited about. Our history is so rich that we don’t need to make a big song and dance about it. One of the grandest historical buildings in town, Ancient House, currently houses a branch of Lakeland Plastics.
Our monument to the Russian Prince Alexander, who fled the Communists to make a new home in Ipswich, is a grey, muted slab tucked away in an obscure corner of town. The same goes for our statue of Cardinal Wolsey, the Tudor Kingmaker who was born here. When you have as much history as Ipswich, you don’t need to bang on about it.
Rather than having to face-off against brutal bouncers and merciless door policies at the exclusive, glitzy nightclubs of the capital, you can have the night of your life in Ipswich without the unnecessary stress. Instead of trying your luck at Fabric you can just head to Unit 17, formerly known as a branch of Liquid Envy. Whilst the always-rowdy Unit 17 humbly bills itself as “the only nightclub in Ipswich”, there are plenty of other raucous options for the keen nightcrawler.
If your idea of a good time is the night at the casino, you can be a high roller without having to dress up in a tuxedo. The town centre has not one, but two branches of the small casino chain Cashino, which one online reviewer described as “okay”, so you know they must be good. While these hotspots might not offer the glamour of the roulette table, people looking to channel their inner James Bond can always play roulette online, without having to step out onto the mean street of Ipswich.
Last but not least is Ipswich’s stunning architectural heritage. Any true connoisseur would agree that the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf look gauche in comparison to the elegant Willis Building, one of Norman Foster’s first ever commissions. Similarly, the sprawling glass complex that houses the county council, Endeavour House, surely puts The Shard to shame.
Stepping further back in time, architecture fans can soak up the soaring tower of the Medieval St Mary-le-Tower church, or simply walk a little further down to road to take in 3-5 Silent Street, the oldest house in all of Ipswich, which dates back to 1480.
As you can see, Ipswich really does have a lot to offer both tourists and locals. Next time you’re considering getting a train down to London for the weekend, remember that anything they can do, we can do better.