We had an enjoyable day out in Ipswich recently, photographing the town for a client. In the process, we came across parts of Suffolk’s county town that were new to us and it was fun to make these discoveries. The area tucked behind Christchurch Mansion is one of these places, with its fragrant garden, full of gentle shades of lilac and delicious smell of lavender.
The other gem we discovered is Ipswich Museum with its life-sized replica of a woolly mammoth. There is a fair bit of taxidermy on display, including a graceful giraffe, Rosie the rhino and other animals and birds. We also met a walking, talking Anglo-Saxon called Beagnoth (aka Tim), who was knowledgeable and fun to chat with.
Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich Museum and Ipswich Gallery (which adjoins the museum) are all free to visit and just off the town centre. Getting there via the park and ride bus service is perhaps easiest (which I recommend – finding somewhere to park in the centre of Ipswich on a busy day is not fun) and the town is small enough to get around on foot without too much trouble.
The day we chose for the photoshoot was dictated mainly by the weather and happened to be a Saturday. This meant it was much busier than we would have liked, but it did present us with an opportunity to get creative with some of the photos. The motion in the images gives some sense of the energy of the crowds and the vibrancy of the occasion.
The Jerwood Dancehouse on the waterfront with its lively programme of dance classes and performances run by DanceEast, is a significant cultural hub in Suffolk. The purpose built building has a funky, industrial vibe to it, which I think is perfect for its setting and use. The hard lines and mass of concrete is softened by the beautiful ‘tutu light’ and other features, such as the dark wooden bench which lines the wall in the main foyer .
Ipswich is well worth exploring, and the museums, tucked just off the centre of town, should definately be on your ‘to do’ list. Combine a visit to the museums mentioned here with a river cruise for a relaxing day out.
Read about a previous visit we made to Ipswich when we went on a river cruise along the River Orwell aboard the Thames Sailing Barge Victor. We sailed past the Shotley Peninsula, enjoying sublime views and extraordinary tranquility. I thoroughly recommend it! Have a browse of the various cruises they offer on their website: www.sbvictor.co.uk
Images from top: Christchurch Mansion | Ipswich Museum | Beagnoth and friend at Ipswich Museum | Ipswich town centre | Isaacs on the Quay| Ipswich waterfront | the ‘tutu light’ at the Jerwood Dancehouse | the foyer at Jerwood Dancehouse