We continue our look at what Ipswich town centre has to offer
No sooner have you left the Cornhill and wandered through the market (open four days a week and snaking its way down to the food quarter in Queen Street) than you arrive at Giles Circus.
Giles was a celebrated man of Ipswich and his office used to overlook the famous Grandma family statue.
Turn left into Butter Market (note the two-word spelling; only the Buttermarket Centre is joined) and you’re straight into another shopping maze. White Stuff on your left is followed by Waterstones (everyone needs a good bookshop), Edinburgh Woollen Mills and the bright yellow entrance to Joules. Further up the road is Fatface and (for a short while only) an Ipswich Town FC pop-up shop.
Talking of history, it’s well worth looking up at the magnificent pargetting on the Ancient House before plunging into Lakeland.
This is a sparkling street in many ways – jewellers abound, among them Swarovski, JG Andrews, Robert Gatward and Riley & Riley.
But the biggest change in the past couple of years is the transformation of the Buttermarket Centre. TK Maxx is still here, along with many others, but this more than just shopping. Empire Cinema and a clutch of trendy eateries makes this a place to linger.
Criss-crossing Butter Market are the lanes of the town centre – Dial, St Stephen’s and St Lawrence, along with The Walk. Each is worth a look and contains many surprises and a lot of history. For example, did you know that St Lawrence’s Church (now a café) houses the oldest circle of five bells in Christendom?
And remember: The best place to park when you come into town to do your shopping is at the new Crown multi-storey car park (next to Crown Pools). Just £1 an hour and (midweek) £2 after 2pm. It’s safe and easy to park in – all the 541 bays are wide one, so don’t struggle with bags or buggies.