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Forming part of the southern Suffolk county town, Ipswich is a metropolitan area situated on the estuary of the Orwell River. It was one of most thriving cities in the region, being a centre of commerce and trade, and with the river provided easy access to the open seas and the east coast of Britain. Much has changed since then, however. Modern development has crept up, but the quaint timber-framed houses still stand, making for an interesting urban landscape. Car rental gives you the chance to also explore the scenic areas of Suffolk, East Anglia.
Who to Book With
Both local and international car hire companies can be found in Ipswich, making it easy to get around at your own pace by self-drive. Avis, Alamo, Europcar, Thrifty and National have offices here. Rental companies are found along Sproughton Road as well as within the Whitehouse Industrial Estate along Goddard Road. Both locations are found northwest of the city centre.
Best Time to Go
As with much of East Anglia, where climate is largely maritime, rainfall occurs yea- round, with little variation throughout the months of the year. It gets relatively warm in the summer, with temperatures occasionally rising above 25°C within June to August. Conditions normally remain fairly pleasant in the winter, however, making it a good time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds.
Need to Know Essentials
You will have to bring the following at the time of car hire collection:
- Proof of identity (ID) with photo
- Print-out of booking
- Credit card used when car rental was booked
- National driving licence/International Driving Permit
Ipswich is easy to reach by car as it is located on the intersection of two English motorways—the A12 and the A14. At peak times, however, roads can be congested, so travellers are advised to plan ahead. Parking is available but can be very limited. Driving your own car will be serve you well when making daytrips out of the city to the many nearby scenic attractions.
It is easy to get around Ipswich, with frequent buses running around city and to suburban destinations. Taxis can easily be hired from the many ranks scattered around the city. Trains into Ipswich terminate at Ipswich Railway Station, close to the city centre. To explore the attractions outside town, hiring a car is ideal.
Frequent trains run from London Liverpool Street Station, with a one-way ticket costing around £27 and the ride taking about an hour. Connections are also available from Norwich, only 45 minutes away, with the ride costing around £11. Ipswich Railway Station is conveniently located near the city centre, along Ranelagh and Burrell Roads on the western bank of the Orwell River.
Cabs and minivans are available, with most found waiting at taxi ranks around town. There is a stand near the Ipswich Railway Station, one near Crown Street and one at the Old Cattle Market Bus Station. Fares are relatively cheap when compared to those in most English cities, beginning at around £4. One of the largest cab companies in town is Hawk Express Cabs, which accept online and phone bookings.
The main operators of buses in the city are Ipswich Buses and First Eastern Counties. The buses begin their routes from Tower Ramparts Bus Station, covering destinations within Ipswich as well as those in the surrounding suburbs. The starting fare is around £1.80, and services are frequent, with intervals ranging from 20 to 30 minutes during the day to 30 to 60 minutes at night.
Ipswich boasts a very attractive location at the estuary of the Orwell River. The area offers easy access to the East Anglia countryside, making for excellent excursions and daytrips. Small and quiet cities and villages along the river or the coast, as well as rustic English countryside, are just a short drive away from Ipswich.
Woodbridge - This is a daytrip that is well worth the effort. Located along the River Deben, Woodbridge is less than 10 miles from Ipswich town centre. This nice market town was once a bustling trading port, as well as a centre for ship building and rope making in Tudor England.
Flatford - This is East Anglia’s more attractive rustic side. This area, found south of Ipswich, is home to quiet villages, small wooden bridges and slow-flowing brooks. The town is the subject of the famous painting by John Constable, The Hay Wain. Access from Ipswich is via East Bergholt.
Suffolk Leisure Park - Located close to Ipswich, is a family-friendly area where a tonne of activities can be enjoyed. It is located south of the city centre in the Bourne Hill area, accessed via Wherstead Road. Toboggan slides, dry skiing and golf are just some of the things to do here.