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Old Custom House


Self-guided walks for the Curious...

Explore Ipswich town centre with two self-guided heritage walks with a treasure hunt theme. Discover Ipswich's "hidden treasures" whilst having a fun day out with family and friends!
Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk, around 1,400 years old and one of the first towns to be captured by the Vikings. The Mayflower was built there before it sailed to America, many of the sailors were from Suffolk. Tolly Cobbold moved his brewery to Ipswich from Harwich in 1745 because of superior water. The world's first commercially marketed powered lawnmower was built here in 1902 , and Britain's largest baby girl weighed in at 14lb 4oz. Famous people include Cardinal Wolsey, Mervyn King and Ralph Fiennes.


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The Booklet

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Curious About... Ipswich

  • An exploration of Ipswich's town centre with two self-guided heritage walks with an optional treasure hunt. Completing the treasure hunt keeps everyone actively engaged, and urges you to look up, down and every which-way - so you won't miss out on any of the town's treasures.
    Explore, Discover, and Enjoy!
  • Most clues are chosen for their historical value, so you'll learn about the diverse culture, significant people and extraordinary events which have influenced Ipswich in becoming what it is today.
  • This is an outdoor, unsupervised activity - so you can go at a pace which suits you, whilst keeping you healthy!
  • A Curious About walk is a fun and social activity for all the family and friends. Different people can take on different roles - follow the map, identify picture clues, read directions, etc - it's ideal for children from the age of 6, and if you can walk/wheelchair it, you're young enough!
  • The two walks have been designed so that the second one follows on from where the first one ends. Do both, or have a breather and do the second one another day! They both start and finish in the heart of the town - so buses, trains and car parks are easily available to get you there and back.

1. Marina to Town Hall - 1.5 miles / 2.4 kms
Starting at Ipswich’s glorious waterfront with its views of the iconic Old Custom House and gently rocking yachts this walk wends its way up some of the town’s most history-rich streets. Pass the site of the Ipswich Blackfriars and 16th century almshouses, an ancient church now a heritage centre and concert hall, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey commemorated, a 1700 Dissenting Meeting House, the Corn Exchange, ending at the stunning Town Hall in the heart of the town.
1.5 hoursOK

2. Town Hall to Christchurch Park - 1 mile / 1.6 kms
From the rejuvenated Cornhill facing the imperious Town Hall this walk takes you past some of Ipswich’s older and quirky shops before circling an ancient church and timber-framed buildings. See signs for an 18th century iron foundry and a 17th century parliamentarian, before ending at Christchurch Park, home to a Tudor Mansion now a sumptuous museum.
1 hourOK

Each booklet has a page dedicated to the history of the town and 2 pages summarising each walk with suggestions on what to visit along the way. Walk 1 has 21 clues & walk 2 has 14 - both with detailed directions to follow. There are interesting stories about important people, places & events along the way; detailed instructions on how to find a clue if you're stuck; and a comprehensive map with the routes marked on.
Buy a booklet by clicking on the Add to Basket button, then either checkout, or continue shopping. Checkout takes you through payments via a quick & secure process managed by a third-party company called SendOwl. At the end of the payment process SendOwl will email you a confirmation email (inc download link if relevant).

You have 14 days to complete your download, and up to 3 attempts are permitted. If you buy the print-at-home version you will need to print it on normal A4 paper and the email you receive, with the download link, explains how best to fold the pages to make it into an A5 booklet. If you buy the download to mobile version you will need pdf reading software on your phone or tablet, eg using the Adobe Acrobat App (free).

Printed Copy
The booklet has a flexible cover, which has been professionally printed. The inside pages are printed to order, to ensure that they are as up-to-date as possible. We post booklets out 1st class Royal Mail, usually the same, or next working day. A small postage & packing charge is added.

"Fascinating walks which show the huge contrasts in this wonderful town - the bustling harbour and marina, the ancient streets, great shops, beautiful architecture and a lovely park at the end. Great idea, great execution!"

Latest Revision : September 2023


Places you'll pass along the way - tap an image for more detail