the old ipswich museum


Tucked away on Ipswich’s Museum Street is the the original home of the Ipswich Museum.

The museum was founded in 1846 and opened in January 1847 with the specific remit to educate the working classes in natural history. From 1847 to 1853 it was run by a committee on behalf of subscribers, with open evenings for the public. The first President was the entomologist, an original Fellow of the Linnean Society.
The primary initiative for this philanthropic venture came from George Ransome, FLS, a member of the Quaker Ransome family of Ipswich. The Sims & Jefferies” Ransome engineering industry helped to build the town’s industrial prosperity in the early 19th century. All political complexions became involved in the common aim of social improvement through the Museum, and over sixty leading scientists lent their support as Honorary Members or Vice-Presidents.

Today, the Ipswich Museum is located a short walk away from this original site, but the old building houses a restaurant, Arlingtons.

Discover more of Ipswich’s history at All About Ipswich.



Marriott’s Way is a 26 mile footpath, bridleway and cycle route, which follows two disused railway lines, and runs between the historic market town of Aylsham and the historic city of Norwich.

The path is designed to be enjoyed by everyone: from families and casual walkers to ramblers, cyclists and horse-riders. It’s available for use all year round, and links to the public rights of way network.

Along the route there are a number of fascinating points of interest, including a series of mile markers all designed by different artists and concrete sculptures that symbolise the railway’s concrete heritage. The route also offers great opportunities to witness Norfolk wildlife including kestrels, owls, hares and deer.

Interested in taking a trip to Marriott’s Way? The guidebook for the full route is available at the Marriott’s Way website.

Explore Norwich and Aylsham at either side of your visit with Visit Norfolk.

willis building


The Willis building is one of Ipswich’s most identifiable landmarks, and is home to global insurance broker Willis.

The building was one of the earliest designed by Norman Foster, and is recognised as a prime example of the ‘high tech’ architectural style. The exterior is formed of 890 dark smoked glass panels, and contains no right angles, which is both due to the location of the building (nestled in the heart of the town centre), and references Foster’s favourite building, Manchester’s Express Building.

In 1991, because of its unique style, the Willis building became the youngest building to be given Grade I listed building status in the UK.

To visit the Willis building, and explore the rest of Ipswich’s architecture, see All About Ipswich.

Photo: TKCA Photography
assembly house


The Assembly House is a Georgian Grade I listed building in the heart of Norwich.

It was designed by the architect Thomas Ivory, and incorporates the original layout of a previous structure, the medieval college of St Mary in the Fields. When it opened, The Assembly House was used as a centre for entertainment and assemblies for the local gentry. During its long history it has hosted a waxworks exhibition by Madame Tussaud, a concert by the composer Franz Liszt, and many lavish balls including one in 1805 to celebrate Nelson’s famous victory off Cape Trafalgar.

Treat yourself to an afternoon tea at The Assembly House.

Why not make it a luxury getaway? Plan a trip and experience the luxurious side of the city with Visit Norwich.



Nestled in the heart of Southwold on the Suffolk coast, beer has been brewed on the site of the Adnams Brewery for over 670 years.

Established in 1873, Adnams has always been committed to having a positive impact on society and making great reasonably-priced products. The company has grown and grown, and now includes a distillery, hotels, shops and pubs.

Beer brewing, however, still remains at the heart of the company’s operations and visitors can take tours of the brewery and follow the beer making process from start to finish. Of course, taking a tour is thirsty work, so there’s even the opportunity to sample the final delicious product in a tutored beer tasting.

For more information visit the Adnams website.

Explore Southwold and the rest of the region with The Suffolk Coast.

national trust suffolk walks


Start the new year with a long winter walk around the grounds of picturesque National Trust properties. These National Trust Suffolk Walks are of varying lengths and suitable for all abilities.

Seen here, the Dunwich Heath Mount Pleasant farm walk traverses a rare and precious habitat, home to special species such as Dartford warbler, nightjar, woodlark and ant-lion. Along the walk you’ll pass Dunwich museum, Mount Pleasant farm and Greyfriars monastery.

The National Trust also have a series of walks in Norfolk, as explored in a previous Culture365 post.

Explore the Suffolk landscape with downloadable walks from the National Trust.

After taking a long Suffolk walk, why not spend the night? Visit Suffolk is packed full of recommendations and ideas for having the perfect break.

Photo: National Trust
john jarrold printing museum


Anyone interested in the publishing industry should take a trip to the John Jarrold Printing Museum in Norwich to step back in time and explore the processes printmakers used to use.

The John Jarrold Printing Museum in Norwich is committed to preserving historic printing machines, and practising the ancient crafts of printing and bookbinding.

This museum is the only working printing museum in the country and has an active band of volunteers, many of whom trained in the skills of typesetting.

The museum is open every Wednesday morning, and by special arrangement.

For more information, and to plan a visit, see the John Jarrold Printing Museum.

Explore the rest of Norwich, home of the Jarrolds, at Visit Norwich.

Photo: Daniel Weir
lavenham guildhall


Set in the lovely village of Lavenham, the Guildhall of Corpus Christi (or Lavenham Guildhall) tells the story of one of the best-preserved and wealthiest towns in Tudor England.

This wealth stemmed from Lavenham’s wool industry, most notably its blue woollen cloth which was highly sought-after.

The Lavenham Guildhall stood at the centre of this extremely wealthy community in the middle of the market square.

When you step inside this fine timber-framed building, you’ll feel the centuries melt away. You can discover the stories of the people who have used the Guildhall through its almost-500 years at the heart of its community, and learn about the men and women who have shaped the fortunes of this unique village.

Plan a trip to the National Trust-managed Lavenham Guildhall.

Explore all of Suffolk’s wool towns with Visit Suffolk as your guide.

Photo: John Mabbitt
boxing day walk


Beat the post-Christmas slump by exploring the grounds of Fairhaven today.

Fairhaven is in the grounds of the South Walsham estate in North Norfolk, and for one day only, you can walk off Christmas dinner with a tour of Fairhaven’s Woodland Garden by the Head Gardener.

Learn about the history of Fairhaven, the collection of plants introduced by the 2nd Lord Fairhaven and the organic working methods still used today.

The walk ends with a complimentary mince pie and hot mulled wine in Fairhaven’s cosy eco-tearoom.

To find out more, visit Fairhaven Woodland.

Can’t make the Boxing Day walk? Plan a trip in the future with Visit Norfolk.

Photo: Kevin Millican
balancing barn


Imagine spending the holidays in a precariously balancing barn on the edge of RSPB Minsmere.

It looks like this is the case here, but there’s nothing perilous about staying in this home. It’s perfectly safe, and sleeps up to eight people as a holiday cottage.

Clad in elegant silver tiles, the house dramatically cantilevers over the landscape, providing views from its huge panoramic windows over woods, ponds and meadows. The house was designed by the Dutch firm MVRDV, who have won a world-wide reputation for the ingenuity, playfulness and comfort of their designs.

Find out more about the Balancing Barn, and book a stay at the Living Architecture website.

If you stay at the Barn (or if you prefer your buildings firmly on the ground) plan your trip with The Suffolk Coast.