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My mini-guide to Suffolk

8 NOVEMBER 2022 - JASMINE - STUDENT LIFE

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Where is the University of Suffolk? 

Suffolk is a county in the East of England and is part of the East Anglia region. In the south of Suffolk, along the Ipswich Waterfront of the River Orwell you will find the University of Suffolk’s main building – the Waterfront Building.  

Hi! My name is Jasmine and I am in my third and final year at the University of Suffolk, studying English Literature and Creative Writing and I am going to tell you a little bit about the area. Being raised in Surrey my knowledge on Suffolk was very limited when I first moved here, fortunately I never have to go too far to find what I need as Ipswich has lots to offer! Even to people, like me, who haven’t got round to learning how to drive (yet!). 

Ipswich town is around a 10-minute walk from Athena Hall accommodation and has everything you need; a Sainsbury’s for the weekly food shop, Waterstones for books as well as a H&M and Primark for clothes. And when the weekend rolls around you will not be short of entertainment! There are two cinemas, Cineworld and Empire, both only 10 minutes away from Athena Hall and both offering student discounts.  

The latter cinema is located in Buttermarket shopping centre which provides a variety of entertainment services. Right next door to Empire is Superbowl which is affordable and also has arcade games positioned at the entrance, perfect for when you’ve arrived a bit before your film starts. There is Boom Battle Bar which offers Axe Throwing, Shuffleboard, Augmented Reality Darts and more, as well as alcoholic beverages (including cocktails) and ‘Boom Bites’ to snack on. Of course, if you are still hungry after your Boom Bites you could nip upstairs for an ice cream at Creams dessert café.  

Once you have dragged yourself out of Buttermarket you can see what the rest of the town has to offer. Ipswich has so many independent cafés that even in my third year I pass some I haven’t managed to get to. My personal favourites are The Green Room (near Christchurch Park) and Pickwick’s.  

It is so important to keep active and see some greenery regularly and I strongly recommend you take a weekly trip to Ipswich’s parks. The park closest to the University is Holywell Park, which is lovely but when I have time I go to Christchurch Park which is larger, covering 33 hectares and boasting the lovely Tudor house, Christchurch Mansion. However, this is a bit further away with the walk to the park taking 25-minutes from Athena Hall. If you want something even longer, it is possible to walk to Orwell Country Park from campus and this is my favourite option, as it takes you alongside the River Orwell and through some ancient woodland. 

I recommend that you make the most of the greenery and wildlife that Suffolk had to offer. One way you could do this is by visiting Jimmy’s Farm where you can see camels, chickens and donkeys. There is also Suffolk Punch Trust, a charity dedicated to saving the breed of horse unique to Suffolk known as the Suffolk Punch. 

If you are without a driver’s license fear not, you are not confined to Ipswich because it has great transport services with trains to London and Norwich. The train station is just a 23-minute walk from Athena Hall following the river. If you fancy spending your weekend somewhere different try getting the train (or bus) to Felixstowe to see the seaside or journey north-east to Rendlesham forest, famous for its rumoured UFO sightings. 

Finally, I’m guessing you want some recommendations on where to go on a night out, right? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for! 

  • A nice view  – Issacs on The Quay 
  • Cheap drinks – The Cricketers 
  • Somewhere to dance – Revolution 
  • Somewhere to accommodate your vegetarian and lactose intolerant friends – Hank’s Dirty Ipswich 

I hope you have learnt more about what Suffolk has to offer and that you get the chance to see it for yourself! 

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