AD | Contains gifted experiences and tickets
Last week we took a trip to one of our neighbouring counties, Suffolk, for a 2 night stay in Ipswich. We have had a hard couple of months so all of us was looking forward to some quality time away together as a family to explore somewhere new and exciting!
We live 10 minutes away from a train station so we can get to loads of great places with Greater Anglia. We were able to get to Ipswich in less than an hour and a half and it’s only 40 minutes away from Norwich!
We were lucky enough to travel first class on the way to Ipswich and Erin loved the space and freedom we had. Erin hates to be separated from either one of us when we travel and sometimes we can’t always get a table seat unless we book in advance. First class doesn’t have to cost a lot more if you book in advance and it makes our lives so much easier!
When we arrived in Ipswich we took a short 5-10 minute walk from the train station for our 2 night family break at Novotel Ipswich. We arrived a bit early but our room wasn’t ready so we stored our case with reception and went off to explore. I had already looked up some activities that Erin would enjoy so we headed to Holywells Park. In the middle of the park was a children’s play area, themed around pirate ships so Erin was excited as soon as she got there.
Eventually it was time to go back to the hotel and check in properly. Our room was so large and spacious and it was perfect for us as a family of 3. Erin had her own bed, John and I had a large bed and there was also loads of space for Erin to run around. (Full review to come)
Later that evening we headed across the road to a large entertainment area for dinner at Frankie and Benny’s. I don’t think we had been to a Frankie and Benny’s before with Erin and she absolutely loved it. The food was delicious, the prices were great and the service was even better. (Full review to come)
Erin was absolutely exhausted after dinner and couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel to crash and go to sleep. She didn’t even manage it through 1 bedtime story! We all had such a good sleep and woke up feeling really refreshed and ready for another busy day.
The best thing about the Novotel Ipswich, apart from the lovely room, was the breakfast. I love a good hotel breakfast and this hotel had one of the best that I’ve had in a long time. The breakfast buffet included hot food, pancakes and waffles, fruits and cereals… just to name a few things.
Our second day in Ipswich was a very busy one. Knowing that Erin would be bored easily we headed to another park and this time it was Christchurch Park. This was north of the city centre and about a 30 minute walk away from our hotel. We didn’t mind though because it meant we got to see the city on the way.
Christchurch Park again had a very nautical themed play area right in the middle and even though we arrived at just gone 9am, it was really quite busy. Erin had a blast running around and discovering what each piece of equipment did and she really didn’t want to leave. Luckily, Christchurch Park is also home to Christchurch Mansion so we could go somewhere else to explore.
Christchurch Mansion is a free to enter museum and we honestly didn’t know how Erin would react. We haven’t taken her to a museum for quite some time but she actually loved it. Erin really enjoyed going from one room to another to see what would be there and she got really excited by big ‘princess’ beds.
Although we looked around in a very short amount of time, I loved seeing Erin get so excited. I also loved how child friendly and accessible the museum was. There was loads for Erin to do and see and even somewhere to have a pretend afternoon tea!
For lunch we headed to Prezzo for a three course meal that we had booked with a Buyagift voucher. Erin was a bit ratty and tired by this point so we asked for her food to come as soon as possible and this made her a bit happier at least. The 3 course meal was lovely and well worth the price of the voucher. Children’s meals are only around £4 too and include a main, drink and dessert! (Full review to come)
Erin quite quickly fell asleep after lunch so John and I took the opportunity to go to the Ipswich Museum and look around slowly. Erin then woke up right as we were nearly finished so we had to do the whole thing again. The Ipswich Museum was amazing and so much fun. Most areas had something for children to do and the whole place is accessible too.
As we’d had such a busy day we headed back to the hotel for a bit to have a rest before going to McDonald’s for dinner. None of us really wanted much after a big lunch and it was just across the road from the hotel.
The next day we were all a bit exhausted and decided to have a leisurely breakfast and take our time checking out. The weather was rubbish (it actually snowed) so we also decided to get an earlier train (with bus replacement) home. We had such a great 2 days in Ipswich and we crammed so much in. There will be full posts to come over the next week or so. If there’s anything you want to know, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer!
PIN IT FOR LATER