For the love of proving them wrong Written by Beren Reid,

Published on January 4, 2024

A selection of handmade candles on a wooden base

Dear Ipswich, I hope you are having a great week.

I moved to Ipswich in 2021, in part because it was a lot nicer than people had me believe.

Having lived in Norfolk and worked in Bury St Edmunds previously, I encountered a lot of shade thrown at Suffolk’s county town – even by people from Ipswich – and very little of it was deserved.

My love of Ipswich began in early 2020, when a Pinewood-based friend took me on a walk around the town. Approaching the Cornhill for the first time was a magical moment: I felt like I was arriving somewhere with a strong sense of place and history.

The longer I’ve lived here, the more I’ve found to love.

For instance, few towns I’ve been to are as green as Ipswich, with some truly remarkable parks. And so many places to go and things to do – if you know where to look!

Ipswich is also packed full of independent businesses – both in the centre and in the suburbs. Special mention to Woodbridge Road, which may not feature a candlestick-maker but does indeed have a butcher and a baker, as well as a greengrocer and even a refill shop. Never before have I been able to buy what I need so locally (and so ethically).

Lastly, Ipswich is a very well-connected to local towns and cities – especially by rail. Granted, the bus network could be improved (more buses going to the station, for one thing), but it’s possible to live here without a car, which gives me a sense of freedom.

I am an out-of-towner who chose to live here, which baffled many. But I love Ipswich, and I hope others (especially locals – I want to say “”Ipswonians””???) start to realise how lovable it is, too.

Beren Reid

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