I am not Ipswich born and bred so it is not home-bias that makes me rate this astonishing park the most beautiful I have come across in the UK.
Giving the lie to the common opinion that Suffolk is very flat, most of this gorgeous space consists of rolling hills, some of them quite steep. The steepest, often called 'Snow Hill' attracts children and adults alike after snow fall, with sledges and sometimes even skis.
At the edge of the park by the Soane Street entrance, is the large Christchurch Mansion, fitted out as a museum and art gallery which deserves a review of its own. Visitors to the town might naturally head here, besides the Mansion are two ponds with ducks and geese, but if you have time I strongly advise you to venture further into the park. You will see, besides the wonderful grassy hills, a bird sanctuary, areas left as wild meadow to cultivate wild life and stunning, very mature trees. Cross into The Arboretum and as well as flower beds there is an exciting range of unusual trees from around the world.
The park boasts a safe, enclosed, children's play area, hard tennis courts available for hire and a croquet lawn. There is tea shop near the Mansion and another small cafe serving drinks and ices near the play area.
The park is so large that even at the busy holiday times, stroll away from the Mansion and you can find a secluded spot for a picnic and pretend you are in the country.
Cyclists have a designated path which allows them to cross from Henley Road to Westerfield Road.
My own tip is, if you are able, visit the park on a fine morning as soon as the gates open in the morning, the peace and tranquility right in the middle of town is stunning
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