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- 1 month, 1 week ago #3180
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What is better? Ipswich Waterfront with Ben’s vanity project Upper Orwell Crossings or Orwell County Park with Orwell Bridge?
( This isn’t about Upper Orwell Crossing Vs Orwell Bridge… but what is more of a gem for Ipswich… )
Yesterday, I made a trip down to Orwell Country Park armed with a 5-year old mobile phone camera (i.e. no professional camera, no fancy software, expensive lenses) a quick point-and-shoot by someone who isn’t a photographer and this is what I saw (no filters or photoshopping):-
Free parking and dog poo bins
One of many car parking areas… all free to park. Piper Vale Local Nature Reserve end. The white van seen in the background is in another car parking area larger than this one. There is more car parking from Bridge Wood end behind the Shell garage… accessible through the turnoff on Nacton Road (signposted). No access from the A14.
Tranquil natural beauty surroundings
No annoying students to contend with. Ipswich Waterfront has a lot of urban noise… from people, car horns, loud vehicles and so forth. The noise from the Orwell Bridge is relaxing after a while. It is pretty constant with “heart-beat” rumbles as HGV enter on the bridge. The only exception was one motorcyclist with a loud exhaust but probably was on The Strand opposite.
In the first hour, I was surprised about how few people I saw on a really lovely sunny day…
- None in the first 20-30 minutes
- An older couple
- Two men running (jogging) under the bridge
Later I saw more couples (I felt strange being the only person by themselves) further down the river, two girls walking a dog, a middle-aged couple and later further down near Gun Towers (a little further down the river) a young couple. I was there for a little over two hours sweating-like-a-pig on walking back I noticed far more people… perhaps they waited for after the hottest part of the day!!
Perhaps establish a new marina here?
Only iconic bridge we need: Orwell Bridge
Orwell Bridge is the only landmark bridge we need. Excluding maintenance (which Upper Orwell Crossings won’t be exempt from either in the future) it is free in 2017. It handles more traffic than Upper Orwell Crossings ever will!
River Orwell has Yachts too…
Royal Harwich Yacht Club (at Woolverstone Ipswich not anywhere near Harwich!) has a marina (Woolverstone Marina). Yachts also use the river as a leisure activity (to and from Ipswich Waterfront marinas) in addition to ships going to and from Ipswich Docks.
Plenty of views of the Orwell Bridge
Ipswich benefits from a beach (river beach) – when I went the tide hadn’t gone out. I didn’t originally expect to venture down that far (such as (expecting) too many people around, too muddy etc). I knew if I went later in the day more chance of too many people around.
Something else Ipswich Waterfront doesn’t have is trees…
Plenty more, Bridge Wood etc. The fresh air here is absolutely wonderful.
Orwell Country Park vs Ipswich Waterfront
Okay, perhaps not the best of comparisons. No restaurants here for one example.
Ipswich Waterfront has pubs, restaurants and cafes charging a premium for the hyped location. It has no tourist attraction. Development has stalled. An obsession with building flats is evident. You see the yachts in the marina. On a sunny day it looks really nice (note not necessarily need to be in the summer). Some of the building architecture isn’t too bad. The close proximity of both the university and college makes it primarily used by students. The Bridge Street end looks awful, as does the unfinished wine rack. Much of the land is private property. Other than the yachts there isn’t much selling the place in all honesty! It is noisy with heavy traffic along 3 sides of the waterfront… a lot of polluted air and pollution from the Ipswich port. Car parking costs money.
Orwell Country Park has a wonderful collection of natural beauty. When the tide is out there is a river beach. It is a nice location to walk your dog or for a romantic picnic. You can tell the air is cleaner. The area isn’t mute – some noise from the bridge constant, birds, perhaps the occasional dog bark and gentle sound of the river (similar to the sea at a seaside). You can observe ships and yachts passing down (or up) the river. A generous amount of free car parking exists. Some days and at certain times you see very few people. It would be nice for inclusion of a cafe (perhaps a welcome centre). At the end of the day, you can always go into town for a restaurant or pub in the evening.1 month, 1 week ago #3183
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Orwell Country Park is indeed a lovely spot. Its great for a nice walk at any time of the year, we last went down in January on a lovely clear winter’s day. You can do several circular walks, of varying length, including coming right back up under the bridge then across the land behind Gainsborough Sports centre, and back across the A14. We usually park up in the area behind the petrol station, and start walking from there.
I imagine a lot of Ipswich people don’t even know its there to be honest. Not quite sure how it could be done, as probably never enough people, but somewhere to have a cup of tea would be great, although I think if you are enterprising you can get to the petrol station from the car park and get a drink from there.
Its one clear advantage over the Waterfront is indeed the potential to do a decent circular walk, something you can’t do at the Waterfront, its there and back again when you go there, then its an expensive drink to make up the time!
OCP can be a wonderfully tranquil place, this was from a year or so ago.
I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!
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