Elmers Big Parade in Ipswich
Ipswich is Suffolk’s country town and boasts a number of cultural events and activities, plus theatres, museums and art galleries. One of the key events of 2019 was when Elmer, the beloved patchwork elephant children’s character, came to town. Abi, our Marketing Manager, and her five year old son Monty, bought an Elmer trail map and set off on an adventure to discover Elmer…and Ipswich!
With 55 Elmers to hunt for, and the whole of Ipswich to discover, the trail was split into four different routes. The Park Route was based around Christchurch Park and the Town Route was located on the key shopping streets in the town – ideal for those with little legs! The Business Route took you through the commercial centre of Ipswich and the Waterfront Route was based near the marina.
The regenerated marina and waterfront at Ipswich could be equally at home in the South of France!
Tons of Fun for Everyone!
The Elmer Trail ran from 15 June to 7 September 2019 and was a two-year project involving working with local schools, charities and businesses to put the route together. With a clear focus on all things Suffolk, there was even an Elmer dedicated to Ed Sheeran!
For a Worthy Cause
In addition to being fun for all, the aim for the trail was to raise funds for a worthy cause of St Elizabeth Hospice. Celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2019, the charity aims to improve life for those living with progressive or terminal illness through specialist palliative and end of care life.
Ipswich Town Centre
We decided to stick to the town centre route and combine our trail with a bite to eat in the cafe at Elmer HQ in the Town Hall. With each Elmer taking on a different design, by a different artist and for a different sponsor, time was needed to take it all in!
The number of Elmers that took on a Suffolk theme for their artwork was impressive! This Elmer is called ‘Earnest Edmund’. He is a celebration of Suffolk life, inspired by its beautiful countryside, coastline, towns and villages.
Fans of Aldeburgh will recognise the artwork on this particular Elmer! ‘Suffolk Masters’ was created by Emma Graham and is a celebration of the work of some of the county’s finest artists. Featuring work inspired by Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable and Maggi Hambling (the creator of the Aldeburgh scallop).
After ticking off all the Elmers in the town centre, Monty and I ventured to Christchuch Park.
Eleanor the Adventurer is inspired by the artist’s love for role playing games. The kind where you get to make your own heroes and play out your own stories.
Theatres and Museums in Ipswich
Located in Christchurch park is Christchurch Mansion, where you can explore the period rooms from the Tudor kitchen to the sumptuous Georgian saloon and the beautifully detailed Victorian wing. A must is the fine collection of art from Suffolk artists. These include the biggest collection of Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable paintings outside of London.
Stay near Ipswich
Why not combine your break in Suffolk with a touch of art and culture in Ipswich? Combine the best of both worlds by staying in rural tranquillity yet be within easy reach of Ipswich. Finally, our suggestions for hand-picked stylish places to stay within easy reach are below.
The Stable, Witnesham (5 miles from Ipswich).
River View, Pin Mill (7 miles from Ipswich).
Upper Lodge, Shotley (under 10 miles to Ipswich).
Mousehall Barn, Hadleigh (under 10 miles from Ipswich).