Our guide to parking in Ipswich

POSTED ON: 12/03/2019

Like many towns, the cost of parking in Ipswich is a commonly held reason as to why people no longer visit the town or support the high street.

So we looked at some of the main areas of the town to see what the costs really are:

Parking for the town centre

One of the closest car parks is behind Debenhams and M&S. Run by NCP, this short-stay car park is just £1 if you are going to be an hour, rising to £15 for over three hours, although if you arrive after 3pm, you can pay £3 as long as you have moved your car by 11pm. Useful if you are coming in after school or visiting one of the bars in town or the Ipswich Film Theatre.

Within a ten minute walk of shops such as Joules, Jack Wills, Hotel Chocolat, Tiger and Tessuti, as well as Sailmaker's Shopping Centre (and useful for an evening visit) is Crown Street Car Park. Run by Ipswich Borough Council, this car park is £1 per hour for five hours if you arrive before 2pm and just £2 for the remainder of the day if you arrive afterwards. 

The Buttermarket Centre has its own car park, with the entrance on Dogs Head Street. During the day, parking is £2 for the first hour, rising to £15 for a stay of over six hours. Empire Cinema, PureGym and SuperBowl are located in this centre and concessions are available to these customers. There are also several restaurants in the centre including wagamama, Cosy Club and Byron Burger and parking is free after 7pm.

If you are visiting the Saints then there are two options for parking nearby, and both are a short walk into town or to the waterfront. The first is Cromwell Square, located on St Nicholas Street and run by Ipswich Borough Council. Parking is £1.80 up to the first hour, rising to £4.50 for three hours. Arrival after 2pm is just £2 for the remainder of the day (Monday to Friday) and is free after 6pm. The second car park is Rose Lane, with parking at £1.50 an hour rising to £6.20 for the whole day.

If you are happy to walk a little way and are looking for cheaper long-stay then all the car parks at Portman Road, run by Ipswich Borough Council are just £5 for over five hours, £2 after 2pm and free if you arrive after 8pm (although you must arrive early if Ipswich are playing at home!)

Parking at the waterfront

There are three car parks that front onto the waterfront. Firstly, St Peter's Dock (currently undergoing a revamp and change of ownership) that is perfectly placed for visitors to DanceEast and restaurants such as the Waterfront Bistro, Wiff Waff and Pizza Express as well as shopping along The Saints. This is a short-stay car park, run by Ipswich Borough Council, with prices for an hour set at £1.30, rising to £6.50 for five hours. If you arrive after 2pm Monday to Friday then parking is £2 and arrival after 8pm is free.

A short walk from Briarbank, Isaacs and Bistro on the Quay is Fore Street Car Park (also run by Ipswich Borough Council) which is situated behind the swimming pool and is accessed via Star Lane. Like most of the Borough-run car parks, costs are £1 an hour, rising to £5 for over 5 hours, with £2 after 2pm and arrival after 8pm free (Monday to Friday only).

Further round the waterfront, close to the University, Forge Kitchen, Cult Cafe and Aurora is the Duke Street Car Park that is run by Ipserv. Tickets are £1.70 for an hour, with a day ticket (over 3 hours) costing £5.50 for a car (there are also spaces for vans and coaches).

There is a Total Car Park just off Key Street on the gyratory that charges £2 for two hours up to £4.40 for four hours or £11.80 for longer during the week, parking is only available for a maximum of four hours at weekends. In addition, there are hand car wash facilities on-site during the day.

The NCP Blackfriars car park on Foundation Street is easy to find, is located within a ten minute walk of the Cornhill square and a five minute walk to the waterfront. Prices start at £2.80 for an hour, rising to £9 if you are coming into town for over 4 hours. There is an evening rate of £3.10 for visitors arriving after 6pm.

A 10-15 minute walk from the waterfront is Cardinal Park, the home of Cineworld and restaurants such as Ask Italian, Frankie & Benny's and Nando's. Parking is cash only, with an hour costing £1.20 up to £6 for five hours. If you arrive after 6pm, parking is just £1.

Parking for New Wolsey Theatre 

If you are visiting the theatre (or coming in for a football game) then there are three car parks just off Civic Drive. Firstly, the Spiral undercover car park has rates of £1.50 for the first hour, up to a daily maximum of £9 but closes in the evenings. The open car park next to the theatre is run by Napier, with costs of £1.60 for the hour, up to £8 for six hours but arrival after 6pm is just £2.50. A short walk away (but really useful) is Elm Street car park where your first hour will cost £1.30, rising to £6.50 for five hours. Arrival after 2pm Monday to Friday is £2, or free after 8pm.

Parking for the Regent Theatre

Situated just five minutes from the theatre is the designated Regent Theatre Car Park (just off Woodbridge Road). Also useful for a trip into town, the car park is like most of the car parks run by Ipswich Borough Council with £1.30 for the first hour, £6.50 for up to five hours and £2 if arriving after 2pm (Monday to Friday only) or free after 8pm. This car park has 75 spaces but if it is full then there is another option just off Upper Orwell Street, also run by the Borough and with the same pricing structure. Using the same entrance, is the NCP Tacket Street Car Park with higher prices of £2.20 for the first hour, £4.30 for one to two hours and £6.80 for two to four hours, however there are 240 spaces and with the other entrance in the centre of town (near Sainsbury's) this can be a useful short stay car park to know about.

Parking for Ipswich Town Football Club

Many of the car parks mentioned above for town, waterfront or the New Wolsey Theatre will be helpful for the football club. There is also a large car park along the river (opposite Cardinal Park) that offers parking for football from £4 for the day. In addition, West End Roadis a 5-10 minute walk from the ground and you can park for £3 for three hours.

Season tickets

If you are coming into Ipswich regularly for work then it is worth considering a season ticket. NCP and Ipswich Borough Council both offer savings, either across a year or monthly.

Park and Ride

There are two sites just outside Ipswich to park and catch the bus into Ipswich. These are located at the A12 (London Road) junction and at Martlesham. If you travel after midday on weekdays and after Saturday then an adult ticket is £2.50 or £4 for a group ticket and run between 7am and 7pm.


14 best places to eat steak in Ipswich


TOP PICKS: Best Pasta In Ipswich


Our guide to parking in Ipswich