Ipswich () is a historic county town in Suffolk, England. The town is located in East Anglia about 10 miles (16 km) away from the mouth of the River Orwell and the North Sea. Ipswich is both on the Great Eastern Main Line railway and the A12 road, and is 67 miles (108 km) north-east of London, 45 miles (72 km) east-southeast of Cambridge, and 40 miles (64 km) south of Norwich. Ipswich is surrounded by two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); Suffolk Coast and Heaths and Dedham Vale.
Ipswich’s modern name is derived from the medieval name Gippeswic, probably taken either from an Anglo-Saxon personal name or from an earlier name given to the Orwell Estuary (although unrelated to the name of the River Gipping). It has also been known as Gyppewicus and Yppswyche. The town has been continuously occupied since the Saxon period, and is contested to be one of the oldest towns in the United Kingdom. Ipswich was a settlement of great economic importance to England throughout its history, particularly in trade. The town’s historical dock, present-day Ipswich Waterfront, was known as the largest and most important dock in the kingdom.
Ipswich is a non-metropolitan district and is a large settlement despite its town status. The urban development of Ipswich overspills the borough boundaries significantly, with 75% of the town’s population living within the borough at the time of the 2011 Census, when it was the fourth-largest urban area in the United Kingdom’s East of England region, and the 42nd-largest urban area in England and Wales. In 2011, the town of Ipswich was found to have a population of 133,384, while the Ipswich Built-up area is estimated to have a population of approximately 180,000 in 2011.