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British Mensa Annual Gathering 2017

Event Information

From: 8th Sep 2017

To: 11th Sep 2017


British Mensa Annual Gathering 2017

The Novotel Hotel, 

Grey Friars Road, Ipswich, IP1 1UP

8-11 September 

This year’s British Mensa annual gathering is heading to the Mensa region of East Anglia for the first time.

The AG will be based at the 4 star Novotel Hotel, with lots of events taking place around the local area.

The Novotel is centrally located a few minutes from the vibrant waterfront and city centre. Bed and breakfast will be from £75 per night for single occupancy, and from £85 for a double room.

  • Rich breakfast buffet in the airy restaurant
  • Free WiFi, satellite TV, touch info-screen, video games in the lobby
  • State-of-the-art gym to keep you in shape
  • Close to city centre, waterfront and central transport networks

Many of the events - including the icebreaker, gala dinner, AGM on Sunday morning and several talks - will be at the Novotel. The hotel itself is just a short walk from the town centre, which includes many interesting and historic buildings, as well as being close to the waterfront of the River Orwell. One of the highlights of the weekend will be a boat trip on the Sunday down the river, towards the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich at the mouths of the Orwell and Stour.

On Saturday there will be a trip to Sutton Hoo, a National Trust property on the site of several ancient burial grounds. As well as the normal public exhibits, we will have an exclusive reconstruction of the legal proceedings which decided whether or not the Anglo Saxon artefacts unearthed on the site were “treasure trove”.

September 7-10 is Heritage Weekend, when many of England’s finest buildings will be open to the public. One of these which we plan to visit is the Willis building, which offers spectacular views.

We will also have a walking tour lead by an official guide, and on the Friday evening there will be a ghost walk. Early arrivals can enjoy a Thursday evening trip to the Orwell Park Observatory, built in 1874 by Colonel Tomline. If the weather is fine we will be able to look through the telescope, which can see objects as far away as 8 billion light-years. The house is now a private boarding school, so the telescope can only be visited by special prior arrangement. One of the talks on offer is Russians in Suffolk, given by local secretary David Davies, and there will be the usual AG features such as board games, poker and newsletters and SIGs to browse through.

As well as the organised events, there are many other places of interest just a short car journey away, including Beth Chatto’s gardens, Jimmy’s Farm, the Museum of East Anglian Life and Flatford Mill.

Spaces to some of these events are limited, so must be booked on a first come first served basis. We hope to publish a full programme of the weekend events soon. Thank you for your patience.


We are sure you will make yourself at home at the 4-star Novotel Ipswich Centre hotel, just a few steps from the vibrant waterfront and city centre. Your stay will be in one of the bright, modern bedrooms. The hotel serves delicious food fresh from the open chef station and we are sure you will enjoy socialising in the stylish open plan contemporary bar!


You can reserve your hotel room NOW by calling the Novotel direct on 01473 232400 quoting reference MENSA

Standard Bedroom including breakfast £75.00 single occupancy
  £85.00 double occupancy
Superior Bedroom including breakfast  £80.00 single occupancy
  £90.00 double occupancy
Executive Bedroom including breakfast £90.00 single occupancy
  £100.00 double occupancy


Organiser Information

Anthony Robin