Morning: Visit Colchester's Art Scene
The Minories Galleries is a professional contemporary art gallery housed in a Listed Georgian building. The gardens, together with the folly within them, provide a delightful setting to appreciate the building and art work all with the option of a delicious lunch or afternoon tea from the onsite Tiptree Batte-Lay Tearoom.
Firstsite is a cutting-edge multimillion-pound visual art destination, located right in the heart of town. This cultural attraction showcases the work of regional, national and international artists, and frequently puts on cultural activities and shows.
The wider Colchester area is also the home a diversity of art galleries and arts & crafts centres. You can view the scenes which inspired famous English artists like 19th Century landscape painter John Constable, 18th century artist Thomas Gainsborough and 20th Century equestrian artist Sir Alfred Munnings, the Colchester area offers cutting-edge contemporary art galleries and art cafés for you to enjoy and buy locally made art and craft.
Afternoon: Explore Historic Sites
Explore Britain's oldest recorded town, with a colourful history dating back over two thousand years. Visit one of Colchester's award-winning museums such as Colchester Castle Museum, which showcases artefacts of Colchester's rich history, displayed within the walls of Norman keep built on the site of a Roman Temple.
Within the town centre itself, you can see a variety of historic sites, from Victorian splendour and medieval timber framed houses, to the Roman Ruins of a theatre, a circus and the town wall and the evidence of Queen Boudica's destruction of the Roman capital of Britain.
Evening: Out at the Theatre
Colchester is fortunate in being able to offer groups a wide range of high quality evening entertainment to suit all tastes. The award winning Mercury Theatre stages an exciting and varied programme, much of which is produced in-house by the acclaimed Mercury Theatre Company. In addition the Mercury regularly plays host to touring ballet and opera productions, comedy, jazz and popular music. Housed in St Mary's Church, Colchester Arts Centre also attracts many of the big names in comedy and jazz and is the area's foremost venue for folk, and the Headgate Theatre down the road also puts on shows. Charter Hall is another flexible space that can stage everything from full orchestras to one-man shows.
More cultural places to visit...
Art gallery displaying fine detail watercolours by John Harrison, Originals high quailty prints and greeting cards for sale. Tea room providing teas speciality, coffees, lunches, snacks and cream teas. Closed on Mon & Tues.
National Trust property, the mill was originally built as a fishing lodge in 1591 and features stepped "Dutch" gables. There is a millpond and some of the machinery, including the waterwheel which is still intact and working.
Grange Barn stands as a reminder of the once powerful Coggeshall Abbey; with ancient pillars soaring to a cathedral like roof.
The home of live music, comedy, theatre, poetry, dance, children's shows, clubs, farmer's markets, gigs and more.
Colchester Castle is the largest Norman Keep in Europe. Constructed on the foundations of the Temple of Claudius. The Castle Museum today reveals many fascinating layers of history to visitors.
The Colchester Roman circus (chariot-racing arena) was discovered in 2005. It was built in the early 2nd century AD and seems to have been in use for about 150 years. It is the only known Roman circus in Britain.
One mile length of line with re-located buildings, large collection of heritage rolling stock, steam and diesel locomotives and miniature and model railways. Special events including Thomas and Santa specials.
Historically the most important - and dimensionally the largest - of the Knights Templar's Essex landholdings, Cressing Temple is a fascinating medieval moated farmstead boasting the oldest recorded timber-framed barn in the world.
Set by the River Stour, Dedham is in the heart of Constable Country. It was here that Britain's greatest landscape artist went to school.
This beautifully converted church showcases the work of over 60+ creative artisans and the buying skills of specialist retailers on its top two floors while the ground floor houses a Lifestyle Living showroom and a tearoom.
Our church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin in 1492 when the present building was begun, is not the first church to have been built upon this site.
Located just north of the High Street and includes: Maidenburgh Street, West Stockwell Street, East Stockwell Street, Stockwell Street, St Helen's Lane, Northgate Street and Nunn's Road.
Celebrating the changing role of railways in the Eastern Counties since they arrived in the early 19th Century, through their glory days of the early 20th Century to the disappearances of the Beeching era.
A spectacular new venue for contemporary visual arts, firstsite offers a changing programme of exhibitions by international artists, creative events and activities for the whole family, plus talks, films, workshops and more. Entry is free.
A delightful 16th century cottage just minutes from Flatford Mill. Why not visit our Constable exhibition then sit by the river and enjoy a freshly baked cake at the National Trust tea room and find a gift in our shop.
The Archaeological Park is one of the most significant Iron Age and Roman sites in the country. Enjoy a walk and discover the highlights of the site with the interpretation boards around the Park.