It's not just history and heritage; Colchester today is a thriving modern town with an amazing variety of places to visit, it truly has something for all tastes, ages and pockets.
With so many activities, events, places to eat, drink & shop to choose from, you never need to be at a loss for things to do in Colchester and the surrounding area.
Great Places to Visit in and around Colchester
Welcome to Manningtree, a gateway to Constable country and more... As England's smallest town - at just over 19 hectares - Manningtree is small but packs in a great deal for residents and visitors alike.
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.
An important part of Colchester's rich history with three centuries of fascinating toys, costume and decorative arts displayed in an attractive Georgian town house from 1718.
Set on the wooded slopes of the River Colne, Wivenhoe has attractive old inns and a pretty quayside.
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.
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.
The town of Brightlingsea - the only Cinque port outside Kent and Sussex, a centre for all things nautical.
Britain's most easterly inhabited island, home to the settlements of East and West Mersea. It is accessed by 'The Strood' - a causeway which at high tide floods, making the island separate from the mainland.
Colchester Zoo is home to over 260 species set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes and are proudly listed as in the top 2 zoos in the UK as part of the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Attractions.
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.
Colchester's Roman Wall is the oldest and longest surviving town wall in Britain.
2.5 hectares (6 acres) of gravel, water and woodland gardens, a large modern tea room and plant nursery.
Eight miles to the East of Braintree lies Coggeshall a lovely little 'olde worlde' town with a lot to offer.
Discover and interesting 'hands-on' perspective on the local natural environment from the Ice Age right up to today. Explore the garden trail and stag beetle exhibition, free entry.
Colchester's Castle Park provides a perfect setting for a huge range of events including shows, festivals and concerts.
Over 50 years ago, John Wilkin began collecting the paraphernalia of preserve making and Essex village life.
A picturesque village with narrow winding streets lined with timber-framed buildings and elegant Georgian houses.
The first English Augustinian priory church, founded at the end of the eleventh century from the Anglo-Saxon minster community of Colchester. Only the ruined remains of the nave survive today, under the care of English Heritage.