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
2.5 hectares (6 acres) of gravel, water and woodland gardens, a large modern tea room and plant nursery.
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.
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.
Over 50 years ago, John Wilkin began collecting the paraphernalia of preserve making and Essex village life.
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 Roman Wall is the oldest and longest surviving town wall in Britain.
Set on the wooded slopes of the River Colne, Wivenhoe has attractive old inns and a pretty quayside.
Colchester's Castle Park provides a perfect setting for a huge range of events including shows, festivals and concerts.
The Minories Galleries is a professional contemporary art gallery run in conjunction with Colchester School of Art & Design and Media.
The town of Brightlingsea - the only Cinque port outside Kent and Sussex, a centre for all things nautical.
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.
Eight miles to the East of Braintree lies Coggeshall a lovely little 'olde worlde' town with a lot to offer.
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.
A picturesque village with narrow winding streets lined with timber-framed buildings and elegant Georgian houses.
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.
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.
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.