Dedham Art & Craft Centre / St Botolph's Priory / James and the Giant Peach at Mercury Theatre

Things To Do For Groups, Clubs, Societies & Coach Operators

Colchester is different: 2000 years of history snuggles up to 21st-century culture making the place burst with all sorts of everything you need for a day trip, short break or longer stay.

From Constable and Munnings to cutting-edge contemporary galleries, you can find art & culture for all. There's also internationally important historical treasures located in award-winning museums and outside in streets and lanes. View lush landscapes in our Victorian Castle Park and take time out to breathe in sweeping views of nearby coast and countryside.

Discover shopper's heaven in lanes of little specialist shops and big name stores in Colchester Town centre, and stop off for a bite to eat in traditional pubs or high end restaurants, to get a proper taste of Colchester.

Contact Us

Colchester Visitor Information Centre
Hollytrees Museum
Castle Park
CO1 1UG Colchester

Tel: 01206 282920   Email: vic@colchester.gov.uk

Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Great Places to Visit in and around Colchester

Roman Circus Peter Froste CAT

Colchester Roman circus centre

Colchester

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.

The Minories

The Minories Galleries

Colchester

The Minories Galleries is a professional contemporary art gallery run in conjunction with Colchester School of Art & Design and Media.

St Botolph's Priory

St Botolph's Priory, Colchester

Colchester

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.

Coggeshall

Coggeshall

Coggeshall

Eight miles to the East of Braintree lies Coggeshall a lovely little 'olde worlde' town with a lot to offer.

Dedham

Dedham

Dedham

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.

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo

Colchester

Colchester Zoo is constantly developing and has won many awards for its work. With over 260 species to see, set in 60 acres of beautiful parkland and lakes, Colchester Zoo is well worth a visit.

Beth Chatto Gardens

Beth Chatto Gardens

Colchester

2.5 hectares (6 acres) of gravel, water and woodland gardens, a large modern tea room and plant nursery.

Hollytrees Museum

Hollytrees Museum

Colchester

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.

Wilkin and Sons

Wilkin and Sons Ltd

Colchester

Over 50 years ago, John Wilkin began collecting the paraphernalia of preserve making and Essex village life.

firstsite, photo: Richard Bryant, arcaidimages.com

Firstsite

Colchester

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.

Manningtree

Manningtree

Manningtree

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.

Mersea Island

Mersea Island

Mersea Island

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.

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Colchester

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.

Castle Park and Gardens

Castle Park

Colchester

Colchester's Castle Park provides a perfect setting for a huge range of events including shows, festivals and concerts.

Bourne Mill

Bourne Mill

Colchester

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.

Brightlingsea

Brightlingsea

Brightlingsea

The town of Brightlingsea - the only Cinque port outside Kent and Sussex, a centre for all things nautical.

Wivenhoe

Wivenhoe

Wivenhoe

Set on the wooded slopes of the River Colne, Wivenhoe has attractive old inns and a pretty quayside.

Castle Hedingham

Castle Hedingham

Castle Hedingham

A picturesque village with narrow winding streets lined with timber-framed buildings and elegant Georgian houses.

Balkerne Gate

Roman Wall/Guard Room/Triumphal Arch

Colchester

Colchester's Roman Wall is the oldest and longest surviving town wall in Britain.