Visit Colchester

Visit Colchester - Britain's first Roman city. Watch our film to discover what awaits you.

Colchester in Essex is Britain's oldest recorded town and was the first city and capital in Roman Britain. Its rich history dates back over 2000 years.

But it's not just history. 21st Century Colchester is a thriving, modern town with first class visitor attractions, including the family favourites Colchester Zoo and Colchester Castle, as well as fantastic places to eat, drink and shop.

Poised at the gateway to East Anglia with picturesque villages and only minutes away from the coast, the Colchester area is the perfect destination for a well-deserved short break, day trip or family holiday.

 

Discover Colchester

Explore the Beautiful Borough

The Beautiful Borough - Colchester

There's more to Colchester than the historic town centre, with the borough covering more than 135 square miles of scenic Essex coast and countryside.

From island life on Mersea, jam-making in Tiptree, and the heart of Constable Country in the Dedham Vale, there's a wealth of small towns and villages just a short distance from Colchester' town centre, all with their own unique character and stories to tell. Sometimes the smallest villages hold the most unlikely secrets!

Stay a few days and explore the Beautiful Borough of Colchester, and share your experiences with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the #BeautifulBorough hashtag.

Find out more

The Beautiful Borough
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What to do in Colchester?

Castle at Night

History & Heritage 

With Roman Ruins, a Norman Castle, and Civil War scars - Colchester's history can be explored without even leaving the town centre, but head further afield and discover even more!

Cudmore Grove Country Park by Visit Essex

Family Days Out 

With both a Zoo and a Castle Colchester is off to a great start for any adventurous children. There's more to see and do whatever the weather, and it doesn't have to break the bank.

Firstsite

Arts & Culture 

With three theatres and several art galleries, including the internationally recognised Firstsite, Colchester is the cultural hub of Essex and the local region.

Cow in river at Dedham Vale

Outdoor Adventure 

Constable Country and Mersea Island are on Colchester's doorstep, as well as several award winning parks, gardens and nature reserves, there's plenty of opportunity to explore the outdoors.

Events in Colchester - Highlights

Courage Calls To Courage Everywhere

Courage Calls To Courage Everywhere

Sat 10 Nov 2018 - Sun 12 May 2019

Art Exhibition at Firstsite

Jack And The Beanstalk

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

Sat 24 Nov 2018 - Sun 20 Jan 2019

The Mercury panto is back, and this year it’s bigger and better than ever.

Blockheads

The Blockheads

Fri 14 - Sat 15 Dec 2018

The classic English Rock & Roll group play two nights at Colchester Arts Centre

Crouch Street

Crouch Street Christmas Grotto

Sat 15 Dec 2018

Santa visits the St Helena Hospice store on Crouch Street

Thomas

Festive Day Out With Thomas

Sat 15 - Sun 16 Dec 2018

Fun for all the family.

The Magic of Christmas

Magic of Christmas

Sat 15 - Mon 24 Dec 2018

Festive fun at Colchester Zoo

Darth Vader's Galactic Grotto

Darth Vader's Galactic Grotto 2018

Sat 15 Dec 2018

Darth Vader has felt your presents, at Ace Comics.

Peanuts

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Music of Vince Guaraldi

Sun 16 Dec 2018

Nostalgic Christmas Jazz at Colchester Arts Centre

Roman Roadsters

Roman Roadsters Monthly Gathering

Sun 16 Dec 2018

Classic Cars by the TS Colne Lightship

John Cooper Clarke

Christmas Poetry Bash w/ John Cooper Clarke + more

Sat 22 Dec 2018

The annual festive bout of local poetry heroes at Colchester Arts Centre

Thomas

Festive Day Out With Thomas

Sat 22 - Sun 23 Dec 2018

Fun for all the family.

THEATRE OF WIDDERSHINS: SNOW WHITE, ROSE RED, BEAR

Snow White, Rose Red, Brown Bear

Sun 23 - Mon 31 Dec 2018

After the huge success of Rapunzel, Theatre of Widdershins is back with a brilliant fairy tale adventure for kids aged 4 to 104

Party Like It's 1999

Party Like It's 1999 - New Years Eve Party

Mon 31 Dec 2018

New Years eve Party at Twisters Bar

New Years Day Walk

New Year's Day Walk - High Woods

Tue 1 Jan 2019

The traditional New Year's Day 3 mile long ranger-led walk through the park followed by a cup of mulled wine and a mince pie.Wrap up warm

Stephen K Amos

Stephen K Amos: Bouquets and Brickbats

Fri 25 Jan 2019

Stand Up Comedy at Colchester Arts Centre

Annie

Colchester Operatic Society present: Annie

Wed 30 Jan - Sat 9 Feb 2019

Classic Music at the Mercury Theatre

12th Colchester Beer Festival Logo

12th Colchester Winter Beer Festival

Wed 30 Jan - Sat 2 Feb 2019

A Three-Day Beer Festival in Colchester Town Centre

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Living Dangerously

Sat 9 Feb 2019

The Famous Explorer at the Mercury Theatre

Russell Kane

Russell Kane - The Fast and the Curious

Thu 14 Feb 2019

Stand-up Comedy at the Mercury Theatre

Mousetrap

The Mousetrap

Mon 18 - Sat 23 Feb 2019

Classic Whodunnit at the Mercury Theatre

More events around town

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