Picking accommodation can be a challenging feat, it can be hard to find something that ticks all your boxes. A nice double bed? Check! Big, bright windows? Check! A prison cell? Well, that is a little bit trickier, but check!

Luckily, Colchester has a range of interesting, historic and quirky accommodation for you to enjoy when you visit! Keep reading for some of our top recommendations for unique places to stay, for every taste.

A One-of-a-Kind Stay at a Norman Castle!

One of our top attractions, Colchester Castle is home to centuries of history. Burned cities to witch hunting, there are dozens of unique and interesting stories to be heard in this Norman venue.

If you’re looking to write your own story, why not come along to this special after-hours event? Featuring historical characters, a tour of the Castle (including visits to spots not usually open to visitors!), fun activities and a light breakfast, you’ll be able to sleep overnight at one of the most historically significant spots in Colchester. For the fearless among us, you might even be able to book a space in the Castle’s prison.

While there aren’t any Knightzzz at the Castle events planned right now, be sure to keep checking back on the Colchester Castle website to ensure you don’t miss out. This experience alone is worth planning a visit to Colchester!

COL - Gallery Image - Sealed Knot outside Castle

If you're looking for an experience that's a little bit different, why not align your trip with one of our ever-popular festivals, like the Roman and Medieval festival!

Take an Indulgent Break in a Luxury Historic Building

If you’d rather trade Romans for Rich local history, we’ve got just the place. Situated at the top of East Hill, Greyfriars is a beautiful building with great local significance. In its lifespan, Greyfriars has been a base for religious figures and students alike, operating as an educational establishment prior to its closure at the turn of the century. After a passionate restoration and renovation project, Greyfriars Hotel opened in 2015!

Now home to 26 exquisitely crafted rooms, Greyfriars is popular amongst locals and visitors alike. The hotel boasts numerous suites, and each unique bedroom features beautiful marble bathrooms or shower rooms. With bright windows and interesting views, the Greyfriars hotel provides a sense of luxury, but also a unique experience. Be sure to ask the Front Desk team for the history of the building, should you have any questions!

Greyfriars also serves wonderful food and drinks in their elegant restaurant settings including Afternoon Tea in the Rose Room, which features stunning details like bespoke tableware and blown-glass roses adorning the light fixtures. Perfect for couples or solo travellers looking for a luxurious and relaxing break.

Plate of small cakes at GreyFriars Hotel

Some of the delightful cakes you may be enjoying at Greyfriars afternoon tea.

Wake Up and Look at the Wildfowl!

Craving an escape to the countryside? Let us introduce you to Rye Farm, a beautiful, relaxing location, perfect for enjoying a quiet, rural getaway. At night, you can even enjoy some star gazing, due to the area's low levels of light pollution.

While Rye Farm is home to a number of beautifully converted 17th century apartment buildings (which feature original posts and beams!), what makes it a truly quirky space is its wildlife. As the farm still operates today - growing cereals and grazing livestock - be sure to keep an eye out for some familiar farmyard faces.

Additionally, the apartments are in close proximity to one of Europe's most important wildfowl havens: Abberton Reservoir. As such, the farm's moat is especially popular with the birds, and even the occasional Kingfisher - you never know how many feathered friends you may spot!

Signs at Abberton Reservoir against a cloudy sky.

You can see even more of Colchester's accommodation offerings on our 'Places to Stay' section. Remember, there's a perfect visit for everyone!