Feeling blue about lockdown restrictions ruining your Valentine's Day plans? Why not gift your better half the IOU of a future romantic break in the Borough of Colchester?

We’ve got plenty of ideas for you, just close your eyes and imagine it's February 2022…

Wivenhoe House, GreyFriars Hotel and Swallows Field Glamping Pods

Places to Stay

Treat yourself and the one you love to a bit of elegance, and stay over at Wivenhoe House, a C18th country house Hotel set in peaceful parkland 2 miles to the south-west of Colchester


If you want to base yourselves in the town centre, GreyFriars is a classy hotel with 26 luxuriously appointed bedrooms, including a number of suites featuring marble bathrooms and roll top baths.


For those that love the great outdoors, 5 miles to the west of Colchester, Swallows Field Glamping is comprised of three private luxury pods stood on a landscaped paddock, overlooking the Colne Valley.

The Old Siege House, Le Talbooth and the Comany Shed

Memorable Meals

The Old Siege House was built in the late 15th Century and it has seen many of Colchester’s historic events over the years - And many many date nights!


A visit to Le Talbooth in Dedham, a fabulous listed building, is a treat any time of the year especially in good weather when you can dine on the terrace under a huge architectural sail.


Dining at the Company Shed on Mersea Island is an experience you'll be keen to repeat. Eating here is a more relaxed affair but they have a long standing reputation for quality, and their famous Oysters.

Castle Park, a concrete mural and a Mersea Island sunset

Romantic Walks

Take an amble around Castle Park and follow the tree trail for a memorable day enjoying nature together and learning which tree this unusual leaf belongs to, why the bark is like that, or which trees you would perhaps normally just pass by, are actually quite special.


Discover a series of concrete murals by husband and wife artists Henry Collins and Joyce Pallot, located around Colchester town centre. Originally from the 1970's these artworks have been recently restored and depict Colchester's history and famous characters from it's past. 


Mersea Island is the perfect place for walking, whether you would like a short stroll or a longer walk. There are plenty of beautiful views and an abundance of wildlife to see along the way. Not to mention some glorious sunsets! 

Beers in the Three Wise Monkeys, Pavilion and the Sun Inn

A Tipple or Two

Pavilion is a perfectly pretty destination for a romantic drink. Relax in a light, beautifully designed space and indulge in something from their well stocked bar or wine cellar.


The perfect town centre spot for late afternoon/early evening drinks, the Three Wise Monkeys is a lively, popular modern pub with an extensive menu including craft beer, wines, local ale and cocktails.


If you’re after somewhere traditional and cosy for a drink after a brisk countryside walk, head to The Sun Inn in Dedham. A quintessential coaching inn at the heart of Constable Country.

A Zebra at Colchester Zoo, a guided walk through Colchester, and rowing in Dedham

Things to do Together

Take to the water in Dedham and row a boat for two along the River Stour. Rowing boats are available to hire from the Dedham Boat House.


Not just for kids, Colchester Zoo is a special place that people of all ages enjoy. Why not explore it as part of your romantic weekend, and learn more about the animals who live there and the conservation work of the zoo.


If history is your thing, you could treat your better half to a visit to Colchester Castle, or a Guided Tour of Colchester. At the Visitor Information Centre, we take bookings for walking tours with town guides which take you from ‘Camulodunum to Colchester’ in under 2 hours.

Post pandemic, we hope to reinstate our regular weekly tours on a Saturday morning, and to resume private tours too.


We hope that has put lots of ideas in your head for NEXT Valentine's Day - but we will cross our fingers that we will see you much sooner than that! 

Stay Safe & best wishes for a wonderful Valentine's weekend, wherever you are spending it.


Mersea Island Walking Map
Walking Route
Mersea Island

Mersea Island is the perfect place for walking, whether you would like a short stroll of "The Old City" or a longer walk along the "Strood Channel", there are plenty of beautiful views and an abundance of wildlife to see along the way.

River Stour
Boat Hire
River Stour

The River Stour runs from Cambridgeshire and out to the North Sea at  Harwich, Essex, following the county boundary between Suffolk and Essex for most of its 47 mile stretch.

Castle Park
Hollytrees House framed by Wisteria

The jewel in Colchester’s crown - an award-winning oasis of horticultural splendour boasting a children’s play area, putting green and boating lake.



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