Visit Colchester

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

Welcome to Colchester! A historic Essex town, Britain's first city and former capital of Roman Britain. Its rich history dates back over 2000 years and is ripe for exploring.

But it's not all about the past. 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

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.

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's centre, all with their own unique character and stories to tell. Sometimes the smallest villages hold the most unlikely secrets!

Stay a few days, 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
Download the posters as wallpaper for your phone, tablet or desktop

Events in Colchester - Highlights

Field for the British Isles

Antony Gormley: Field for the British Isles

Fri 15 Nov 2019 - Sun 8 Mar 2020

Experience this vast and iconic artwork at Firstsite

Unboxing Alex Frost

Unboxing Alex Frost

Sat 8 Feb - Sun 19 Apr 2020

Art Exhibition at Firstsite

Rob Brydon

Rob Brydon - Songs and Stories

Wed 26 Feb 2020

Rob Brydon entertains at Colchester's Charter Hall

Essex Book Festival

Essex Book Festival

Fri 28 Feb - Tue 31 Mar 2020

Essex Book Festival returns for 2020

Rhys James

Rhys James: Snitch

Fri 28 Feb 2020

Stand Up Comedy at Colchester Arts Centre

Winter Beer Festival

The Chappel Winter Beer Festival

Fri 28 - Sat 29 Feb 2020

The celebrated Beer Festival returns to the East Anglian Railway Museum

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 29 Feb 2020

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester depating from the Visitor Information Centre

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Cheltenham Town

Sat 29 Feb 2020

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Out Of Space

Out Of Space Presents 90s Dance Anthems

Sat 29 Feb 2020

Out of Space is a night dedicated to the best 90’s Dance Anthems.

Jess Phillips

Truth to Power: Jess Phillips

Thu 5 Mar 2020

Essex Book Festival at the University of Essex

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 7 Mar 2020

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester depating from the Visitor Information Centre

Gillian Darley

Excellent Essex: Gillian Darley

Wed 11 Mar 2020

Essex Book Festival arrives at Wivenhoe Library

Essex Book Festival Colchester Weekend

Essex Book Festival - Colchester Weekend

Sat 14 - Sun 15 Mar 2020

Essex Book Festival sets up camp in Colchester

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 14 Mar 2020

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester depating from the Visitor Information Centre

SPRING STEAM GALA

Spring Steam Gala

Sat 14 - Sun 15 Mar 2020

Let off some steam at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Scunthorpe United

Sat 14 Mar 2020

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Crewe Alexandria

Tue 17 Mar 2020

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 21 Mar 2020

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester depating from the Visitor Information Centre

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 28 Mar 2020

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester depating from the Visitor Information Centre

Gillian Wearing

Tell me the story of all these things

Sat 28 Mar - Sun 28 Jun 2020

Exhbition featuring artworks made by some of Britain’s best-known artists - selected by radical women of Colchester.

More events around town

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