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.

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

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
Download the posters as wallpaper for your phone, tablet or desktop

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

Family Heritage Treasure Trail

Family Heritage Treasure Trail

Sat 20 Jul - Sun 22 Sep 2019

FREE town trail, with prizes!

Marks Hall Sculpture

Marks Hall Sculpture 2019

Sat 20 Jul - Sat 31 Aug 2019

Sculpture Trail at Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum.

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Wed 24 Jul 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester. Meet at the Visit Colchester Information Centre

Beer & Cider Festival

Colchester Summer Real Ale, Cider and Gin Fest

Thu 25 - Sun 28 Jul 2019

Beer Festival at Colchester Cricket Club

Adorn

Adorn: Jewellery, The Human Story

Sat 27 Jul 2019 - Sun 16 Feb 2020

Jewellery exhibition at Colchester Castle

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 27 Jul 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester. Meet at the Visit Colchester Information Centre

Tears For Fears

Tears For Fears

Sun 28 Jul 2019

The iconic duo play Colchester's Castle Park.

Griff Rhys Jones

Gruff Rhys Jones

Wed 31 Jul 2019

Comedy at Colchester Arts Centre

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Wed 31 Jul 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester. Meet at the Visit Colchester Information Centre

Adorn: Razzle Dazzle

Razzle Dazzle

Fri 2 Aug 2019

Our Adorn kids launch is a children’s party with style. With party games, face-painting and plenty of fun, explore our new exhibition with your little ones and share some of your favourite stories about the things you wear.

The Nearly Festival

The Nearly Festival

Sat 3 - Sun 4 Aug 2019

Tribute Band Festival at the Old Heath Recreation Ground

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 3 Aug 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester. Meet at the Visit Colchester Information Centre

The 5 Parishes Show

The 5 Parishes Summer Show

Sun 4 Aug 2019

Horticulture and Agriculture show for all the family, held on Fingringhoe Ranges

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Wed 7 Aug 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester. Meet at the Visit Colchester Information Centre

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 10 Aug 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester. Meet at the Visit Colchester Information Centre

Mersea Lions Summer Show

Mersea Lions Summer Show

Sat 10 Aug 2019

Annual Summer Show on Mersea Island

Castle Park Bandstand

Bandstand Concert: The Colchester Band

Sun 11 Aug 2019

Free concert on Castle Park's Victorian Bandstand

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Wed 14 Aug 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester. Meet at the Visit Colchester Information Centre

Mersea Regatta

West Mersea Town Regatta

Sat 17 Aug 2019

Mersea Island's annual Regatta day

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 17 Aug 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester. Meet at the Visit Colchester Information Centre

More events around town

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Adorn at Colchester Castle

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