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

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

Family Heritage Treasure Trail

Family Heritage Treasure Trail

Sat 20 Jul - Sun 22 Sep 2019

FREE town trail, with prizes!

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Wed 21 Aug 2019

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

Clacton Airshow

Clacton Airshow

Thu 22 - Fri 23 Aug 2019

The hugely popular airshow returns to Clacton for the 28th year.

A Festival of Colchester

A Festival of Colchester 2019

Fri 23 Aug - Sun 15 Sep 2019

A new multi-discipline and heritage-based collaborative arts festival with a primary theme of Nursery Rhymes, Folklore and Storytelling.

Day Out With Thomas

Day Out With Thomas

Sat 24 - Mon 26 Aug 2019

Thomas and Friends appear at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Wine & Cider Festival

Wine & Cider Festival 2019

Sat 24 - Sun 25 Aug 2019

Family friendly wine and cider festival with live music and camping

History Comes Alive

History Comes Alive

Sat 24 - Sun 25 Aug 2019

This Summer, history invades the Castle Museum. Let the re-enactors from Historical Promotions take you back in time and bring history to life during this fun-filled weekend.

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 24 Aug 2019

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

Camulodunum

Guided Tour - Uncovering Roman Colchester

Sat 24 Aug 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester. The tour starts at the VisitColchester Information Centre, located in Hollytrees Museum

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Northampton Town

Sat 24 Aug 2019

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Castle Park Bandstand

Bandstand Concert: Chelmsford Silver Band

Sun 25 Aug 2019

Free concert on Castle Park's Victorian Bandstand

Panto Horse Derby Bank Holiday Races 2019

The Panto Horse Derby Bank Holiday Races 2019

Mon 26 Aug 2019

Colchester High Street shuts to traffic for the annual charity panto horse race.

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Mon 26 Aug 2019

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

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Wed 28 Aug 2019

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

Marina Warner

Marina Warner. Beyond the Visible:

Thu 29 Aug 2019

Marina Warner will explore the work of contemporary artists such as Paula Rego, Helen Chadwick, and Kiki Smith, and place them in a context of the fantastic and its expression in the work of earlier visionaries.

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 31 Aug 2019

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

Castle Park Bandstand

Bandstand Concert: Essex Police Band

Sun 1 Sep 2019

Free concert on Castle Park's Victorian Bandstand

Suffolk Punch

Suffolk Horse Spectacular

Sun 1 Sep 2019

Heavy Horses at Marks Hall Gardens & Arboretum

Planetarium

Destination Moon & Kite Flying

Sun 1 Sep 2019

Come and hear about the moon landing 50 years ago and fly kites.

Avianthropy

‘AVIANTHROPY’ in The Earl of Mar’s Daughter.

Sun 1 Sep 2019

A Festival of Colchester continues

More events around town

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Adorn at Colchester Castle

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