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

EKCO

Snapping the Stiletto: Essex Women

Sat 9 Nov 2019 - Sat 18 Jan 2020

Exhibition celebrating Essex Women in Hollytrees Museum

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

Bazaar

Bazaar

Sat 16 Nov 2019

Firstsite's monthly art & craft market

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 16 Nov 2019

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

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Bradford City

Sat 16 Nov 2019

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Henning Wehn

Henning Wehn: Get On With It

Fri 22 Nov 2019

Stand Up Comedy at Colchester's Charter Hall

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 23 Nov 2019

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

Lion Walk Christmas Light Switch On

Christmas Light Switch On 2019

Wed 27 Nov 2019

We have our yearly Christmas Light Switch On EXTRAVAGANZA! Join us for an evening not to be forgotten.

The Drifters

The Drifters

Thu 28 Nov 2019

The Drifters perform at Colchester's Charter Hall

Cinderella

Cinderella

Sat 30 Nov 2019 - Sun 5 Jan 2020

Pantomime at The Mercury Theatre

Jimmy Carr

Jimmy Carr - Terribly Funny

Sat 30 Nov 2019

Stand Up Comedy at Colchester's Charter Hall

Minories Christmas

The Minories Christmas Market 2019

Sat 30 Nov - Sun 1 Dec 2019

Christmas Market at Local Gallery

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 30 Nov 2019

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

Christmas Market

South Lanes Christmas Market

Sun 1 Dec 2019

Christmas Market in Colchester's South Lanes

In Colchester best by far

Christmas Celebration and Light Switch On

Sun 1 Dec 2019

Join us for the annual spectacular, which marks the beginning of Christmas in town. Expect to see bands, choirs and street performers throughout the day, with an appearance from Santa on stage for the Big Light Switch-On at 5pm.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa

Wed 4 Dec 2019

What better way to celebrate Christmas than with author Rod Campbell’s festive story DEAR SANTA.

Ed Byrne

Ed Byrne - If I'm Honest

Sat 7 Dec 2019

Stand Up Comedy at Colchester's Charter Hall

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Salford City

Sat 7 Dec 2019

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Day Out With Thomas

Day Out With Thomas

Sun 8 Dec 2019

Thomas and Friends appear at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Christmas Market Day

Colchester Christmas Market Day on the High Street

Sun 8 Dec 2019

Christmas Street Market in Colchester Town Centre

More events around town

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