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

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

Cinderella

Cinderella

Sat 30 Nov 2019 - Sun 5 Jan 2020

Pantomime at The Mercury Theatre

Nightflix

Nightflix - Drive In Cinema

Tue 3 - Sun 29 Dec 2019

Nightflix is a mobile Outdoor Cinema who bring the excitement of movies alongside a food market with Christmas stalls and entertainment for the whole family.

Christmas Market Day

Colchester Christmas Market Day on the High Street

Sun 8 Dec 2019

Christmas Street Market in Colchester Town Centre

Day Out With Thomas

Day Out With Thomas

Sun 8 Dec 2019

Thomas and Friends appear at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Layer Marney Tower

Christmas at Layer Marney Tower

Mon 9 Dec 2019

Christmas at the Tower, a guided tour of rooms ready for Christmas, three course festive lunch, performance of The Tailor of Gloucester in the church, mulled wine and mince pies on departure

Kate Rusby

Kate Rusby

Mon 9 Dec 2019

Folk singer Kate Rusby will be at Charter Hall on 9 December

Colchester Castle at NIght

Castle Open Evening - Free Entry

Wed 11 Dec 2019

Festive Open Evening at Colchester Castle

Essex Vegan Fair

Essex Vegan Winter Festival

Sat 14 Dec 2019

Winter Vegan Fair in Charter Hall

Darth Vader's Galactic Grotto

Darth Vader's Galactic Grotto

Sat 14 Dec 2019

Darth Vader knows what you're getting for Christmas. He has felt your presents. At Ace Comics.

Day Out With Thomas

Day Out With Thomas

Sat 14 - Sun 15 Dec 2019

Thomas and Friends appear at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Victorian Colchester

Guided Tour: Victorian Colchester at Christmas

Sat 14 Dec 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester

Bazaar

Bazaar

Sat 21 Dec 2019

Firstsite's monthly art & craft market

Day Out With Thomas

Day Out With Thomas

Sat 21 - Sun 22 Dec 2019

Thomas and Friends appear at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Carlisle United

Sat 21 Dec 2019

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol By Candlelight

Mon 23 - Tue 24 Dec 2019

The Classic Christmas Tale - at Colchester Arts Centre

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Exeter City

Sun 29 Dec 2019

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 4 Jan 2020

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

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 11 Jan 2020

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

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 18 Jan 2020

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

More events around town

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