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

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 27 Apr 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v MK Dons

Sat 27 Apr 2019

League 2 fixture at the Jobserve Community Stadium

Castle Park Bandstand

Bandstand Concert: LightTones

Sun 28 Apr 2019

Free concert on Castle Park's Victorian Bandstand

The Black Buoy

Black Buoy Real Ale and Cider Festival

Fri 3 - Mon 6 May 2019

Beer Festival at the Black Buoy, Wivenhoe.

Cosmic Puffin

Cosmic Puffin Music Festival

Fri 3 - Mon 6 May 2019

Music Festival on Mersea Island

Janes Walks

Jane's Walk - Colchester 2019

Fri 3 - Tue 7 May 2019

An international weekend of local walks led by local people on local themes (‘citizen-led, walking conversations’), taking place in towns and cities around the world, honouring the legacy of the urbanist, writer and activist, Jane Jacobs.

Bluebell Bazaar

Bluebells Bazaar

Sat 4 - Sun 5 May 2019

Open Air Bazaar at Green Island Gardens

Children's World

Children's World

Sat 4 - Mon 6 May 2019

Funfair in Castle Park.

Charles Debenham

The Man who Painted Colchester and Sudbury

Sat 4 May - Sun 2 Jun 2019

An exhibition of the work of Charles Debenham at Chappel Galleries

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 4 May 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester

Castle Park Bandstand

Bandstand: John Seeley’s Jazz and Saxophone Group

Sun 5 May 2019

Free concert on Castle Park's Victorian Bandstand

May Bank Holiday Festival

May Bank Holiday Festival

Sun 5 - Mon 6 May 2019

Join us over the May bank holiday for a weekend of family fun…! Steam train rides all day long, have a go at driving a diesel locomotive or take a punt on the Pump Trolley - face painting, bungee trampolines and lots of stalls.

cole procter

Preloved Vintage Clothing Kilo Sale

Sun 5 May 2019

Brought to you by Preloved Vintage Wholesale. Stocked by us and run by us. Come straight to the wholesaler for bargain prices!

Ye Olde Albion Music Day

Ye Olde Albion Music Day 2019

Sun 5 May 2019

Free music day in Rowhedge

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Mon 6 May 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester

Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe and Friends

Tue 7 May 2019

Comedy night at The Mercury Theatre

Kate Humble

An Audience With Kate Humble

Wed 8 May 2019

Kate Humble at the Mercury Theatre

The Guilty Feminist

The Guilty Feminist

Fri 10 May 2019

The hit podcast comes to the stage at Charter Hall

Sofie Hagen

Sofie Hagen: Bubblewrap, Happy Fat

Sat 11 May 2019

Stand Up Comedy at Colchester Arts Centre

Town & Country Fair

Colchester Town & Country Fair

Sat 11 - Sun 12 May 2019

Family Event in Castle Park

More events around town

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