About Colchester

Colchester is Britain's oldest recorded town and former capital of England. It has a rich and varied history that can be explored today through its museums, ruins, and by walking its streets. It has particularly strong connections to both its Roman Heritage, and the scars left by the Siege of Colchester during the English Civil War.

In 21st Century Colchester you will find a thriving and expanding town with plenty to keep you entertained for a day, weekend, week or even longer. the town has a strong cultural identity, with numerous galleries, theatres and arts venues as well as a bustling town centre with plenty of restaurants and shopping opportunities.

The town is based on the Essex / Suffolk border and perfectly placed to explore the local area including Constable Country and the Essex Coast as well as further afield into East Anglia and London. 

St Botolph's Priory - RT Photography

Historic Colchester

Colchester History

There are more than 2000 years of recorded history to explore on a visit to Colchester. You will be able to discover information about Colchester Castle, the Romans, and learn fascinating facts about Colchester.

A heritage trail is available to purchase from the Visitor Information Centre, and there are regular guided walking tours exploring the history of the town


Read more history about Colchester

Colchester Today

Colchester High Street at Night

Colchester today is a thriving town, with a world famous zoo, its own growing arts scene, and events for all ages happening around town. Find out more about Colchester Zoo and other great attractions and events in Colchester.

The town centre and beyond offer fantastic places to eat, drink, and go shopping, from local produce and hand-made craft to high street chains and top class restaurants.

Book your accommodation now and plan your perfect trip to Colchester - more than Britain's oldest recorded town.

Featured Places in and around Colchester

Firstsite Art Gallery
Colchester’s heritage is preserved in its historic sites, museums and architecture, and the arts which predate the Romans live on through galleries and modern interpretations. Find out all about the rich culture & heritage to discover on a visit to Colchester.
Beach Huts on Mersea Island. Photo: Visit Essex

Discover Great Places

Colchester and the surrounding area has a long history of important events and capturing the imagination of great people.

Discover the fascinating areas and people around Britain's Oldest Recorded Town.

For more information about planning your visit, contact the Colchester Visitor Information Centre



Tiptree Jam with Cream Tea
Constable Country. Photo: Visit Essex
Chappel Viaduct