Things to See & Do in Colchester

Colchester offers every visitor a huge range of great things to see and do and interesting places to visit, whatever your taste or budget. With so many activities, events, places to eat, drink & shop to choose from, you never need be at a loss for things to do in Colchester and the surrounding area.

There are plenty of attractions and activities in Colchester town centre and beyond, whether you’re looking for things to do in Colchester today or want to plan ahead and find out what’s going on when you visit.

Find your Colchester accommodation now and plan your perfect fun-packed visit to Colchester, full of great activities and unforgettable experiences.

Things to do in Colchester Today

Bronze Age

BRONZE AGE c. 3500 BC – AD 2018

Sat 17 Mar - Sun 28 Oct 2018

Art Exhibition at Firstsite

Munnings Sign

RA250: Sir Alfred Munnings and the Royal Academy

Fri 30 Mar - Wed 31 Oct 2018

Exhibition celebrating Alfred Munnings as Past President of the Royal Academy

Merville Battery Display

Essex’s airborne history celebrated

Mon 4 Jun - Sun 30 Sep 2018

WW2 exhibition at Colchester Library

Scott King, Britlin's Frigg

Scott King: A New Life in Frigg

Sat 16 Jun - Sun 2 Sep 2018

Art Exhibition at Firstsite

We Must Do Battle Where We Are Standing

We Must Do Battle Where We Are Standing

Wed 27 Jun - Sun 2 Sep 2018

Art exhibition by artist Kate Genever

The Art of Remaking

Play It Again: The Art of Remaking

Sat 30 Jun - Sun 16 Sep 2018

Art Exhibition at Firstsite

Mischief Makers

Summer Reading Challenge 2018 - Mischief Makers

Sat 14 Jul - Sat 1 Sep 2018

Summer Reading Challenge at Essex Libraries

Fenwick Colchester

Tropical Bird Trail

Sat 21 Jul - Fri 24 Aug 2018

Follow our trail of clues around the Toy Department to win a Tropical Toucan Bird Soft Toy.


Firstsite Holiday Fun | MAKE

Sat 21 Jul - Sun 2 Sep 2018

Free Children's activities at Firstsite all Summer

The summer holiday natural trail

Summer holiday Rainbow Fliers trail

Sat 21 Jul - Sun 2 Sep 2018

A nature trail at the gardens throughout the summer holidays with a garden gift for children once they complete it. A fantastic activity that will help children learn more about the winged creatures of the garden (coffee shop on site too!).

School Holiday fun!

School Holiday Activity Days

Mon 23 Jul - Fri 31 Aug 2018

Essex Outdoors’ action-packed activity experience days run at our centre in Mersea during the school holidays and are the ideal way for young people aged 8-16 to try exciting new experiences in the outdoors!

Leisure World Kids

Base Camp

Mon 23 Jul - Fri 31 Aug 2018

A full day of action packed supervised activities for children in school years 7-11.?

Leisure World Kids

Kids Camp

Mon 23 Jul - Fri 31 Aug 2018

A full day of action packed supervised activities for children in school years 1-6.

Get moving this Summer with Firstsite’s Holiday Fu

Firstsite Holiday Fun | MOVE

Thu 26 Jul - Fri 31 Aug 2018

Get moving this Summer with Firstsite’s Holiday Fun!

Lead image

Green Island Gardens

Thu 26 Jul - Fri 30 Nov 2018

Green Island Gardens are private gardens, open for the public to visit in Ardleigh near Colchester, Essex. 20 acres of woodland and gardens with nursery and tearooms

Babe- The Sheep Pig

Babe, The Sheep-Pig

Fri 27 Jul - Sun 26 Aug 2018

The classic children's tale live on stage at the Mercury Theatre

Fenwick Colchester

Playmobil Colouring Competition

Mon 30 Jul - Fri 17 Aug 2018

Colour to your heart's content with our Playmobil Colouring Competition and you could win a dinosaur-themed Playmobil Prize, worth £50.

Fingringhoe Forest School Days

Forest School over-5's Drop Off Days

Wed 1 - Wed 29 Aug 2018

Forest School over 5's Drop Off Days, every Wednesday in August, 9.30am - 4.30pm

Summer Open Exhibition

Summer Open Exhibition

Wed 8 - Wed 29 Aug 2018

Colchester Art Society & The Minories Galleries Joint Summer Open Exhibition of Paintings, Prints and Sculptures. The Exhibition features an unusually large and varied show with over 350 entries and is open from Wednesday 8th August to

Clacton Carnival

Clacton Carnival

Sat 11 - Sun 19 Aug 2018

Clacton Carnival, a fun event that has taken place every August since 1953.


What is there to see in Colchester?

See more Attractions


Activity Suggestions in Colchester


Walking & Cycling

  • Get great suggestions for popular walking and cycling routes
  • There are walks for all abilities - take a stroll around the park, or embark on the 81 mile Essex Way
  • Download maps to help you find your way
  • Learn what landmarks to keep an eye out for along your route

More Walking                            More Cycling

Family Fun

Great For Kids

  • Discover attractions that are great for kids around Colchester
  • Keep the children entertained whatever the weather.
  • Keep an eye on our child-friendly event listings 
  • Check back regularly for special features on what's on in the school holidays in Colchester.
  • Find great activities happening all year round that are both fun and informative.

Fun For Free

  • See what's happening in Colchester that won't break the bank.
  • Find out which venues have free entry, and what events won't cost you a penny. 
  • Discover historic sites and museums with no charges
  • Explore cultural venues with no entrance fees
  • Find Nature Reserves and Parks that are completely free to explore


Watch Our Family Day Out Video

History, Art and Culture

Culture & Heritage

More Culture & Heritage

Theatre & Art Galleries


Explore some of the fantastic shopping options Colchester has to offer.

  • Get a feel for the small lanes with their independent outlets and boutique stores.
  • Discover East Anglia's largest department store - Fenwick Colchester.
  • Enjoy shopping for branded goods at a fantastic selection of High Street chain stores, in our pedestrianised shopping precincts.
  • Browse our dedicated event listings for markets, fairs and other pop-up shopping experiences.

More Things To Do

Tours & Sightseeing

Camulodunum to Colchester


Couple reading Colchester Guide


The High Street At Night
The information on our site has been supplied by third parties. Colchester Borough Council will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of inaccuracy or error within these pages. We advise you contact the venue/event organiser in advance of your visit.