Great Visitor Attractions in Colchester

Colchester is full of fantastic visitor attractions waiting to be discovered.

History - Explore Roman ruins, Medieval buildings, and Civil War destrucion. Colchester has a fantastic local heritage and a unique history.

Culture - There's no shortage of great arts venues. Our galleries, theatres and arts centres always have something going on.

Nature - From Constable Country to the Essex Coast there are fantastic wild sites just a short distance from the town centre. Don't forget a trip to Colchester Zoo either to get up close with the animals and discover it's conservation programme.

See all of Colchester's Attractions

Discover some of Colchester's Hidden Gems

Museums and Historic Attractions

Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle

A must-see for anyone visiting the town for it's history. A Norman keep built on the foundations of a Roman Temple destroyed by Boudicca, it now houses Colchester Castle Museum, home of many nationally important treasures including the recently discovered Fenwick hoard. It is also an excellent starting point for discovering the many other historic sites around town.

Hollytrees Museum

More Museums

Located in the grounds of the Castle you will find Hollytrees Museum, home of the Visitor Information Centre and a social history museum exploring a wide range of local curios, including a collection of longcase clocks, local portraits, and a fabulous dolls house replica of the museum itself. Just over the road you can also discover some of the town's wildlife in Colchester Natural History Museum.

East Anglian Railway Museum

Further Afield

Spend a day looking at various Roman and Medieval sites around the town, including the fantastic Roman Circus Centre. A little further and you can be transported back to the golden age of steam at the East Anglian Railway Museum, discover the history of Mersea at Mersea Island Museum, or even explore the history of Wilkins and Sons Ltd at the Tiptree Jam Museum & Tea Room.

Gardens & Parks In Colchester

Castle Park

Colchester Castle Park

Take time out from the bustle of the town centre with a visit to the classic Victorian Castle Park at the end of the High Street, awarded a Green Flag for its high standards. With a boating lake, ornamental flower displays, cafe, bandstand, and children's play area there's plenty to enjoy in the park, including of course the large Norman Castle after which it is named!

Beth Chatto Gardens

Beth Chatto Gardens

Any gardening fan must visit the world famous Beth Chatto Gardens - inspirationally transformed over four decades with plants especially selected to suit the local conditions. Don't miss the opportunity to take home some plants as souvenirs from the nursery, a favourite haunt of television gardeners!

High Woods Country Park

More Parks and Gardens

At High Woods Country Park (once a Royal hunting forest), you can take a marked walking trail through the greenery. Soak up even more nature at a Local Nature Reserve: Fingringhoe Wick has a full events programme including children's activities related to its diverse habitats while Abberton Reservoir is a major place for bird watching.

Arts & Cultural Attractions

Firstsite is the town's contemporary art gallery, housed in an impressive golden building designed by award-winning architect Rafael Viñoly. With regular exhibitions, a cafe, cinema screen, and children's activities there is always something going on. It is conveniently situated next door to the smaller Minories Gallery, which has a busy programme of equally engaging exhibitions.
James and the Giant Peach at Mercury Theatre
The Mercury Theatre leads the way for plays and stage shows, producing original work as well as hosting nationally touring productions. It houses a smaller studio theatre as well as its main stage, and in combination with the small Headgate Theatre in town and Lakeside Theatre on the University campus means the town is spoilt for choice in this department.
Colchester Arts Centre
Colchester Arts Centre also hosts theatre productions, but is equally at home with live music, stand-up comedy, performance art, as well as completely unclassifiable events! Regarded as something of a treasure by the locals it is well worth keeping an eye on their programme of events and taking a chance on something a bit unusual if it catches your eye.
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.