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

Colchester In The First World War

Colchester In The First World War

Mon 2 Jul 2018 - Sun 6 Jan 2019

Exhibition commemorating WWI in Colchester Castle


Legacy: Two works on hope and memory

Sat 22 Sep 2018 - Sun 6 Jan 2019

Art Exhibition at Firstsite


Raqs Media Collective: Not Yet At Ease

Sat 29 Sep - Mon 31 Dec 2018

Exhibition as part of #1418NOW at Firstsite

Mark Titchner, Please Believe These Days Will Pass

flyingleaps: Art on the Streets

Tue 2 Oct 2018 - Sun 6 Jan 2019

Art Exhibition at Firstsite

Sherlock Bones

Sherlock Bones

Thu 25 Oct 2018 - Fri 25 Oct 2019

Family Activity in Colchester Castle

Courage Calls To Courage Everywhere

Courage Calls To Courage Everywhere

Sat 10 Nov 2018 - Sun 12 May 2019

Art Exhibition at Firstsite

Jack And The Beanstalk


Sat 24 Nov 2018 - Sun 20 Jan 2019

The Mercury panto is back, and this year it’s bigger and better than ever.

Christmas Cornucopia

Christmas Cornucopia

Sat 24 Nov - Sun 16 Dec 2018

An annual pop up exhibition selling beautiful paintings, prints, jewellery, glass, textiles, ceramics, sculpture, accessories etc by local and national artists and makers. Now in it's 8th year the Christmas Cornucopia is a cracker!

Festive Afternoon Tea

Festive Afternoon Tea

Sat 1 - Sun 23 Dec 2018

Whether for a quick catch up over coffee or the luxury of an afternoon tea, the lounges of Wivenhoe House are open daily. Our special Festive Afternoon Tea is only available this December between the 1st and 23rd.

Santa Grotto

Santa is coming to Fenwick

Sat 1 - Mon 24 Dec 2018

Santa is taking time out of his busy schedule to bring his festive grotto to Fenwick Colchester this December.

Dedham Art Society

Dedham Art Society Winter Exhibition

Sun 2 Dec 2018 - Sat 2 Feb 2019

Dedham Art Society Winter Exhibition Colchester Library Gallery

Colchester Christmas Treasure Quest

Colchester Christmas Treasure Quest

Fri 7 Dec 2018 - Sun 13 Jan 2019

A thrilling treasure quest around the town centre. Crack codes, solve riddles and visit the town to uncover the location of the hidden "treasure" with a prize of £250 for the lucky entrant who gets it correct. Family friendly fun.

Santa's Grotto

Santa’s Castle Grotto

Sat 8 Dec 2018 - Mon 9 Dec 2019

Father Christmas visits Colchester Castle


Terrifying Tales From the Tea Shop

Wed 12 - Sun 16 Dec 2018

Festive Ghost stories, upstairs in Jacqueline's Tea Room

Colchester Castle at Christmas

FREE Christmas Open Evening

Wed 12 Dec 2018

Free Open Evening at Colchester Castle

Journey to Oz

Journey to Oz

Wed 12 - Fri 14 Dec 2018

Follow us down the yellow brick road this Christmas for the annual Essex Theatre Arts Society pantomime, full of sparkles, humour, songs and innuendo.


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.