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

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

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

Shout! The Mod Musical

Shout! The Mod Musical

Wed 19 Sep - Mon 22 Oct 2018

Musical at the Headgate Theatre

The Coastal Open

Coastal Open

Fri 21 Sep - Sun 28 Oct 2018

The Coastal Open is a celebration of local artists, giving a chance to display their talent in arts and crafts. It gives an opportunity to demonstrate what inspires them about their community, environment and heritage through their artwork.


Legacy: Two works on hope and memory

Sat 22 Sep 2018 - Sun 6 Jan 2019

Art Exhibition at Firstsite

Caroline Walker: Home

Caroline Walker: Home

Thu 27 Sep - Sat 3 Nov 2018

Caroline Walker's ambitious and compelling large-scale paintings of refugee women in London.

Imran Perretta: 15 days

Imran Perretta: 15 days

Thu 27 Sep - Sat 3 Nov 2018

Imran Perretta's ’15 days’ is inspired by the time that the artist spent in Calais with former inhabitants of the refugee camp known as the Jungle, who are now living in surrounding woodland.


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

Firstsite, Colchester, is delighted to announce a group exhibition featuring posters by eight artists: Magda Archer, Dolores De Sade, Jeremy Deller, Dr. D, Heath Kane, kennardphillips, Oddly Head, Simon Roberts and Mark Titchner.

Scaresville - The Haunted Village

Scaresville - The Haunted Village

Wed 3 Oct - Sat 3 Nov 2018

Scaresville - The Haunted Village, East Anglia's award winning premier Scare Attraction.

Scaresville - The Haunted Village


Wed 3 Oct - Sat 3 Nov 2018

Scaresville - The Haunted Village. East Anglia's award winning premier Scare Attraction.

Lobster 1

Pop Up Lobster Restaurant at The Cells

Mon 8 - Tue 30 Oct 2018

Lobster Meal FTW!



Fri 12 - Sat 20 Oct 2018

A Made in Colchester production is opening in the Mercury Studio prior to a UK Tour.

Regius Lecture

Regius Lecture: An ever more violent world?

Tue 16 Oct 2018

Professor Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, newly appointed Regius Professor of Political Science at University of Essex will discuss conflict resolution at his Regius Lecture.


Concrete Legacy - Kath Wood

Tue 16 Oct 2018

Local History talk at Lion Walk Church

Robin Ince

Robin Ince: Chaos of Delight

Tue 16 Oct 2018

Robin Ince mashes up the two cultures of art and science in this celebration of the human mind from Bohemians to Black Holes, Dali to DNA, another of his stand up sort of lectures.


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.