Colchester For Free

Free Days Out in Colchester

Colchester For Free

Colchester For Free

Looking for some great ideas for free things to do and free places to visit in Colchester?

Here is our guide for some great things to do that are totally free! Whether it’s with the kids or a group of friends, there is something here for everyone that definitely won't break the bank.

From walks and trails to free museums, concerts, and plays there's plenty for all to enjoy and it doesn't have to cost the earth. 

Browse our recommendations here, or follow the #ColchesterForFree hashtag on social media. you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We'd love for you to tag your favourite free activities in town too.

NEW FOR 2019 - Follow the Family Heritage Treasure Trail and win a free prize!

Follow the Family Heritage Treasure Trail

One of the best things about Colchester is that there's so much to explore that's completely free. This summer pick up a Family Heritage Treasure Trail from the Visitor Information Centre, follow the map, and discover some of the town's historical highlights.

With the choice of two routes; a longer trail out the the Roman Circus, or a shorter trail within the town centre, this is a perfect activity for all ages - and once you've made your way back to the Visitor Centre a prize is waiting for anyone who has completed the trail.

Stop by and pick up a copy, or download and pick your own. Happy Heritage Hunting!


Family Heritage Treasure Trail

Free Attractions to Visit

With the exception of Colchester Castle, all the town centre's museums and art galleries are completely free to enter and explore. Discover social history in Hollytrees Museum, local wildlife in the Natural History Museum, and contemporary art in The Minories and Firstsite galleries. 

Additionally, much of the town's history and heritage, including St Botolph's Priory, St John's Abbeygate, and most of the town's Roman remains are completely free to explore. Just outside the town centre you'll also discover the Roman Circus Centre -a free visitor centre and home of Britain's only known Roman Chariot Racing track.

Be sure to check the Whats On pages to discover more opportunities to explore Colchester for free. You'll usually find plenty of additional activities as well as occasional free Open Days for attractions that are usually paid for.



To get you started here are our Top 10 FREE places to visit in the Borough of Colchester this summer!

Hollytrees Museum

Hollytrees Museum

An important part of Colchester's rich history with three centuries of fascinating toys, costume and decorative arts displayed in an attractive Georgian town house from 1718.

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Discover and interesting 'hands-on' perspective on the local natural environment from the Ice Age right up to today. Explore the garden trail and stag beetle exhibition, free entry.



A spectacular new venue for contemporary visual arts, Firstsite offers a changing programme of exhibitions by international artists, creative events and activities for the whole family, plus talks, films, workshops and more. Entry is free.

Castle Park and Gardens

Castle Park

Colchester's Castle Park provides a perfect setting for a huge range of events including shows, festivals and concerts.

High Woods

High Woods Country Park

370 acres of woodland, grassland and wetland with path network, including circular walks and easy access trail. Visitor centre and interactive displays, rangers organise a range of activities throughout the year.

Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre

Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre

Centre run by the Essex Wildlife Trust in partnership with Essex & Suffolk Water, at a sight of international importance for winter wildfowl. Nature trails, bird hides, events & shop selling refreshments, gifts, optics & books.

Cudmore Grove Country Park

Cudmore Grove Country Park

Cudmore Grove offers visitors a trip to the seaside with a difference at the eastern tip of Mersea Island. The park includes a sandy beach and open grassland, perfect for picnics and great views.

Roman Circus Centre

Colchester Roman Circus Centre

The Colchester Roman circus (chariot-racing arena) was discovered in 2005. It was built in the early 2nd century AD and seems to have been in use for about 150 years. It is the only known Roman circus in Britain.

Tiptree Tea Room

The Tiptree Tea Room, Museum & Jam Shop

The Tiptree Tea Room offers traditional table service, comfortable surroundings with delicious food prepared on the premises. Enjoy the terrace in the summer months, explore the museum and visit the Jam Shop for Tiptree products and gifts.

Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre

Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre

Stunning 200 acre nature reserve situated on the banks of the River Colne. Visitor centre includes gift shop, tearoom, toilets and baby changing facilities.

The Great Outdoors

Colchester For Free
A walk in the countryside costs you nothing, and Colchester is surrounded by beautiful scenery from the Essex Coast to the South East, to Constable Country and the Suffolk Border to the North.

You'll also find a fantastic selction of Parks and Nature Reserves that are free for the public to explore, including the iconic Castle Park in the heart of town, the expansive High Woods Country Park to the North, and Abberton and Fingringhoe Nature Reserves, run by Essex Wildlife Trust. That's without even mentioning Essex's only designated area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Dedham Vale.

Free Kids Activities

Colchester For Free
Entertain the whole family with these great Free Childrens Events, and be sure to check out our Great For Kids page for more ideas.

Please Note:

Some attractions or events may incur a parking charge or a suggested donation.