Colchester For Free

Free Days Out in Colchester

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.

 

Colchester For Free

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.

firstsite, photo: Richard Bryant, arcaidimages.com

Firstsite

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 Country Park

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 Peter Froste CAT

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.

Wilkin and Sons Ltd - 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.
King of the Jungle Week

King of the Jungle Week

Mon 29 Jul - Sat 3 Aug 2019

To celebrate the release of the new Lion King movie we’ll be hosting a series of free events and activities over the course of the week to keep you entertained.

Invasion 2019

Invasion Colchester 2019

Sat 7 Sep 2019

Colchester's annual sci-fi extravagaza returns for 2019

Family Fun Festival

Free Family Fun Festival

Sat 14 Sep 2019

Each September Colchester’s Castle Park comes alive with the Free Family Fun Festival. Join us for live music, a fun dog show, and children’s entertainment. All free!

Colchester Castle

HODs 2019: Free Entry to Colchester Castle

Sat 14 Sep 2019

Europe's largest Norman keep opens it's doors for free on Heritage Open Day 2019.

Hollytrees

Heritage Open Day - Hollytrees Museum

Sun 15 Sep 2019

Hollytrees host a special event for Heritage Open Day

St Botolphs

Heritage Open Day - St Botolph's Priory Fun Day

Sat 21 Sep 2019

Fun Day and Market in St Botolph's Priory

Migration Day

Migration Day at Fingrnghoe Wick

Sun 22 Sep 2019

Birdwatching at Fingringhoe Wick

Please Note:


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