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Visit Colchester - Official Colchester Tourist Information Site

Visit Colchester

Visit Colchester - Britain's first Roman city. Watch our film to discover what awaits you.

Colchester in Essex is Britain's oldest recorded town and was the first city and capital in Roman Britain. Its rich history dates back over 2000 years.

But it's not just history. 21st Century Colchester is a thriving, modern town with first class visitor attractions, including the family favourites Colchester Zoo and Colchester Castle, as well as fantastic places to eat, drink and shop.

Poised at the gateway to East Anglia with picturesque villages and only minutes away from the coast, the Colchester area is the perfect destination for a well-deserved short break, day trip or family holiday.


Discover Colchester

Explore the Beautiful Borough

The Beautiful Borough - Colchester

There's more to Colchester than the historic town centre, with the borough covering more than 135 square miles of scenic Essex coast and countryside.

From island life on Mersea, jam-making in Tiptree, and the heart of Constable Country in the Dedham Vale, there's a wealth of small towns and villages just a short distance from Colchester' town centre, all with their own unique character and stories to tell. Sometimes the smallest villages hold the most unlikely secrets!

Stay a few days and explore the Beautiful Borough of Colchester, and share your experiences with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the #BeautifulBorough hashtag.

Find out more

The Beautiful Borough
Download the posters as wallpaper for your phone, tablet or desktop

What to do in Colchester?

Castle at Night

History & Heritage 

With Roman Ruins, a Norman Castle, and Civil War scars - Colchester's history can be explored without even leaving the town centre, but head further afield and discover even more!

Cudmore Grove Country Park by Visit Essex

Family Days Out 

With both a Zoo and a Castle Colchester is off to a great start for any adventurous children. There's more to see and do whatever the weather, and it doesn't have to break the bank.


Arts & Culture 

With three theatres and several art galleries, including the internationally recognised Firstsite, Colchester is the cultural hub of Essex and the local region.

Cow in river at Dedham Vale

Outdoor Adventure 

Constable Country and Mersea Island are on Colchester's doorstep, as well as several award winning parks, gardens and nature reserves, there's plenty of opportunity to explore the outdoors.

Events in Colchester - Highlights


The Mousetrap

Mon 18 - Sat 23 Feb 2019

Classic Whodunnit at the Mercury Theatre

Medieval Archery

Medieval Archery

Thu 21 Feb 2019

Archery at Colchester Castle

Winter Beer Festival

Winter Beer Festival

Thu 21 - Sun 24 Feb 2019

Beer Festival at Three Wise Monkeys

Astronaut Tony Antonelli

An Evening with Astronaut Tony Antonelli

Thu 21 Feb 2019

A Pint of Science event in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall at the University of Essex

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 23 Feb 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Carlisle United

Sat 23 Feb 2019

League 2 fixture at the Jobserve Community Stadium

Witchfinder General

Talk: The Witchfinder General

Thu 28 Feb 2019

Witchfinder General: Matthew Hopkins and the East Anglian Witch-Hunt A talk from author and historian Malcolm Gaskill

Essex Book Festival

Essex Book Festival

Fri 1 - Sun 31 Mar 2019

The county-wide book festival returns for its 20th year

Sarah Perry

Essex Book Festival : Sarah Perry, Melmouth

Fri 1 Mar 2019

Sarah Perry at Essex University

Chappel Wingter Beer Fest

The 10th Chappel Winter Beer Festival

Fri 1 - Sat 2 Mar 2019

Well regarded Beer Festival at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Secret Art Fair

The Secret Art Fair

Fri 1 - Sun 3 Mar 2019

Art Fair at The Minories Galleries

Vegan Festival

Essex Vegan Festival

Sat 2 Mar 2019

Vegan products and food - at Charter Hall

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 2 Mar 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester

Vintage Fair

Lou Lou's Vintage Fair

Sun 3 Mar 2019

Vintage Fair at Charter Hall

Jon Boden With The Remnant Strings

Jon Boden and The Remnant Strings

Mon 4 Mar 2019

Jon Boden "Ambitious, genre-busting folk" - The Guardian

Jason Manford

Jason Manford: Muddle Class

Thu 7 Mar 2019

Jason Manford's nationwide tour comes to Colchester's Charter Hall


Essex Book Festival: UNSPEAKABLE

Fri 8 Mar 2019

Banned Books, Difficult Words and Taboos at Essex University

Snapping the Stiletto

Snapping the Stiletto: Festival

Sat 9 Mar 2019

Snapping the Stiletto: Essex Women’s History Festival

Camulodunum to Colchester

Guided Walk: From Camulodunum to Colchester

Sat 9 Mar 2019

Guided Walking Tours of Colchester

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Newport County

Sat 9 Mar 2019

League 2 fixture at the Jobserve Community Stadium

More events around town

 February 2019>

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