Colchester is Britain's oldest recorded town.
With its modern shops, cafes and galleries, Colchester is also becoming one of the region's leading destinations.
Where to stay
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Colchester was once the Roman capital of Britain and you can still see the vaults of the mighty Temple of Claudius under the great Norman keep of the Castle. Discover this cosmopolitan university town with its narrow shopping lanes, stylish street cafés and individual galleries and bookshops. Just one example of its fine architecture is the Victorian town hall
Out and about
Out in the fresh air, stroll in the beautiful Victorian Castle Park in the town centre or in High Woods Country Park where the kids can run wild in 300 acres of woodland. See elephants at Colchester Zoo, explore the famous Beth Chatto Gardens or take a short train trip to picturesque Dedham Vale an area of outstanding natural beauty.
As well as being the inspiration for famous English artists like 19th century landscape painter John Constable, 18th century artist Thomas Gainsborough and 20th century equestrian artist Sir Alfred Munnings, the Colchester area offers cutting-edge contemporary art galleries and art cafés for you to enjoy and buy locally made art and craft.
If you like art, you won’t have to look far to see it. In fact Colchester's such a cultural hotspot that later this year the former Firstsite at The Minories will blossom again in a cutting edge new multi-million pound building. This new cultural attraction will showcase local regions, national and international artists.
Finding something to do in the evening in Colchester is easy – it’s the choosing that’s difficult!
Watch the sun go down and the world go by at a café bar or pub, perhaps with some live music. Or maybe an orchestral concert at Charter Hall or a great night of comedy at the Colchester Arts Centre, or an evening of exceptional theatre at The Mercury Headgate or Lakeside Theatre
For unlimited bus travel around Colchester to get to all the attractions, buy a PLUSBUS ticket with your train ticket (at station or online).