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Colchester (Essex)

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Colchester (Essex)

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Colchester is a town in Essex, East Anglia. Home to the University of Essex, the Colchester Institute and an Army Garrison, and with its attractive old buildings, Roman wall, castle and proximity to Constable country, Colchester is an interesting place to visit.


Colchester is one of three towns that claims to be the oldest in Britain - the other two are Abingdon in Oxfordshire and Marazion in Cornwall.

Get in

The easiest way to get in/out of Colchester is either by Rail or Coach. All travel timetables both into and around Colchester can be found from the County Council Website

By train

Trains operated by 'one' run frequently, approximately every 10 minutes south to London Liverpool Street and every 30 minutes north as far as Norwich. Colchester has two three stations, known as Colchester North, being the main station, Colchester Town, which is near the town centre and Hythe, which is close to the university.

By bus

The two main operators in the town are First Essex and Network Colchester, with Chambers Coaches and Hedingham Omnibuses among others providing services to surrounding towns and villages.

By coach

First Essex operate the daily/round-the-clock coach service X22 from Colchester Bus Station, the University of Essex and Colchester North Rail Station to Braintree and Stansted Airport.

National Express coaches serve the bus station (and various other stops) on route 484 between London Victoria and Clacton-on-Sea.

By car

Colchester can be reached by car either via the A12, which links up with the M25 from the south, or the A14, which links up with the M1/M6 from the North. A road map can be found here

Get around

The easiest way to get around Colchester itself is by car or bus. Full bus timetables are available from the County Council Website.


Castle Park is a fairly large park in the grounds of Colchester castle. A number of events are held there annually, including cricket matches and festivals.

Colchester Zoo [1] makes an interesting day out for the family. With some of the best cat and primate collections in Europe, and recent winner of the 'Large Visitor Attraction of the Year' Award, it's well worth a visit.

Museums - Colchester is home to 4 museums, each one housed in a different beautiful old building and offering a different insight into the history behind Colchester:


The only cinema in Colchester is the multiplex Odeon on Head Street which comprises eight screens and shows all of the big blockbuster movies as well as occasionally putting on alternative and foreign films. The prices are on the expensive side so take your own snacks.


Colchester has a large selection of shops, ranging from those you would find in any large town (Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Woolworths etc.) to many small individual shops. The High Street is the place to start - it is here you will find Williams and Griffin's , which is an awarding-winning independent department store (great views from the top-floor restaurant. However if you take one of the small turnings on the right as you go down the High Street you will find yourself in a warren of small semi -pedestrianised roads full of interesting things to buy. You can create and dress your own teddy bear at Build-a-Bear in Culver Square or treat yourself to some chocolates from Godiva in Eld Lane. There are some lovely old buildings and plenty of cafes to refresh the heavy-laden shopper.

If you are looking for appropriate souvenirs of your stay, the shop in the Castle Museum has plenty to buy with a Roman theme. Alternatively you could get some world-famous Tiptree jam, which is made (surprise, surprise) in nearby Tiptree (or take a trip to visit the factory).



  • The Abbey Arms
  • The Goat & Boot
  • The Forester's Arms
  • The Fox & Fiddler
  • The Hole in the Wall
  • The Hospital Arms provides excellent real ale, as does The Odd One Out.
  • The Playhouse
  • The Stockwell Arms
  • Wig and Pen


Get out

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