Colchester

Travel Guide
Colchester showing signage and markets as well as a large group of people

Visit one of Britain’s oldest towns to discover historical treasures, such as Roman remains and Norman churches, alongside cutting-edge art galleries and family entertainment. 

Colchester locals will proudly tell you that their city is Britain’s oldest recorded Roman town. Its history actually goes back much farther than that, but it was the Romans who shaped “Camulodunum,” as they called it. Today, you can still see the remains of a Roman wall in the city center.

More than two millennia of habitation have left the city other impressive historic sites as well. The imposing Colchester Castle and churches such as St. Botolph’s Priory are examples of more recent architecture. Modern attractions abound too, so visit galleries and indulge in some shopping in the lively town center after your tour of the heritage sites.

Part of Colchester’s appeal is that most of the major attractions are located within walking distance from the city center. Start at the VisitColchester Information Centre and pick up all the maps and information you need. Head to Colchester Castle Park and you’ll find the Castle Museum and Hollytrees Museum within its grounds. On and around High Street you can choose between the Colchester Natural History Museum, contemporary art galleries such as Firstsite and The Minories, and architectural feats such as the Colchester Town Hall.

On a sunny day, enjoy a walk around the Beth Chatto Gardens or a visit to the Colchester Zoo where you can feed elephants and giraffes. Also explore the nearby countryside, which the famous English painter John Constable captured so well.

Start your evening in one of the many fine restaurants in the city center and end the night attending a performance at the Mercury Theatre or mingling with locals in one of the many pubs.

Nearby attractions in the Essex countryside include the splendid Tudor structure known as the Layer Marney Tower.

Colchester is just over 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of London. The nearest international airport is at Stansted, which is located 34 miles (55 kilometers) west of Colchester. You’ll need to wear warm clothes for a winter visit to Colchester, but it is one of the driest places in the U.K. With so much to see and do, you’ll enjoy your stay in Colchester whatever the weather.

Holiday Inn Colchester
Holiday Inn Colchester
4 out of 5
The price is £52 per night from 10 Oct to 10 Oct
This family-friendly Colchester hotel is located near the airport, 3.1 mi (5 km) from Colchester Zoo, and within 6 mi (10 km) of East Anglian Railway Museum ...
4/5Very Good! (390 reviews)
"Staff are lovely and helpful."

Reviewed on 14 Jul 2021

Holiday Inn Colchester
Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa
Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa
4 out of 5
The price is £149 per night from 5 Oct to 5 Oct
Situated in Colchester, this spa hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Dedham Vale and within 9 miles (15 km) of Great Cornard Country Park and Gainsborough's House. ...
4.1/5Very Good! (214 reviews)
Great place, lovely location. Wifi not brilliant
"Live this place and this is the 2nd week. One thing was the internet which kept disconnecting and making it difficult to watch streaming media. This was probably due to the staff wifi using overlapping channel 5"

Reviewed on 12 May 2021

Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa
Drapers Hotel
Drapers Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £80 per night from 3 Oct to 3 Oct
Situated near the airport, this boutique hotel is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from East Anglian Railway Museum, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Hedingham Castle and Colchester ...
4.3/5Excellent! (55 reviews)
"Good …. Ideal for our 1 night stay"

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2021

Drapers Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Abbey Field Birch Apartment by Catchpole Stays
Abbey Field Birch Apartment by Catchpole Stays
Circular Rd S, Beche House, Colchester, ENG
Situated in Colchester, this apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of Tymperleys Clock Museum, Colchester Town Hall and Jumbo Water Tower. Colchester Natural ...
Abbey Field Birch Apartment by Catchpole Stays
4 Berth Caravan in Mersea Island Holiday Park
4 Berth Caravan in Mersea Island Holiday Park
3 out of 5
Located in Colchester, this family-friendly cabin is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Cudmore Grove Country Park, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Colchester Zoo and Colchester ...
4 Berth Caravan in Mersea Island Holiday Park
Poker Dot Getaway 2 - Stay-play-getaway
Poker Dot Getaway 2 - Stay-play-getaway
3.5 out of 5
Situated in Colchester, this holiday home is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Cudmore Grove Country Park and within 9 miles (15 km) of Abberton Reservoir and Colchester Golf ...
Poker Dot Getaway 2 - Stay-play-getaway
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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