Visit Colchester Tourism Guide 2022

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r te es ch ol C to e m co el W Colchester, once known as Camulodunum the first city and capital of Roman Britain, is bursting at the seams with history and heritage. For more than 2000 years from the Iron Age onwards Colchester has been at the centre of some of the great events of British history, from the Roman Invasion to the Boudican Revolt, the Norman Conquest and English Civil War. Evidence of this can still be found around the town today. Roman Colchester is literally all around you in the form of Britain’s oldest town wall and the recycled Roman tile and brick found in later Saxon and medieval buildings. You’ll find it underfoot too - the great Norman Keep of Colchester Castle is built on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius destroyed by Boudica and is now a fantastic treasure filled modern museum where you can visit the Roman foundations and see for yourself how layer upon layer of history has built up here over thousands of years. When Emperor Claudius finally conquered Britain for the Romans in AD43, he celebrated by riding an elephant through Camulodunum and what a sight that must have been! Learn more about Colchester’s ongoing connection to elephants as you read on.

As Roman rule receded, later centuries left their mark in the form of the medieval Dutch Quarter, monastic ruins, half timbered houses pocked by Civil War Siege musket balls, grand Georgian town houses and beautiful Victorian Castle Park - a green oasis in the heart of the town centre hosting fantastic events all year round. It’s not all about the past though. Today, Colchester is a modern thriving town, home to contemporary architectural marvels like Firstsite, the 2021 Art Fund Museum of the Year and the newly reopened Mercury Theatre. And for those planning a short break or longer holiday there’s the wider beautiful borough of Colchester ready to welcome you. A short distance from the town you will find fantastic attractions like Colchester Zoo, while the surrounding countryside includes stunning coast and riverside locations like Mersea Island and Wivenhoe and the picturesque villages of the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the inspiration for Constable and many other artists. Together let’s discover the Beautiful Borough of Colchester.

Look out for our Visit Colchester elephant to highlight Colchester’s Roman heritage and connection to elephants.

This brochure has been produced, written and designed by Colchester Borough Council. photography by Rodger Tamblyn, Chris Reeve, Aerial Essex. Page 12 photo courtesy of @colchesterstreets. Printed by Alphaprint (a trading style of Bravo Print Ltd). It has been carbon balanced and is printed on Edixion which is also a certified Forestry Stewardship Council paper stock. Information correct at time of printing: December 2021. CBP009793

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HERITAGE Colchester is Britain’s First City, steeped in history. Discover a wealth of heritage treasures telling a fascinating story over 2,000 years in the making.

WALK COLCHESTER Whether you are looking for a short stroll around the town centre, or something more adventurous we have a walk to fit the bill!

CULTURE The Borough is a hotbed of culture, arts and performance. Here are a selection of venues brimming with talent that should be key stops on your list.

10 NOT JUST FOR KIDS

Families flock to Colchester for its leading variety of attractions. Learn more about the places that entertain and enchant children and older visitors alike.

12 EAT, DRINK, SHOP

Whether you are a dedicated follower of fashion or just an intrepid browser, you’ll spend happy hours discovering the town’s special mix of independent and big-name shops and eateries.

14 A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Hollytrees Museum & Visitor Information Centre

Discover the Beautiful Borough’s wide open green spaces. From country parks to nature reserves, enjoy a breath of fresh air.

Firstsite

16 BEAUTIFUL BOROUGH

In every corner of the historic Borough of Colchester, from coast to country, there is so much to explore. Uncover a place of surprising, beautiful contrasts, with bags of unique character.

22 COLCHESTER AS A

BASE FOR TOURING

If you are looking to explore East Anglia, the Colchester area is a convenient place to make your base. The Borough of Colchester is a central, convenient place, from which you can head out on all kinds of adventures, depending on what takes your fancy.

24 WHERE TO VISIT

Your comprehensive list of the area’s attractions.

34 PLANNING YOUR STAY

Your guide to local accommodation. Maps and information to help you arrange your visit to the area.

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e g a t i r He Discover a wealth of heritage treasures telling a story over 2,000 years in the making 4

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St Botolph’s Priory

COLCHESTER CASTLE

BOURNE MILL

Europe’s largest Norman Keep, built on the foundations of the Temple of Claudius which was later destroyed by Queen Boudica. Now a modern interactive museum, immerse yourself in history, ride like the Romans with a virtual reality Roman Circus race, fire a Roman Ballista and check out the incredible digital reconstructions.

South of the town centre discover this Grade 1 listed watermill with full working waterwheel. Built in 1591 as a fishing lodge it is set in tranquil gardens next to a millpond and babbling stream. Now managed by the National Trust.

Colchester Castle was built on the foundations of the Temple of Claudius. The Temple of Claudius is widely regarded as the largest temple to be built in the whole of Roman Britain, showing just how important Colchester was to the Romans. It would have provided a focus for the people to worship their great Emperor, Claudius.

ROMAN COLCHESTER Evidence of Roman Colchester can be found everywhere in the town, from ancient mosaics in modern buildings to Britain’s oldest and longest town wall. Make sure you don’t miss the Roman Circus, the only one discovered so far in Britain. Meander around the starting gates and imagine the sounds and smells of pounding hooves on race day as the race gets started. Learn more at the FREE visitor centre.

HOLLYTREES MUSEUM Dress up as a servant and be transported back to the days before the washing machine! Explore centuries of history in this rather splendid Georgian building and take in domestic life and childhood in Colchester over the past 300 years. Find the friendly Visitor Information Centre team here too.

LAYER MARNEY TOWER England’s tallest Tudor gatehouse is home to beautiful gardens, all kinds of events, glamping and a delicious afternoon tea! This statement house exudes grandeur and importance, a long established feature of the Essex countryside commanding views to the River Blackwater and beyond.

ST. BOTOLPH’S PRIORY This stunning medieval landmark now owned by English Heritage but free to visit, lies in the heart of the town centre. The ruins are impressive whatever the weather but our favourite time of day is the end of the day when the setting sun highlights the golden hues of the recycled Roman tiles.

The Fixing The Link trail is an innovative artwork installation and wayfinding project designed to help visitors find their way from Colchester’s main railway station to the town centre, inspired by Colchester’s historical and modern links with elephants. You too can follow in the footsteps of Emperor Claudius!

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r e t s e h c ol C k al W With a wealth of walking routes, downloadable maps and guided tours, discover Colchester and the surrounding area on foot in 2022 6

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Wivenhoe Trail

Whether you are looking for a short stroll around the town centre, or something more adventurous, we have a walk to fit the bill. With a wealth of new walking routes, downloadable accessible maps and guided tours, discover Colchester and its beautiful borough on foot in 2022.

COAST AND COUNTRY Explore the diverse and beautiful landscapes on Colchester’s doorstep: from the classic English countryside of the Dedham Vale immortalised by Constable, to the big skies and windswept beaches of Mersea Island. Contact the Visitor Information Centre for free guides and advice or visit our website at visitcolchester.com

THE ESSEX WAY AND STOUR VALLEY PATH Walk the whole or part of the epic 91 mile Essex Way, and enjoy some of the finest countryside in Essex. Alternatively, take a walk along the river and join the Stour Valley Path which meanders its way through Dedham and Flatford and take in views that inspired England’s finest artists. Buy or download for free from Dedham Vale AONB – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (dedhamvalestourvalley.org) and Essex Way download from visitcolchester.com

GUIDED TOURS Colchester is Britain’s First City, with a history dating back over 2,000 years. Join an official blue badge town guide on a guided walk and discover the dramatic events that have helped shape the town. From the destruction of Roman Camulodunum to the Civil War Siege of 1648 and beyond. Find out more at visitcolchester.com

SELF-LED GUIDED TOURS The Siege of Colchester saw parts of the town’s Roman Wall destroyed, St Botolph’s Priory condemned to ruins, churches destroyed, and buildings pockmarked with musket balls. Explore the story and see for yourself the damage that still stands today with our new self-guided walking tour. COLCHESTER’S ROMAN AND MEDIEVAL GATES - Explore the remains of Colchester’s Roman & Medieval Gates on a visit to Colchester. Our 2000-year-old Roman walls have plenty of stories to tell, pick up a trail from the Visitor Information Centreor download for free from visitcolchester.com/things-to-do/ walking-and-cycling

GO JAUNTLY Download free Colchester area coastal and river walks via the Go Jauntly App. Download via Apple or Google Play stores. Find out more at gojauntly.com

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Culture

Mercury Theatre

FIRSTSITE

Awarded Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2021 and housed in a stunning building in the heart of Colchester designed by renowned architect Rafael Vinoly, Firstsite is free to visit and hosts a varied and exciting mix of major contemporary art exhibitions, cultural events and film screenings throughout the year. The colourful cafe with outdoor terrace is a great place to grab a coffee, and the shop is packed with quirky and creative gifts you’ll want to take home. While you’re here check out the intricate Berryfield Roman mosaic, re-laid in the floor exactly where it was found in an excavation in the 1930s.

MUNNINGS ART MUSEUM Situated in the charming village of Dedham, this museum charts the life and work of renowned and internationally recognised East Anglian painter Sir Alfred Munnings.

MERCURY THEATRE Taking its name from the Roman God Mercury (spot the artwork on the crest of the roof - inspired by the famous ‘Colchester Mercury’ Statue, a roman artwork to be found in Colchester Castle Museum) Colchester’s renowned repertory theatre is an artistic powerhouse in the East – a vital, vibrant, welcoming centre of culture. Reopened in 2021 after an £11 million refit it presents a broad and exciting programme with something for everyone. Staying over? Check out what’s on for the perfect evening entertainment during your short break. Walking the Roman walls? The Mercury Cafe has great views of the Balkerne Gate and is the perfect place to stop for refreshments.

CURZON

COLCHESTER ARTS CENTRE St Mary’s Church is the backdrop to a fascinatingly eclectic line up of acts throughout the year. From comedy to jazz, big names and new acts can all be found in the little church with a big attitude.

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©Pamela Raith

Film lovers flock to the Curzon Colchester, an independent arthouse cinema situated adjacent to Firstsite. With three screens, two café bars and a roof terrace, visitors can relax and enjoy their time in the creative hub of the town.


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African Elephant, Colchester Zoo

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s d i K r o F t s u Not J COLCHESTER ZOO

COLCHESTER MUSEUMS

Colchester is proud to have one of Europe’s finest zoos. Set in over 60 acres of parkland and lakes, it’s home to over 20 rare species, many of which are part of breeding programmes. See the four magnificent African elephants in Elephant Kingdom and you can even feed them on a visit. With daily animal displays and feeding opportunities across the Zoo get ready for a fun packed day out!

Colchester has three superb town centre museums with lots to offer visitors – whether you are 9 or 90! At the Castle Museum discover all about Queen Boudica, race a Roman Chariot, fire a Ballista, visit the spooky prisons or simply wonder as history comes to life with an augmented reality tablet tour. Not to mention gazing at all the nationally important treasures housed in the museum. Nearby and FREE to visit are Hollytrees Museum, an elegant Georgian townhouse packed with treasures including an amazing dolls house which is an exact replica of Hollytrees Museum and its occupants in 1901 and the Natural History Museum housed in the former All Saints Norman Church, where you can crawl through a badgers set and discover mammoth bones and giant prehistoric shark jaws!

LEISURE WORLD

©Kim Johnston Turner

Leisure World is one of East Anglia’s largest venues for sport, leisure, play and entertainment. Famously known for its Leisure Pool, where families zoom down the flumes, look at the sky as they ride the outdoor rapids and enjoy the bubbles in the Castaway Spa; Leisure World also has plenty for adults. With multiple gyms, fitness classes, Aqua Springs Spa, fitness pool, tennis, squash and badminton courts, you can enjoy whatever form of exercise you love on a visit to the town.

These are just a taster of what’s on in the area for families and ‘big kids’ of all ages. See more of Colchester’s attractions from page 24.

NORTHERN GATEWAY SPORTS PARK Colchester’s Northern Gateway Sports Park opened in 2021. It has one of the longest cycle tracks in the East of England, a Pump Track offering the ultimate challenge for children and BMX riders, a Learn to Ride cycle area, state-of-the-art gym, velo studio and indoor sport. It also boasts wide open green spaces and craft coffee and treats with Suffolk’s Paddy & Scott’s coffee shop.

Northern Gateway Sports Park

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l il t p o h S p you dro HIGH STREET, CULVER SQUARE AND RED LION WALK Colchester’s High Street and pedestrianised shopping centres are home to big name brands and national retailers. Find your favourite coffee shop and grab a cuppa and sweet treat and take a well-deserved break from the retail therapy.

INDEPENDENT SHOPPING Colchester is packed full of independent stores and boutique cafes and businesses. From Crouch Street to ‘The South Lanes’ you can head out and explore these narrow streets to find everything from 1940’s inspired tearooms, retro clothing and fashion boutiques all offering something that little bit different.

RED LION YARD The historic Red Lion Yard is home to yet more independent boutique shopping and café culture. Meander through this historic setting and explore. These are highlights from the town centre – for more from across the borough read on, or check out visitcolchester.com Red Lion Yard

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Trinity Street

TRINITY STREET Tucked down one of Colchester’s most picturesque streets you will unearth a treasure trove of unique businesses in a historic setting. Watch out for special events by the Trinity Traders throughout the year. Tymperley’s Tea Room & Garden

Eat around the clock Colchester’s bustling town centre is lined with fantastic places to eat and drink. Our Beautiful Borough is also scattered with traditional tea rooms and pubs as well as award-winning restaurants. The local area is also famous for its Colchester oysters which you’ll find served fresh from their beds at various restaurants on Mersea Island. Find out more about our culinary delights at visitcolchester.com

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f o h at e r B A Fresh Air HIGH WOODS COUNTRY PARK Escape to the tranquillity of 370 acres of woodland, grassland and wetland, with great views of Colchester. Situated to the north of the town it’s a great place to stretch the legs all year round. Choose a designated path depending on how far you’d like to walk and be lead through bluebell woods, the tranquil lake and wildflower meadows. Visitor Information Centre on site.

CASTLE PARK Nestled in the heart of Colchester’s town centre and home to historic Colchester Castle and Visit Colchester HQ. A rich green award-winning oasis which attracts over 1 million visitors each year. Enjoy music, picnics, play games or simply stroll around this incredible space. Look out for the Roman Wall and enjoy this Victorian park packed with Colchester’s history and heritage.

CUDMORE GROVE COUNTRY PARK Take a trip out of the town centre to Mersea Island and Cudmore Grove Country Park. Find stunning sandy beaches, grassland, meadows and impressive views. Perfect for a spot of relaxation and walks

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with the family. Discover historical sites such as WWII pillboxes and gun emplacements, remains of a 16 Century blockhouse and a cliff that has produced 300,000 year old fossils.

ABBERTON NATURE RESERVE Enjoy a bracing walk around the Essex Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve. With a 900m accessible circular footpath enjoy the superb panoramic views of the reserve, head into one of the three bird hides and lose yourself in nature for the day. Complete with a children’s trail, adventure playground and Visitor Centre which has a well-stocked shop, plus café serving refreshments all day.

FINGRINGHOE NATURE RESERVE Sitting on the banks of the River Colne, this 200-acre nature reserve has a range of habitats to enjoy from heathland, woodland, scrubland and ponds and lakes. Choose from one of ten bird hides to take a moment and enjoy the wildlife from. Discover more in the Visitor Centre which includes gift shop and tearoom. Check our website for more information visitcolchester.com/things-to-do

High Woods Country Park


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ul f i t u a e B orough B Dedham High Street

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Layer Marney Tower

CONSTABLE COUNTRY AND THE DEDHAM VALE North-East of Colchester you will discover Constable Country straddling the border between Essex and Suffolk. Now designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) this landscape was inspiration to several great English painters. Hire a rowing boat for a trip down the Stour, or if you’re feeling lazy jump in the ‘Trusty’, an electric pleasure boat plying it’s trade during the summer months between Constable’s birthplace at Flatford Mill (now a National Trust site with tearoom) and picturesque Dedham. Please note, roads between these small villages can get very busy at peak times so if boating’s not your thing we recommend a peaceful amble by foot from Dedham to Flatford, or a hop on a bike from Manningtree Station, to best appreciate the quintessential rural English

countryside that inspired Constable, Gainsborough and Sir Alfred Munnings - whose home and studio in Dedham is now a Museum.

COPFORD, LAYER MARNEY AND TIPTREE There’s lots to discover as you travel south west out of Colchester on the old Maldon Road the B1022. The village of Copford is home to a true hidden gem, St Michael of All Angels Church, with its stunning medieval wall paintings depicting a host of angels and the zodiac rendered in a rare Byzantium style. A little further down the road discover the tallest Tudor gatehouse in Britain, the magnificent Layer Marney Tower built in 1520 in a style later used at Hampton Court. Finally, conclude your journey still within the Beautiful Borough at the famous teashop and museum at Wilkin & Sons, Tiptree, Britain’s, maybe the world’s, most famous jam makers!

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Mersea Island Beach Huts

MERSEA ISLAND No visit to Mersea Island is complete without sampling the native (and world – renowned) Colchester oysters. With its soft golden sand and iconic pastel beach huts Mersea provides some of the region’s most attractive vistas. Everyone who visits Mersea has a favourite memory: watching the sunset, crabbing in the marina, watching the sailboats gliding down the estuary or just feeling the sea breeze or sand in your toes, it’s a place to wind down and relax. With the wildlife spotting and picnics at Cudmore Grove Country Park it’s a year-round destination.

Oyster fishermen, West Mersea

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Wivenhoe

From coast to country, there is so much to explore across the Beautiful Borough of Colchester. Discover places of beautiful contrasts, with bags of unique character. WIVENHOE

COLNE VALLEY

Follow the riverside Town-to-Sea trail from Colchester to visit Wivenhoe. Lose yourself in the town’s historic lanes and discover independent galleries and shops plus the unique Nottage Museum. If the weather is on your side grab a pint and a portion of chips and enjoy the Quay of an evening! If you don’t fancy the walk it’s a mere 15 minutes by bike (or just five minutes by train!) perfectly located to explore for a change of pace whilst visiting Colchester.

Head west out of Colchester into the scenic and beautiful Colne Valley. Meander along country lanes and picturesque villages, taking in traditional East Anglian timber framed architecture. Make sure you look out for the magnificent Chappel Viaduct, which dominates the local skyline for miles. As the sun pours through its majestic arches, casting dramatic shadows across the rural landscape, it forms a jaw-dropping photo opportunity.

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Chappel Viaduct

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s a r e t s e h c l o C a base for touring 1

BURY ST EDMUNDS

Discover medieval architecture, elegant Georgian buildings including the Grade 1 Listed Theatre Royal, an imposing cathedral and the beautiful Abbey Gardens, all within a compact town centre. If you are visiting in December don’t miss the now legendary Christmas market for festive treats. Magnificent stately home Ickworth House, once seat of the Marquis of Bristol and now owned by the National Trust, can be found on the outskirts of town. 2

HARWICH

Historically one of Britain’s most important port towns it was from here (not Plymouth!) in 1620 that the Mayflower initially set out on its famous voyage. Evidence of Harwich’s long military history can be seen at heritage sites such as the massive Harwich Redoubt. 3

LAVENHAM AND LONG MELFORD

Two of the best preserved medieval wool towns in Britain. Admire the fascinating timber framed architecture that hosts tearooms, pubs and bijoux businesses. Lavenham also doubles up as the birthplace of Harry Potter, Godric’s Hollow in the hugely successful Harry Potter franchise.

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ESSEX SUNSHINE COAST

Spanning several seaside towns, each offering something unique, the Essex Sunshine Coast offers a great day by the sea, whatever your taste. From historic ports to contemporary marinas; pristine beaches to wild fossil hunting; refined coastal walks to traditional seaside entertainment, it can all be found along this stretch of coastline. 5

IPSWICH

Suffolk’s ancient county town is situated on the River Orwell and has a thriving waterfront offering the visitor events, restaurants and boat trips out to the coast. One of several free museums in the town Christchurch Mansion is home to one of the largest and most important collections of paintings by world renowned Suffolk artists John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough. 6

SUFFOLK COAST

A short drive from Colchester, the Suffolk Heritage coast makes a great day out with the family. Head to Aldburgh or Southwold to sample fresh seafood, Adnams ale and fill your lungs with sea air!

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MALDON

Smell the salt from the salt marshes, listen to sailboats masts clinking, or let the kids splash around (weather permitting) at the Promenade and Splash Park. Historic inns, churches and fine medieval buildings are a short walk up Market Hill. 8

SAFFRON WALDEN

Discover Saffron Walden a buzzing market town in Essex. Take a leisurely stroll around and take in the surviving medieval buildings and rural charm. Visit the famous Audley End Gardens and railway managed by English Heritage. 9

FURTHER AFIELD...

Colchester is the gateway to East Anglia and the beautiful historic cities of Cambridge and Norwich are within easy reach. We recommend taking the scenic route to Cambridge via the old coaching road, which takes you through quintessentially East Anglian villages full of half timbered cottages. Meanwhile, Norwich is only an hour away by train which takes you into the heart of the City. Last but certainly not least, an outing to London with all its many attractions is again just an hour away.


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Bourne Mill

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BETH CHATTO GARDENS Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7DB 01206 822007 www.bethchatto.co.uk 7.5 acres of Gravel, Water, Woodland, Reservoir and Scree Gardens. A large modern tea room, plant nursery and gift shop.

BOURNE MILL Bourne Mill, Bourne Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8RT 01206 549799 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bourne-mill

Brambly Hedge Trail, Abberton Reservoir

ABBERTON RESERVOIR Visitor Centre, Church Road, Layer-de-laHaye, Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU 01206 738172 www.essexwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/ abberton Conservation centre run by the Essex Wildlife Trust, at a site of international importance for winter wildfowl. Nesting cormorants, common terns and nightingales. Bird hides and nature trails including the Brambly Hedge Sculpture Trail. Shop selling gifts, optics and wildlife books.

A National Trust property, the mill was originally built as a fishing lodge in 1591 and features stepped ‘Dutch’ gables. Set in tranquil grounds with plenty of wildlife and a walking trail, the mill also features a working waterwheel.

BOXTED AIRFIELD MUSEUM

The ultimate health spa experience. Providing you with a complete environment of rest and relaxation, to soothe, revitalise and transform. Try the range of beauty and relaxation treatments.

15 Colchester Road, Chappel, Essex, CO6 2DE 01206 240326 www.chappelgalleries.co.uk Set in the picturesque Colne Valley, Chappel Galleries overlooks the 32 arch Victorian Chappel Viaduct. The Gallery displays and sells work by professional artists who are either from or have a connection with the region.

CHARTER HALL Colchester Leisure World, Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, CO1 1YH 01206 573948 www.colchester-events.co.uk Colchester’s premier events venue featuring comedians, bands, orchestras, dance, specialist exhibitions and fairs and private functions.

Langham Lane, Langham, Essex, CO4 5NW 07503952354 www.boxted-airfield.com Discover how a WW2 airfield and 3000 military personnel affected a small village. Visit the Royal Observer Corps exhibit, uniform collection and Marauder cockpit exhibit. Private visits available on request.

Beth Chatto Gardens

AQUA SPRINGS Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1YH 01206 282010 www.aqua-springs.co.uk

CHAPPEL GALLERIES

CASTLE PARK High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TJ 01206 282962 www.colchester.gov.uk/castle-park The jewel in Colchester’s crown – an award-winning oasis of horticultural splendour boasting a children’s play area, boating lake, cafe and adventure golf.

Castle Park

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COGGESHALL GRANGE BARN The National Trust, Grange Hill, Coggeshall, Essex, CO6 1RE 01376 562226 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/grange-barn/ Grange Barn stands as a reminder of the once powerful Coggeshall Abbey. Built sometime after 1240, the pillars soar to a cathedral-like roof.

COLCHESTER ARTS CENTRE Church Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1NF 01206 500900 www.colchesterartscentre.com

© Scott Davey

The home of live music, comedy, theatre, poetry, dance, children’s shows, clubs, farmers’ markets, gigs and more.

COLCHESTER UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB JobServe Community Stadium, United Way, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5UP 01206 755100 www.cu-fc.com

Colchester Castle

COLCHESTER CASTLE MUSEUM Castle Park, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TJ 01206 282939 www.colchester.cimuseums.org.uk/visit/ colchester-castle/ Colchester Castle is Europe’s largest Norman Keep and is one of the region’s leading heritage attractions. With a unique mix of fascinating displays and the latest technology, there is lots for your family to explore and discover.

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Colchester United Football Club was formed in 1937. They currently play in League 2. The stadium hosts numerous events and is home to the official Colchester United shop.

COLCHESTER ZOO Maldon Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex, CO3 0SL 01206 331292 www.colchester-zoo.com One of Europe’s finest zoos with over 220 species, set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes. Visit habitats and animals from around the world.

Colchester Zoo

COLNE VALLEY RAILWAY Yeldham Road, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3DZ 01787 461174 www.colnevalleyrailway.co.uk One-mile length of line with re-located buildings and a large collection of heritage rolling stock, steam and diesel locomotives, miniature and model railways. Special events including Thomas and Steam with Santa.

CUDMORE GROVE Country Park, Bromans Lane, East Mersea, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8UE 01206 383868 www.explore-essex.com Cudmore Grove offers visitors a trip to the seaside with a difference at the eastern tip of Mersea Island. The park includes a coastalthemed play area, sandy beach and open grassland. Perfect for picnics and great views.


CURZON CINEMA

FIRSTSITE

Roman House, 19 Queen Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2PH 01233 555644 www.curzoncinemas.com

Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JH 01206 713700 www.firstsite.uk

Curzon Colchester is an independent arthouse cinema with three screens, showing the best of quality mainstream including family films, independent gems and events. Two café bars and a roof terrace.

A unique gallery in the heart of Colchester, offering a constantly changing programme of exhibitions, film screenings, performances, activities and events for young and old.

FLATFORD DEDHAM ART AND CRAFT CENTRE

Flatford, East Bergholt, Suffolk, CO7 6UL 01206 298260 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/flatford

High Street, Dedham, Essex, CO7 6AD 01206 322666 www.dedhamartandcraftcentre.co.uk This beautifully converted church showcases the work of over 60 creative artisans and the inspired buying skills of specialist retailers. Tea room offering favourite tea room fayre.

East Anglian Railway Museum

Walk in John Constable’s footsteps to discover the pretty hamlet of Flatford including Bridge Cottage and Flatford Mill. Or visit the Constable exhibition then sit by the river and enjoy a freshly baked cake at the National Trust tea room and find a gift in the shop.

EAST ANGLIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM Chappel Station, Wakes Colne, Essex, CO6 2DS 01206 242524 www.earm.co.uk A living museum situated in the beautiful Colne Valley. Explore the wide collection of steam trains, diesel locomotives and vintage carriages, as well as the Victorian buildings and working signal boxes.

FINGRINGHOE WICK VISITOR CENTRE South Green Road, Fingringhoe, Colchester, Essex, CO5 7DN 01206 729678 www.essexwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/ fingringhoe

Dedham Vale

Nature reserve with over 200 acres of mixed habitat on the Colne Estuary. Nature trails, wheelchair access, bird hides, gift shop and visitor centre. Friendly atmosphere. Café and refreshments available.

Bridge Cottage, Flatford

GO BANANAS! 9&10 Mason Road, Cowdray Centre, Cowdray Ave, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1BX 01206 761762 www.go-bananas.co.uk Go Bananas play centre has over 20 years of experience in keeping the kids entertained! Tiny Town is a large separate area for those monkeys aged 4 and under. For those aged 5-12 years there is a three level Aztec Adventure frame. For the brave there is a 6m climbing wall. Go Bananas offers a wide variety of inclusive children’s parties and parties for adults too!

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Hollytrees Museum

GOSBECKS ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK Gosbecks Rd, Colchester, Essex, CO3 4RN 01206 282920 The Archaeological Park is one of the most significant Iron Age and Roman sites in the country. Enjoy a walk and discover the highlights of the site with the interpretation boards around the Park.

HEADGATE THEATRE 14 Chapel Street North, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7AT 01206 366000 www.headgatetheatre.co.uk The home of amateur theatre in Colchester. Hosting a variety of productions throughout the year, from classic and modern drama to musical theatre and standup comedy nights.

GREEN ISLAND GARDENS

Jumbo Water Tour

Visitor Centre, Turner Road, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5JR 01206 853588 www.colchester.gov.uk/countrypark

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Three centuries of fascinating toys, domestic items and arts displayed in an attractive Georgian town house set in Castle Park. Free entry. Home to the VisitColchester Information Centre, the place to buy gifts and souvenirs.

Trinity Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JN

HIGH WOODS COUNTRY PARK

Holy Trinity Church

Castle Park, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UG 01206 282940 www.cimuseums.org.uk/hollytrees

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH

Park Road, Ardleigh, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7SP 01206 230455 www.greenislandgardens.co.uk 20 acres of professionally designed gardens within woodland destroyed by the 1987 hurricane. Now a plantsman’s paradise full of unusual plants for all-year round colour.

HOLLYTREES MUSEUM

370 acres of woodland, grassland and wetland with path network, including circular walks and easy access trail. Visitor Centre and three play areas for children of all ages.

Colchester’s only surviving Saxon building featuring an arrowhead (triangle arches) doorway in the tower and re-used Roman bricks. The churchyard contains the burial place of William Gilberd, discoverer of electromagnetism and Physician to Queen Elizabeth I.

JUMBO WATER TOWER Balkerne Passage, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PT Grade II listed Victorian Water Tower soaring over 40m in the air. Named after London Zoo’s Jumbo elephant, this much-loved landmark is topped with an elephant shaped weathervane.


Leisure World

LEISURE WORLD COLCHESTER Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1YH 01206 282000 www.colchesterleisureworld.co.uk Leisure World Colchester is one of East Anglia’s largest sports, leisure, recreation and entertainment venues and offers yearround fun for all the family. The leisure pool includes outside river rapids ride, water cannons and flumes.

JUMP STREET

MERCURY THEATRE Balkerne Gate, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PT 01206 573948 www.mercurytheatre.co.uk A highly respected regional theatre, presenting a broad mix of classic plays and new writing, as well as working extensively within the local community. The Mercury Theatre has been transformed after a large-scale redevelopment project.

Mercury Theatre

21 Mason Road, Cowdray Centre, Cowdray Ave, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1BX 01206 911035 www.jumpstreet.co.uk Colchester’s first sole-purpose trampoline park. Over 100 interconnecting trampolines create a 20,000 square foot bounce space which includes free-bounce areas, basketball nets, a foam pit and two dodgeball courts.

University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ 01206 873261 www.lakesidetheatre.org.uk Lakeside Theatre is a hidden gem. It presents great performances, original theatre, children’s shows, contemporary music, comedy nights and local groups. Set in parkland with café, lakes, sculptures and ducks.

LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, Essex, CO5 9US 01206 330784 www.layermarneytower.co.uk Magnificent Tudor building with the tallest Gatehouse in Britain and 16th-century Italianate terracotta. Climb the tower, visit the gardens, outbuildings, dolls house, church and farm animals. Café and shop.

©Simply C Photography

LAKESIDE THEATRE

MARKSHALL ESTATE Marks Hall, Coggeshall, Essex CO6 1TG 01376 563796 www.markshall.org.uk Discover trees from across the globe in this world-class arboretum. Relax in the walled garden or explore the ancient woodland on one of the many walks through the historic landscape.

MERSEA BOATING LAKE Rewsalls Lane, East Mersea, Essex, CO5 8SX 07904196238 www.merseaboatinglake.com A 6 acre man made salt water lake, located by the sea with private beach access. A family friendly lake offering water sports activities for all ages and abilities, including paddle boarding, kayaking and sailing.

www.visitcolchester.com 29


THE NOTTAGE MUSEUM Nottage Maritime Institute, The Quay, Wivenhoe, Colchester, Essex, CO7 9BX 01206 824142 www.nottage.org.uk

Northern Gateway Sports Park

MERSEA ISLAND MUSEUM 12 High Street, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8QD 01206 385191 www.merseamuseum.org.uk Exhibits of Mersea’s social history, natural history, archaeology and fishing industry, including a fisherman’s cottage display. Special exhibitions and gift shop.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM High Street, Colchester, CO1 1DN 01206 282941 www.cimuseums.org.uk/naturalhistory Discover more about local wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change at this family friendly museum. Explore the garden trail and stag beetle exhibition. Free entry.

Enjoy wine tasting on the Island or just relax with a glass of wine or coffee and cake at The Cork ‘n’ Cap café. Also home to Mersea Island Brewery.

THE MUNNINGS ART MUSEUM Castle Hill, Dedham, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6AZ 01206 322127 www.munningsmuseum.org.uk Explore the home and studios of Sir Alfred Munnings, PPRA and enjoy over 150 paintings and drawings from his collection which are displayed throughout his house.

30 www.visitcolchester.com

ODEON CINEMA Head Street, Colchester, CO1 1NH www.odeon.co.uk The ODEON Colchester is a fully digital eight screen cinema showing RealD 3D. Treat yourself at the Costa Coffee shop or a Ben and Jerry’s at the ice-cream parlour.

PAYCOCKE’S HOUSE & GARDEN

MERSEA ISLAND VINEYARD Rewsalls Lane, East Mersea, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8SX 01206 385900 www.merseaislandvineyard.co.uk

One of the country’s oldest institutions teaching yachting skills, it is also a repository for documents, pictures and artefacts, with a fine library, relating to the Maritime History of the River Colne and Wivenhoe in particular. Open to the public at weekends during the summer months and at other times by appointment. For details see website.

Natural History Museum

NORTHERN GATEWAY SPORTS PARK Axial Way, Junction 28 of the A12 01206 282000 www.northerngatewaycolchester.co.uk/ sports-park A 76 acre site providing indoor and outdoor sports and leisure facilities. Perfect for individuals, groups and schools, facilities include a multi-use sports centre, 1 mile floodlit cycle track, all-weather and grass pitches, fitness suite and archery range. On site café.

25 West Street, Coggeshall, Essex, CO6 1NS 01376 561305 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ paycockes-house-and-garden Built in the 16th century, this attractive half-timbered merchant house is a grand example of wealth generated by the cloth trade.

PUTT IN THE PARK St Peter’s Street, Lower Castle Park, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1HL 01206 579499 www.puttinthepark.com Adventure golf course and clubhouse café, set in the beautiful and historic surroundings of Castle Park.


Roman Circus Visitor Centre

ROLLERWORLD AND QUASAR Eastgates, Moorside, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2TJ 01206 868868 www.rollerworld.co.uk DX’s Rollerworld is Europe’s finest roller skating rink, with a 25m x 50m Canadian maple wood floor and spectacular sound and light show. Test your aim and battle skills with the ultimate laser tag experience at Quasar.

ROMAN CHURCH Southway, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3BU 01206 282920 Dating from the 4th century, these foundations are thought to be those of the earliest known Christian church in Britain.

ROMAN CIRCUS VISITOR CENTRE Roman Circus Walk, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7GZ 01206 501785 www.romancircus.co.uk Discovered in 2005, this former chariot racing track dates from around 2000AD and is the only know Roman chariot racing track in Britain. Spectacular in nature, it would have provided seating for 8000 spectators.

ROMAN THEATRE Maidenburgh Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1TT 01206 282920 The remains of the Roman theatre in the town centre can best be seen in Maidenburgh Street in the Dutch Quarter. Look for the darker paving in the road showing the outline of the theatre’s walls.

www.visitcolchester.com 31


ST MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS CHURCH, COPFORD

St Botolph’s Priory

Off Aldcar Road, Copford Green, Colchester, Essex, CO6 1DG 01206 211494 www.copfordchurch.org.uk Celebrated 12th-century apsidal church with magnificent medieval wall frescoes cleaned and restored in the 20th century. The paintings show a strong Byzantine influence in content and design and were uncovered from behind a coating of 16th-century whitewash. Guided tours by pre-arrangement.

Copford church

ROMAN WALL/BALKERNE GATE Balkerne Passage, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3AA 01206 282920 Colchester’s Roman Wall is the oldest and longest surviving town wall in Britain. It was built to defend Colchester after the Boudican rebellion in AD60 and includes Balkerne Gate, the original main entrance to the town.

ST JOHN’S ABBEY GATE St John’s Green, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7EZ 01206 282920 www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/ places/st-johns-abbey-gate/ This elaborate pinnacled 15th-century gatehouse in East Anglian flushwork, is the sole survivor of the Benedictine abbey of St John. It was stormed by Parliamentarian soldiers during the Civil War siege of 1648.

ST BOTOLPH’S PRIORY Priory Street, Colchester, Essex CO2 7EE 01206 282920 www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/ places/colchester-st-botolphs-priory The first English Augustinian priory founded at the end of the 11th century. Substantial and picturesque ruined remains survive today under the care of English Heritage.

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St John’s Abbey Gate

THE SENTINEL GALLERY Chapel Road, Wivenhoe, Colchester, Essex, CO7 9DX 07769945793 www.thesentinelgallery.co.uk An art gallery located in the heart of Wivenhoe, hosting regularly changing exhibitions of local artists. The gallery is available for hire to local artists and art groups.

WILKIN AND SONS LTD TIPTREE Wilkins Jam Factory, Factory Hill, Tiptree, Colchester, Essex, CO5 0RF 01621 815407 www.tiptree.com Tiptree is the home of the Wilkin family, where from 1885 the first Tiptree jam was made. Delightful museum, tea room and gift shop.


Planning your break is easy

For the best advice on where to visit, things to do and places to stay, find Colchester's Visitor Information Centre at Hollytrees Museum. Stop by to find out more about guided walking tours of the town, free town centre maps and all your Colchester souvenirs.

/VisitColchester

|

@VisitColchester

visitcolchester.com 01206 282920 vic@colchester.gov.uk @VisitColchester www.visitcolchester.com 33


34

p U y Sta r e v O Stay

www.visitcolchester.com


HOTELS 3

Disabled facilities

On-street/public parking

Dogs/pets accepted by arrangement

WiFi or internet access

Private parking

Colour television

Linen provided

Restaurant

Pricing abbreviations

Dish washing facilities

prpn per room per night prpnb per room per night including breakfast pppn per person per night pppnb per person per night including breakfast pupw per unit per week ptpn per tent per night

Children welcome Leisure facilities on site/nearby Credit/debit cards accepted Smoking allowed

1

Tea/coffee-making in bedrooms

GreyFriars

AA 4 SILVER Star Hotel

Rooms 26 | Ensuite 26 | Double 22 | Twin 1 | Single 3 Prices £130 to £265 prpnb

High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UG 01206 575913 @GreyFriarsHotel www.greyfriarscolchester.co.uk reservations@greyfriarscolchester.co.uk GreyFriars is an exquisite Michelin recommended luxury hotel with superb restaurant, afternoon tea parlour and lounge bars. Beautifully appointed with the customer’s comfort and convenience in mind, GreyFriars offers 5* service, comfortable lounges, cosy Club rooms, larger Classic rooms and spacious luxury suites. It is a destination in its own right, the only place to stay when visiting Colchester, Constable Country and this part of East Anglia.

2

Marks Tey Hotel

Dragonfly Colchester

Rooms 50 | Double 12 | Single 22 | Twin 12 | Family 4 Prices From £40 prpn

A12/A120 Ardleigh Junction, Colchester, Essex CO7 7QY 01206 230900 @dragonflycolchester @dragonfly_colchester www.suryahotels.co.uk/ dragonflycolchester enquiries@dragonflycolchester.co.uk Our Colchester hotel is a restful retreat set just outside of town, where the A12 meets the A120. With Colchester’s historic town centre just a few minutes away and the beautiful Essex countryside close by, it’s the ideal base from which to explore the local area. Relax in our restaurant and bar or recline in the spacious confines of your room, enjoying the Hypnos beds, Freeview channels and complimentary WiFi. Free on-site parking.

Rooms 110 | Ensuite 110 | Double 53 | Double Executive 12 | Twin 42 | Accessible 2 | Suite 1 Prices £55 to £150prpn

London Road, Marks Tey, Colchester, Essex, CO6 1DU 01206 210001 @MarksTeyHotel MarksTeyHotel @marksteyhotel www.marksteyhotel.co.uk info@marksteyhotel.co.uk Just a 10 minute drive from Colchester’s historic city centre, guests enjoy free access to the leisure club which includes a spacious indoor pool. Relax in the elegant lounge and enjoy a cocktail before dining in the splendid Brasserie Restaurant which offers a selection of international cuisine, complimented by carefully selected wines.

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HOTELS 4

The George Hotel

5

The North Hill Hotel

7

Maison Talbooth

AA 4 RED Star Country House Hotel

Rooms 12 | Ensuite 12 | Double 8 | Twin 4 Prices £200 to £345 prpnb Rooms 49 | Double/Twin 41 | Suite 4 Feature 3 | Family 1 Prices From £70 prpn

Rooms 16 | Double 8 | King Size Double 2 Executive Double 1 | Suite 1 | Single 3 | Twin 1 Prices £65 to £150 prpnb

116 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TD 01206 578494 @thegeorgehotelcolchester @thegeorgehotelcolchester www.suryahotels.co.uk/ thegeorgehotel reservations@thegeorgehotel colchester.co.uk Featuring a stylish bar, lounge and restaurant, the fully restored George offers free Wifi throughout and parking is available to the rear of the building. The 49 heritage guest en-suite rooms are decorated in warm tones, have super comfortable beds and smart TVs, while the individual Suites boast King Size beds, some bathrooms with freestanding bath, Bang & Olufsen sound systems and coffee machines.

51 North Hill, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PY 01206 574001 www.northhillhotel.com info@northhillhotel.com A modern town centre hotel in a Georgian setting. Rooms have tea and coffee making facilities, free WiFi, DVD and freeview TV. Our restaurant, The Green Room, offers a traditional British menu with a twist, utilising the best of local produce.

6

Milsoms

AA 1 ROSETTE, AA 4 Star Small Hotel

Stratford Road, Dedham, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6HN 01206 322367 @Maison_Talbooth maisontalbooth @maisontalbooth www.milsomhotels.com maison@milsomhotels.com Fabulous country house situated overlooking Constable Country and the Dedham Vale. 12 luxurious rooms all individually designed and decorated. Day spa, tennis court and outdoor swimming pool.

8

The Pier At Harwich

AA 4 Star Small Hotel

Rooms 14 | Ensuite 14 | Double 13 | Suite 1 Prices £145 to £215 prpnb Rooms 15 | Ensuite 15 | Double 9 | Twin 6 Prices £150 to £195 prpnb

Stratford Road, Dedham, Colchester, 01206 322795 Essex, CO7 6HW @milsomhotels milsomhotels @milsomsdedham www.milsomhotels.com milsoms@milsomhotels.com Modern, contemporary bar brasserie with 15 stylish en-suite bedrooms. The place to eat, drink and stay in the Dedham Vale. Open for a full à la carte menu all day. No need to book, so no rush.

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The Quay, Harwich, Essex, CO12 3HH 01255 241212 @pierharwich ThePierHarwich @pieratharwich www.milsomhotels.com pier@milsomhotels.com Situated on the quay in the heart of Harwich, this splendid hotel has been rebuilt and redefined to offer a fabulous restaurant on the first floor with fine views over the Stour and Orwell estuaries. On the ground floor the NAVYÄRD Bar & Terrace is adjacent to the harbour and is open all day.


SELF CATERING 10

Castellan

12

Idle Waters

Units 1 | Cottage 1 | Prices £200 to £450 per night Units 1 | House 1 | Prices £630-840 pupw

9

Wivenhoe House Hotel

AA 4 Star Country House Hotel

4A Taylor Court Colchester, Essex CO1 1UN 07948 407495 www.airbnb.co.uk rooms/20040844? source_impression_id=p3_1600360455_ LvSpN9rSlnomEBXR y.farah@uea.ac.uk A self-catering bungalow in the centre of the historic Dutch Quarter of Colchester. 2 minutes’ walk to the High Street, Colchester Castle and Castle Park. 7 minutes’ drive from the A12. 15 minutes’ walk to North Station with regular trains into London.

11

The Nook

VisitEngland 4 Star Self-catering

Le Talbooth, Gun Hill, Dedham, Essex, CO7 6HP 01206 323150 www.milsomhotels.com/luxury-cottage alex@milsomhotels.com Idle Waters is a self-catering cottage in Dedham for a maximum of four people and available for any number of nights. The accommodation comprises an open plan, fully fitted kitchen and dining area with doors leading out onto the garden and sitting room with inglenook fireplace. The cottage has two delightful bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. The cottage is dog friendly so don’t leave them at home!

13

Wakes Hall Lodges

AA 5 Star Self-catering

Rooms 40 | Ensuite 40 | Double 40 Prices £110 to £214 prpnb

Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3FA 01206 863666 @WivenhoeHouse Wivenhoe House @wivenhoehouse www.wivenhoehouse.co.uk info@wivenhoehouse.co.uk Based on the Suffolk, Essex border Wivenhoe House boasts a fantastic location, and there is plenty to see and explore in the local area. The hotel has a stylish brasserie, open every day for lunch and dinner, or if you fancy something special, delicious afternoon tea is served all week. With luxury bedrooms suitable for families, to contemporary classic rooms perfect for a couple’s getaway, Wivenhoe House is the perfect destination for your next break.

Units 5 | Lodges 5 | Prices £810 to £1370 pupw

Units 1 | House 1 | Prices £360 to £480 pupw

48 Irvine Road, Colchester, Essex CO3 3TS 01206 503677/07837 301869 thecolchesternook@gmail.com 4* self-catering accommodation a 15-minute walk from Colchester town centre, perfect for leisure or business. We can accommodate one baby or toddler in a cot. No smoking.

Colchester Road, Wakes Colne, Essex, CO6 2DY 01206 563222 @wakeshalllodges wakeshalllodges @wakeshalllodges www.wakeslodges.co.uk info@wakeslodges.co.uk Take a break in one of our luxury self-catering lodges surrounded by a private 500-acre estate in the tranquil beauty of the Colne Valley; complete with your own hot tub!

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SELF CATERING 16

Rye Farm

Units 4 | Flats 4 | Prices £400 to £650 pupw

14

Greenlands Barn

VisitEngland 4 Star Self-catering, Visit England Gold Award, Visit England ROSE Award 2018

15

Birds Farm

VisitEngland 3 Star Self-catering, VisitEngland Gold Award

Rye Lane, Layer-de-la-Haye, Colchester, Essex CO2 0JL 01206 734350/07969151650/ 07976 524276 www.ryefarm.org.uk peterbunting@btconnect.com Peaceful, rural location on a working farm with views over fields. Comfortably furnished to a high standard. Four miles from Colchester. Close to Abberton Reservoir and Colchester Zoo. Convenient for Mersea Island, Layer Marney Tower and Beth Chatto Gardens.

17

Units 1 | House 1 | Prices £500 to £550 pupw

Lamberts Lane, Earls Colne, Colchester, Essex, CO6 2LE 01787 224895 / 0771 539 4660 www.greenlandsfarm.co.uk greenlandsfarm@outlook.com Heavily timbered converted Essex Barn for two people in the countryside. Comfortable ground floor accommodation with private garden and parking. Ideal for touring or a restful break. Short breaks available. Convenient for Colchester, Constable Country, NT properties, RHS and Beth Chatto gardens and Coast. Adjacent to ancient woodland and countryside footpaths. WiFi available and a welcome pack and linen are provided.

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Swallows Field Glamping Pods

Units 5 | Cottages 5 Prices £330 to £640 pupw

School Lane, Elmstead, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7EY 01206 823838 www.birds-farm.co.uk birdsfarm@btconnect.com Open all year, a group of five cottages on a non working farm, which were originally farm buildings. Four are on ground level and all equipped for a comfortable stay. The heated outdoor pool is open MaySeptember. Other facilities include a games room. In a semi rural location, less than two miles from the University and Beth Chatto gardens. It’s an ideal base for visiting the Essex and Suffolk coastline, as well as nearby Colchester.

Units 3 | Pods 3 | Prices From £520 pupw. From £180 for 2 nights (Oct- March) From £270 for 3 nights (April- Sept)

6 Heath Cottages, Heath Road, Fordham Heath, Colchester, Essex, CO3 9TN 01206 240626 SwallowsFieldGlampingPods @swallowfieldpodswiththewarrens www.swallowsfieldglampingpods.co.uk hello@swallowsfieldglampingpods.co.uk Luxury adult only pods situated on our landscaped paddock, overlooking the Colne Valley and containing everything you need for a self-catering holiday. Available all year round, the pods are dog friendly and have enclosed gardens. Linen chargeable. Hot tub hire available.


CAMPING AND CARAVAN Mersea Island Holiday Park

19

Visit England 4 Star Holiday Park

Units 25+ | Caravans 25+ Static Caravans – Sleeps 2-8 Graded, Comfort, Superior & Luxury | Prices From £113 to £176 for 3 nights

Mersea Island Holiday Park, Fen Lane, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8UA 03301277345 @AwayResortsUK AwayResortHolidays www.awayresorts.co.uk/parks/essex/ mersea-island enquiries@awayresorts.co.uk Right next door to Cudmore Grove National Park, Mersea Island Holiday Park is the perfect base to explore and discover all the hidden gems that the island has to offer. Take a stroll along our private beach, jump into the pool or enjoy a tipple at the Muddy Duck club house. The Park is paradise for dogs too, and we’re ready to welcome you and your four-legged friends for a holiday to remember.

Waldegraves Holiday Park

Waldegraves Lane, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8SE 01206 382898 @waldegraves waldegraves.co.uk @waldegravesholidaypark www.waldegraves.co.uk holidays@waldegraves.co.uk

BELLAMY GOLD, AA HOLIDAY CENTRE, VisitEngland 4 Star Static Caravans, Camping and Touring Park

Escape to the coast and enjoy a break on the beautiful Mersea Island. There’s so much to do on park, with great facilities, including an outdoor heated pool and restaurant, as well as fishing lakes, bike hire, crazy golf, pitch & putt, driving range and even a FootGolf course! Day visitors welcome.

Units 330 | Pitches 300 | Caravans 30 Prices Touring £20 to £45 per night, Caravans £239 to £499 per short break

Accommodation location map references: The approximate locations of the accommodation listed on pages 35 to 39 are shown on these maps.

Bures

A137

B1087

Great Horkesley

Earls Colne

6

Langham

A134

B1058

13

A12

Nayland

7

12

3

Mistley

Central Colchester A12

A120

10 5

2

4

1 Elmstead Market

11

B1022

Layer de la Haye

Great Bromley

9

Little Bentley

B1028 A12

B1026

16

15 Walton-onthe-Naze

B1033

Wivenhoe Great Bentley

B1025

Frinton-on-Sea

A133

Brightlingsea

Layer Marney

8

Harwich

B1352

B1029

14

Peldon

B1023 Tolleshunt Knights

Tolleshunt Major

Parkeston Quay Manningtree

A137

17

Feering

Dedham

Mersea Island

B1026

19 West Mersea

B1027

COLCHESTER TOWN CENTRE

North Hill

4 i 1

High St

East Hill Queen Street Colchester Town Station

East Street

Brook Street

Balkerne Hill

10

Guildford Rd

way

5

Roman Rd

st We

North d R Station

Tollesbury

This map is not to scale.

Clacton-on-Sea

St Osyth

18

Ipswic h Rd

18

www.visitcolchester.com 39


Planning your stay We hope that this brochure has tempted you to spend a few days in Colchester. These pages will help you with your travel plans. 40 www.visitcolchester.com


Getting to Colchester is easy. . By Rail

By Cycle

There are frequent direct services between Colchester and London Liverpool Street (50 minutes), Norwich (one hour), and the east coast resorts of Clacton, Frinton and Walton (30 minutes) and Harwich International Port (30 minutes).

Parking in Colchester

Route 1 of the National Cycle Network runs through Colchester. Route 1 goes from Dover to Inverness, but there is a spur to Harwich International Port from Colchester town centre.

It’s easy to park in Colchester, just follow the signs showing availability. With over 4000 car park spaces across the town centre and easy main road access, there’ll be sites and deals to suit you. The awarding of the Police Park Mark status for safer parking, will reassure you of a clean, lit environment with surveillance in place.

National Express Coach Services There are daily services linking Colchester to all principal towns and cities in Britain. The Visit Colchester Information Centre has timetable details.

By Road There is good access to Colchester from all parts of the country via the A12, M25 and A14. A 1000-space park and ride facility is located at junction 28 of the A12 and is served by a frequent and direct service into the town centre. For more details on planning your journey, please contact the Visit Colchester Information Centre or the AA.

By Sea Colchester is only 30 minutes from Harwich International Port via the A120. A passenger service from Harwich is operated by Stena Line to and from the Hook of Holland.

By Air Stansted (London’s third international airport) is just 50 minutes away from Colchester by road via the A12/A120.

Useful telephone numbers: Stansted Airport information and enquiries desk. Tel: 0844 335 1803 National Rail Enquiry Service for information about rail services nationally. Tel: 03457 484950 National Express Coach services enquiry line. Tel: 0871 781 8181 www.nationalexpress.com For enquiries about sailing to the Netherlands from Harwich call Stena Line. Tel: 08447 707070 www.stenaline.co.uk

Traffic information Traffic information updates are given frequently on the following radio stations: Heart Colchester 96.1fm, BBC Radio Essex 103.5fm and BBC Suffolk 103.9fm.

Great value awaits in car parks in the heart of the town, near to the shops, museums, Colchester Castle, Castle Park and more, just a short walk away. The nearest car park to Colchester Castle and the Visit Colchester Information Centre is the award-winning Priory Street. Choose from our great value parking deals at locations including St. Mary’s, just three minutes’ stroll from the High Street, or stay all day at Butt Road or Napier Road. On Sundays, it is just £1 to park all day in selected car parks. Pay for parking with the easy to use, contactless MiPermit payment system, whether you’re new to Colchester or a returning visitor. Use the secure, cashless app, online or phone payment system and access our best parking deals which are exclusive to MiPermit users too. www.colchester.gov.uk/parking

Park your car and enjoy a relaxed journey into town with Colchester's Park and Ride Service

For more information visit www.visitcolchester.com

www.visitcolchester.com 41


Town map

A134 to Nayland | Sudbury | Bury St Edmunds Jobserve Community Stadium

A134

To Bures B1508

This is a map of Colchester town centre (shaded in grey). For information on public transport and parking including Colchester Park and Ride go to https://www.visitcolchester.com/plan-yourvisit/travel-information or call the Visitor Information Centre on 01206 282920. The Visitor Information Centre can also help with guided tours and heritage trails to help you make the most of your visit.

Key

Colchester General Hospital

PARK & RIDE

Toilets Toilets + Disabled Facilities

Superstores

Colchester Station

NCN1 Dedham Vale & Ipswich

London

Ipswich/Norwich

Parking for people with disabilities

Childsplay Adventureland

Go Bananas

Coach Parking Fire Station

Leisure World | Charter Hall Tenpin | Aqua Springs

A134

PAVILION VIEW

Bus + Taxi only route Roman Wall

NORTH

NP

One way road River C olne

LA CE

Lower Castle Park

CIR C

32 12 A

ROMAN ROA

D

EE T ST R

HEAD STREET

GA TE HE AD

ROA D UTT 26 B B10

FLAGSTAFF RD

IPSWICH RD LEWIS GARDENS

BALKERNE HILL A134 2 M ALD ON RO A

St John’s Green

WALSINGHAM RD

MI

Abbeygate

MAGD ALEN

LI

ROAD

0.5mile

B1025 To Mersea Island

TA RY

Clacton-on-Sea Walton-on-the-Naze

02

D

N E ST R E E T

Colchester Town Station

B1026 To Layer-de-la-Haye 0.25 mile

DR

US WA Y

A133 to University of Essex Clacton | Harwich

ST BOTOLPH’S QUARTER

St Botolph’s Priory

Colchester Magistrates’ Court

NAPIER

www.visitcolchester.com

OR

ND

BUS STATION

STREE

T A134

RO AD

A134 NORTH

A137 To Manningtree

3 3 NUE A 1 REW’S AVE

N

REET

RY ST

PRIO

1

37

A ST

ROM A

Firstsite

Rollerword & Quasar

Roman Circus Visitor Centre

Drop off

A

TEA ENS

ET

P&R Park and Ride Stop

3

GRE

P&R

H’S STREET

ST JOHN’S

REET

SOUTH STRE

ST BOTOLP

St Johns Shopping

TON ST

Curzon Cinema

13

EAST ST

L H I LCoach

ET

RE STRE

T

SHORT WYRE STREE

OS B

B1022 To Tiptree | Maldon and Colchester Zoo

Scale main map

Priory Walk Shopping

SOUTHWAY A134 WELLING

E A S T

Natural History Museum

BROOK STREET

LONG WY

Roman Church Police Station

URGH ST

Headgate Theatre

Library

Coach Drop off

VINEYARD ST

ST JOHN’S STREET

EET

CULVER WALK

ELD LANE

SIR ISAAC’S WALK

C H WALK

CROUCH STR

Portal Precinct

i

ST

US

M

EET EAST

LIONWALK

B1

D

CULVER SQUARE

P&R

CH UR

TRINITY

M

EU

Sensory Visitor Garden Information Centre @ Hollytrees Museum

STR CULVER

ET WEST

TRINITY STREET

Colchester Arts Centre

MAIDENB

STREET

Odeon Cinema

Castle Museum

CULVER STRE

Culver Square Shopping

A

Upper Castle Park

S T R E E T Lion Walk Shopping

Bank Passage STREET

WILLIAMS WALK

H H I G

BALKERNE PASSAGE

Children’s Playground

Roman Theatre

Town Hall

P&R

CHURCH

LEN’S LANE ST HE

CASTLE ROAD

ELL WEST STOCKW

L A N E B U S NORTH HILL

DUTCH QUARTER

Balkerne Gate Jumbo Water Mercury Tower Theatre

Victorian Bandstand Café

ROAD

NUNN’S ROAD

H O U R

ST MARY’S

RYEGATE

SHORT CUT ROAD

2 4

Sixth Form College

CASTLE PARK

EET

STR NORTHGATE

EE N

OAD NR

EET

STR ST PETER’S

SOUTH

CROUCH STREET

National Cycle Network Trains

Boating Lake

NORTH MIDDLEBOROUGH

A1124 LEX DEN ROAD

A1232 To A12 and Ipswich

Putt in the Park

QU

PE

EPE

SHE

EE

Pedestrian route

B1025 MERSEA ROAD

SH

Cricket Ground

ROAD STATION

Y TWA WES Colchester Institute

42

Cycle Parking

A V E N U E

C O W D R A Y

A 1 3 3 To A12 London

Car Park

NCN51 Wivenhoe & Harwich


All Day Dining * AA

* Fabulous Rooms & Suites * Michelin Recommended

Children Welcome * On site Parking

Two minutes’ walk to the Castle, Hollytrees, Firstsite & the Town Centre GREYFRIARS • top of East Hill • High Street • Colchester • CO1 1UG Tel: +44 (0)1206 575 913 Fax:+ 44 (0)1206 621 915 Email: reservations@greyfriarscolchester.co.uk www.greyfriarscolchester.co.uk

A 5* welcome awaits

www.visitcolchester.com 43


VisitColchester

Visit Colchester Visitor Information Centre, Hollytrees Museum, Castle Park, Colchester CO1 1UG Tel: 01206 282920 vic@colchester.gov.uk

Cover photograph: A 2.5 ft tall willow elephant, woven by artist Jo Hammond, was the centre piece of Castle Park’s summer display in 2021.

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www.visitcolchester.com