10 Best Things To Do In Colchester, England

best things to do in colchester uk

Colchester is the biggest settlement in the Essex county and is a historic town in the United Kingdom. Colchester is connected by the A12 road to the capital, London. Are you planning to visit the town very soon? Here are our recommendations on the best things to do in Colchester, UK.

1. Mercury Theatre

The Colchester New Theatre Trust was created in 1968 for identifying a site to start a new theatre as well as monitor its constructions. The Mercury Theatre is located in Colchester and is known to produce high-quality original plays with the title “Made in Colchester”. The theatre also receives touring shows. Daniel Buckroyd is the theatre’s Artistic Director and it features two auditoria. The Mercury Theatre also houses The Digby Gallery, that exhibits local art.

Mercury Theatre

Address: Balkerne Gate, Colchester CO1 1PT, UK

Website: Mercury Theatre

2. Colchester Zoo

Red panda (Ailurus fulgens) - Colchester Zoo - Essex, England - 4 Sept. 2013
Source: Photo by user Martin Pettitt used under CC BY 2.0

Located in Colchester, United Kingdom, Colchester Zoo is a well-known zoological garden that was inaugurated in 1963. The zoo completed its 50th anniversary in 2013. The zoo houses several endangered and rare specifies including birds, primates, big cats and innumerable varieties of fish species and invertebrates. The zoo has had the distinction of receiving the status of a charity in 2004 for its “Beth Action for the Wild”. The charity has made donations for various conservation programs and for aiding in conservation research.

Colchester Zoo

Address: Maldon Rd, Stanway, Colchester CO3 0SL, UK

Website: Colchester Zoo

3. The Beth Chatto Gardens

The Beth Chatto Gardens - Elmstead Market
Source: Photo by Flickr user Esther Westerveld used under CC BY 2.0

It is unbelievable but true that the world famous Gravel Garden was a car park once upon a time. Surprisingly, this garden has never been watered. Its owner Beth used to give away dozens of plants to her family and friends leading to the creation of a leading nursery in the United Kingdom. The Tearoom, which was constructed here in 2006, is known for being airy and light. Visitors can have a relaxing time here and relish the delicious homemade cakes. The site can be also rented for private events like wakes, wedding receptions, and christening.

The Beth Chatto Gardens

Address: Elmstead Market, Clacton Rd, Elmstead, Colchester CO7 7DB, UK

Website: The Beth Chatto Gardens

4. Castle Park

Avignon garden, Colchester castle park - geograph.org.uk - 188764
Source: Photo by user David Hawgood used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Castle Park is a tourist attraction of national importance in the United Kingdom. It is a Victorian park that showcases historical evidence of over two thousand years and its landscape is molded by the residents of Colchester over several time periods. Castle Park features the rich heritage of the town of Colchester and is a much-loved site by residents and visitors alike, the park boasts of more than one million visitors every year. There is a green oasis in its center where visitors can picnic, enjoy music, sit or walk among beautiful flowers and greenery. Castle Park features an award-winning horticulture and the site has been an excellent venue for the big events in the town.

Castle Park

Address: High St, Colchester CO1 1UG, UK

Website: Castle Park

5. The Munnings Art Museum

This art museum is situated in Dedham. You can take the museum’s much popular curator tour, which is absolutely brilliant. The Munnings Art Museum’s exhibits and the house are wonderful and all the information comes to life. There is a cozy cafe at the site and the museum’s staffs are extremely helpful. The museum features a beautiful setting, an excellent array of works by the artist and lovely gardens. It is a perfect location for your day out where you can enjoy some exceptional paintings and a delightful gallery.

The Munnings Art Museum

Address: Castle House, Castle Hill, Dedham, Colchester CO7 6AZ, UK

Website: The Munnings Art Museum

6. High Woods Country Park

This park is one of the most loved spots in Colchester, UK. The High Woods County Park features open spaces that are perfect for relaxing picnics, with wildflower meadows, a lake, and woodland. The park also has scrub land, hay fields and marshy lands offering an ideal habitat for innumerable species of mammals and birds. The warm approach of the council towards the visitors as well as the park’s creative management has earned it the distinction of being awarded the famous Green Flag Award starting from 2004. In a nutshell, this park should not be skipped by families, cyclists, and walkers.

High Woods Country Park

Address: 174 Turner Road, Mile End, Colchester CO4 5JR, UK

Website: High Woods Country Park

7. St. Botolph's Priory

This is a religious and medieval religious house in the town of Colchester, which was founded in 1100. St. Botolph’s Priory earned the distinction of a leading and the first Augustinian convent of the country. The monument is magnificent evidence of medieval Norman architecture. It was constructed using reused Roman brick and flint. The Priory features gigantic circular pillars, a beautiful west front, and round arches. The church got severely damaged while shot by cannon fire in 1648 when the Civil War capture took place.

St. Botolph's Priory

Address: St Botolph’s Church Walk, Colchester CO2 7EE, UK

Website: St. Botolph’s Priory

8. Marks Hall

Marks Hall has an impressive collection of trees from the world’s temperate regions. This tourist spot is spread over more than two hundred acres of landscape. You will be able to see an array of exotic trees from across the globe and beautiful vistas as you explore through the Arboretum. Some of the notable highlights of Marks Hall are the Millennium Walk, the inspired blend of contemporary and traditional planting in the eighteenth century Walled Garden and Europe’s largest planting of Wollemi Pine. This beautiful garden in Colchester infuses the finest of traditional and modern designs and features exciting new plantings and established shrubs that will be a treat for your eyes.

Marks Hall

Address: Colchester CO6 1TG, UK

Website: Marks Hall

9. Hollytrees Museum

This is a publicly owned and free to visit museum in the town of Colchester and enjoys close proximity to the Colchester Castle. Hollytrees Museum is housed in an 18th-century building. Until 1923, this house was treated like a private residence. Thereafter, it was converted into a museum.

Hollytrees Museum

Address: Castle Rd, Colchester CO1 1UG, UK

Website: Hollytrees Museum

10. Colchester Castle Museum

A post shared by Sara Aras (@zaris86) on May 10, 2016 at 10:26am PDT

The museum showcases some of the major events in the history of Great Britain spanning over a time period of two thousand years. The collections exhibited in Colchester Castle Museum reflect a crucial part of the artistic and cultural heritage of the nation. Some of the notable collections showcased in this museum include Neolithic pottery, Kelvedon Warrior, Woodham Walter Hoard, Fenwick Hoard and Corn of Cunobelin.

Colchester Castle Museum

Address: Castle Park, Colchester CO1 1TJ, UK

Website: Colchester Castle Museum

Come to Colchester, UK

Colchester has several exciting things to do including beautiful gardens, well-kept parks, great picnic spots, historic buildings, museums and much more. So, all you need to do is to plan for a holiday and visit this beautiful town with your family and loved ones.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Pala Sen is an avid follower of travel and health updates, current affairs and entertainment news from all across the world and writing is a passion for her. She had been previously associated...Read more

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