Things to do in Colchester
Colchester has the distinction of being the “oldest” of numerous things. It possesses the ancient town walls in Britain and is also the oldest recorded city. After Boudicca raided the area, the Romans constructed them in AD 60. A meter of the wall can still be seen today.
Colchester and its environs provide a diverse range of activities, sights to see, and amazing sites to discover.
You’ll find a variety of museums and galleries in the town center, nestled amid the numerous old buildings and heritage sites add in the terrific entertainment and fantastic shopping opportunities, and you might want to consider staying longer.
In this post, you will get to know the things to do in Colchester and some of the best restaurants where you can enjoy the meal with your family and your kids can have fun activities.
Colchester- The Historical Places
Colchester is a medieval market town which is located in Essex, England. Colchester stands on the location of Camulodunum, the first significant Roman city in Britain and its temporary capital. Colchester is the earliest recorded town in the United Kingdom.
Colchester has everything you’d expect from a small English town. This Essex hamlet, the oldest known city in Britain (approximately 5th century), is brimming with fascinating relics from its illustrious past.
Only a few of the must-see features include a colossal Norman castle, vast Roman walls, and well-preserved timber dwellings.
Colchester has a long and illustrious history, so it’s no surprise that there are many well-known residents. Colchester was the birthplace, home, and sometimes death place of a number of notable people, ranging from historical characters to modern-day household names.
Emperor Claudius, who led his forces into Camulodunum (the Roman name for Colchester), and Boudicca (or Boadicea), who destroyed Roman Colchester, are both mentioned in the early history of Colchester.
There’s also the painter John Constable, who was born in a village near Colchester in 1776, and the 17th-century author Daniel Defoe, who lived in Colchester. It’s also the home of Blur, a well-known adversary of Oasis in the British pop scene.
10 Best things to do in Colchester
So it’s time to unbox the fun places for your kids hidden in the old city.
It’s not every day that a zoo sits at the top of a list of things to do in a British town. When it came to menageries, though, this amazing location should not be overlooked. Within the 60 acres of the Colchester Zoo, there are around 220 species from all over the world.
Among the wide grasslands and lakes that make up this fascinating tourist destination, you’ll come face to face with a Komodo dragon, hear a lion roar, and gaze at a white tiger. The underwater tunnel in the Patagonia sea lion pool is perhaps one of the most exciting exhibitions.
This zoo, like many great zoos, offers animal experiences that allow visitors to feed giraffes and elephants or become a zookeeper for a day for a price.
Colchester Castle, the town’s most prominent attraction, is thought to have been built by William the Conqueror in the late 1070s. The Temple of Claudius, which was built during the town’s time as Britain’s first Roman capital, was built on top of it.
Today, the well-preserved castle provides a magnificent backdrop for many photographs and serves as a reminder of Colchester’s extraordinary history. Its Norman keep is Europe’s largest and best-preserved example.
The Colchester Castle Museum, which is housed within the castle, houses items from the castle’s illustrious past. Together, they depict the town’s interesting journey through ages controlled by the Celts, Romans, Vikings, Normans, and Saxons spanning over 2,500 years.
The magnificent Victorian Park surrounding Colchester Castle is not to be missed. These gorgeous grounds, known for their lush foliage, vibrant blooms, and picturesque lake, have hosted numerous events. This 11-hectare park contains over 2,000 years of history neatly packed.
Colchester Castle Park is on the English Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Importance and is divided into Upper and Lower parts by the town’s Roman Walls. It’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations in town.
There’s always something going on at this fun place, from residents picnicking on weekends to wedding receptions taking pictures to crowds gathered for music or firework celebrations. Children will love the playground, mini-golf course, and jumping castle, while adults will relax on the green.
Colchester Arts Centre
From the outside, you’d never guess there’s so much going on inside this beautiful little church. The distinctive Colchester Arts Centre, a center of enjoyment for the entire society, presents activities for persons aged one to 100.
The Colchester Arts Centre is housed in a historic church that has a fascinating past. The architecture of St Mary’s at the Walls is a blend of the fifteenth century and Victorian, with Roman tiles apparent in some areas. After the Boudican revolt devastated much of Roman Colchester, the church was built beside the Roman Wall that encloses Colchester Town Centre.
You may find a local farmers markets, a teen dance party, a comedy event, or a knitting group depending on when you arrive.
Inside these holy walls, you’ll discover a stage, cutting-edge sound and lighting equipment, and an unbeatable funky vibe. The ornate stained-glass windows lend an ethereal quality to the space.
Highwoods Country Park
As you enter the huge expanse of Highwoods Country Park, your problems will evaporate. In the spring, stroll through woodlands overflowing with bluebells, relax in a wildflower meadow, or go fishing in the lake. Whatever activity you select, you’ll enjoy decompressing in this wonderful setting.
Rent a bike and ride throughout the park, observing the immaculate conditions that have earned the park the coveted Green Flag Award every year since 2004. Locals go here to enjoy a picnic, hike the paths, and take in the breathtaking views of Colchester.
Highwoods was designated as an Approved Country Park in 2012, which implies it is free to attend, well-staffed has adjacent bathrooms, and has a primarily natural terrain. On-site amenities include three parks, a visitor center, and a gift shop (which sells tea and coffee).
Beth Chatto’s Plants & Gardens
The inspirational, award-winning, and world-renowned gardens of Beth Chatto, are dubbed the most important gardener of our time.
In the 1960s, Beth took on a difficult site that was boggy in some places and amazingly dry and unsuitable in others and set out to create the most beautiful garden possible, based on her ecologically sustainable planting principles of ‘Right plant, right place,’ or green crops where they are happiest.
Beth and her colleagues transformed the property into the Gravel Garden, Water Garden, Reservoir Garden, Woodland Garden, and Scree Garden, among other informal gardens.
7.5 acres of healthy planting in difficult growing circumstances that will excite any gardener or flower enthusiast.
A large nursery with over 2,000 different types of plants and bulbs, mostly herbaceous, as well as a gift shop and a teahouse offering local produce light refreshments. The tearoom, gift shop, and nursery are all free to visit. The gardens’ admission should be actually booked online.
Day pond state park
Day Pond State Park is a 180-acre public recreation facility in the Connecticut town of Colchester. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection manages the state park, which borders Salmon River State Forest. Hiking, swimming, shoreline fishing, picnics, and mountain biking are all available at the park.
This State park is modest, but it is centered around a lovely pond. A tiny roped-off beach area is ideal for young children. There is a trekking track that circles the pond, as well as longer trails that lead back into the forest.
The spillway is now undergoing bridge repairs, so you’ll have to walk down into the trees to finish the circle around the bridge. Because of the bridge structure, it pays to be somewhat agile when walking off the hiking trails.
Munnings Art Museum
Dedham, a little community 7 miles north of Colchester, is home to the Munnings Art Museum. The scenery around this museum is a piece of artwork in and of itself, having been made renowned by John Constable’s pastoral paintings.
The Munnings Art Museum is located at Castle House, which was once the residence of Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) and his wife Violet. Munnings lived and worked in this exquisite Tudor and Georgian building for over forty years until his death in 1959, describing it as “the abode of my dreams.” The house, garden, and artist’s studio are nestled on forty acres of lovely countryside on the boundary of Suffolk and Essex in the Dedham Vale.
The museum has the most extensive collection of works by this renowned East Anglian painter and former Royal Academy President (1944-1949).
The museum, which is housed in a bright yellow mansion, hosts an annual changing exhibit of Sir Alfred Munnings’ works (paintings, sculptures, and drawings). Over 200 items are historically hung (or displayed) in the eight gallery rooms.
In 2022, the museum will present a colorful exhibition of Munnings’ lesser-known commercial designs, posters, black-and-white photographs, and early paintings, with an emphasis on Munnings’ early influences and capturing his popular style of the belle epoque.
Despite its long history, Colchester’s amazing Roman Circus Walk was only recently uncovered (in 2004). This is Britain’s only Roman Circus, an oval track used for chariot racing. The circus, which formerly held 8,000 spectators, is estimated to have been built in the early 2nd century AD.
The Roman Circus Visitor Centre in Colchester is accessible via the Roman Circus Walk. It includes a wealth of information on the racetrack as well as local history. You’ll also find out more about the site’s archaeological excavation.
The Roman Circus Café, located in the visitor centers, serves hot tea, coffee, scones (of course), and other light meals and snacks.
Colchester Natural History Museum
Inside the All Saints Church lies the Colchester Natural History Museum. The wide, open areas; Gothic exterior; and Norman nave offer an authentic, old sense to the displays, making it an interesting location for a museum.
The museum is a popular destination for families with small children, with a variety of hands-on displays that make learning entertaining.
The museum, which opened in 1958, focuses on the natural world in the nearby region that is northeast, Essex.
Many of the exhibits also focus on current wildlife threats in the region. The creatures on the show are made out of actual animal skin, hence why they appear so real.
You can also check out other outdoor activities with your kids in the city. But now it’s time to fill your empty stomach by visiting Colchester’s famous restaurants with your kids. Let’s see how they are good for your kid and for spending time with your friends.
Famous Kid friendly Restaurants
After enjoying the outdoor activities with your kids you cannot ignore that they might be tired. But you must also be thinking of relaxing and chilling. But sometimes it’s difficult to manage so let’s find out the place where your kids can enjoy and you too can have fun.
The Wooden Fender
A welcoming pub with a good cuisine reputation and fresh food menus. Our welcoming country dining restaurant serves fresh, home-cooked food with a diverse menu that includes gluten-free and vegan options.
The Wooden Fender is a beautiful country bar in Ardleigh, Colchester, that has been offering classic beers since the 17th century. They have a big assortment of lagers and beers, as well as over 30 different gins.
You can spend a good time in this place as they have a large garden with seating for outdoor eating as well as a Children’s play area to make them enjoy. So go ahead and have your family time with this renowned place.
The Bull describes itself as a “warm, comfortable, and family-run pub” that serves outstanding meals and provides excellent service. All of the meals are prepared from scratch using only the finest ingredients.
The staff is frequently complimented on how friendly they are to their younger guests. Children are given crayons to keep them occupied, and some parents note that their children received a special gift when they were born.
The personnel was all extremely helpful and attentive, and they went above and above for us. They were wonderful with the kids, and they even brought some toys for the baby to play with.
If you’re looking for something lighter, they have a fancy meal for the dining as well as a bar menu. On Sundays, we provide a weekly rotating set menu that includes our delectable roast dinners. They also provide a 2 or 3-course option for your children, which includes a tiny roast on Sundays and some coloring to keep them occupied while you enjoy your meal.
Dog and Pheasant
A historic tavern with a modern dining area, events, and superb food that goes back to 1750 attracts the visitors. There is a nice assortment of children’s meals, and the staff is kind to all families, including large ones.
Warm, welcoming outpost serving British comfort food, along with a large beer garden and children’s play area. There’s also a beautiful beer garden where the youngsters can unwind. They’re also quite accommodating.
The Rose and Crown
The Rose & Crown in Stansted offers a warm welcome with a bar area where you may rest at the front of a wood-burning stove on chilly nights, a private snug for a more romantic environment, or participate in the discussion at the main bar.
There’s plenty of parking and a fenced-in garden with playground equipment for the kids because it’s a south-facing garden, it gets plenty of sun throughout the day, making it a wonderful location to sit on a summer evening.
They also have a fantastic private dining area that can be reserved for parties or more intimate gatherings.
The Anchor at Rowhedge
The Anchor is the ideal location to unwind with delicious food, wine, and good company, located on the banks of the River Colne in Rowhedge, approximately three miles from the center of Colchester.
It mixes the best traditions of a traditional English pub with a pleasant and informal restaurant, providing fine ales and classic cookery while overlooking the water.
Private gatherings are also offered at The Anchor, with full hosting and food for any special occasion, as well as a private space for business and social groups.
Whether you’re stopping in for a drink, eating lunch on the riverside terrace, or arranging the year’s biggest party, The Anchor is the place to be.
It’s time to explore Colchester the old natural beauty and interesting things to do in Colchester. You can also have a guided tour and visit the historic sites. You will have a great experience during your journey and you will also love the amazing food and gesture of the given famous restaurants. Visit the list for your luxury stay in Colchester so that you can comfortably enjoy your journey with your family and kids without any issue.