The local area

Explore beyond the campus

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Two first taking a photo of Colchester town hall
Sure, we’re Britain’s oldest recorded town, but we’re definitely no old timer.

With everything from arts and culture to water sports, Colchester Zoo, vintage shopping to high tea in country estates, and the hottest gigs to ghost walks - the hardest bit will be fitting it all in.

Things to do in Colchester

Just a few of the things you can get up to in Colchester...
  • Colchester Arts CentreA comedy, spoken word and live music venue in an old converted church. The best place to catch the weird and wonderful!
  • Mercury Theatre - With a studio theatre seating 580 people, this venue plays host to everything from Grease to Macbeth, comedy nights and dance shows (plus they offer a student discount!).
  • Colchester Castle - Learn about Colchester's rich history (and there's a lot of it as Britain's oldest recorded town), and enjoy a picnic in Castle Park afterwards.
  • Aqua SpringsUnwind in the relaxing bubbles of a jacuzzi and maybe even pamper yourself with a treatment.
  • Colchester Leisure World- With flumes, rapids and a 25 metre fitness pool, invite your friends and get swimming.
  • Firstsite - A huge contemporary visual arts gallery which opened in 2011. The exhibitions rotate on a six month basis, so there's always lots to see!
  • Shopping - What makes our town really distinctive are all of the specialist and unique shops on offer. You'll find a mixture of retro clothing boutiques, old-school sweet shops, jewellers and independent shops.


Two girls shopping in Colchester
Fun on and off campus

There's plenty to keep you busy on campus but there's so much to explore and do in the local area too. Colchester is a vibrant town and London is not far away.

Read our student blog

Restaurants and nightlife

When you're finally fed up of student-style dinners, Colchester has plenty of restaurants for you to treat yourself to a meal. From popular chain restaurants, to quirky independent places, there's something for every budget and taste.

Whatever your ideal night out involves, you're sure to find plenty to do! In Colchester's varied clubs and bars you can hit the clubs until the early hours of the morning, test your knowledge at a pub quiz or enjoy a drink over some live music. Don't forget Wivenhoe either. This sleepy fishing village, just a few minutes from campus, is the ideal place to watch the sun set with some fish and chips. Or head over to Rollerworld and Quasar to get your adrenaline pumping. And if you think you're brave enough, book onto a Colchester Ghost Tour to truly test your nerves! 

Food shop
“There are all sorts of food festivals and markets running throughout the year, from the Farmers’ Markets, where you’ll find great local produce, to the Oyster Festival and of course the Christmas Fair.” 

Gateway to East Anglia and Constable Country

Colchester is the gateway to the beautiful countryside and coastline of East Anglia. The seaside resorts of Frinton, Clacton and Walton are nearby and our Colchester Campus is on the edge of 'Constable Country', the rural areas around Dedham and Flatford made famous by the artist John Constable.

Take a deserved break from study and explore the wonders of Essex
Take a deserved break from study and explore the wonders of Essex