Colchester Hotels

Mini guide to Colchester


The jewel of Essex and England's oldest town, Colchester is a delightful city with magnificent architectural heritage, excellent cuisine and a lively nightlife. Moreover, the town is an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding countryside.

Built on the site of a former Roman temple, Colchester Castle was constructed between 1070 and 1085, about the time of the Norman Conquest. The keep was the largest in Europe when it was built. For a time it was used as a prison but after it fell into disrepair it was partly demolished in the late 17th century before eventually being restored in the 18th century. The castle has been named as one of England's top tourist attractions, winning the 2000 Heritage Building of the Year. Take the time to enjoy the excellent Roman and Norman exhibits of the castle museum, which itself dates from 1860.

Exploring the town's ancient streets is very rewarding. Discover the remnants of the 17th century Dutch Quarter, the Georgian Hollytrees Town House, All Saints Church (housing the Natural History Museum) and the Tymperleys Clock Museum. For modern culture, try the Colchester Arts Centre, situated in a converted Victorian church, or the nearby Mercury Theatre. Families will love Colchester Zoo and Beth Chatto Gardens.

For accommodation, Colchester has some comfortable old hotels as well as a scattering of pleasant, well-located bed-and-breakfasts. The town's surprising array of quality restaurants stems from its famous oysters and vineyards, with an ever-increasing range of international cuisine complementing the more traditional English restaurants. Colchester's town centre is crowded with pubs, with three of the best being the Red Lion, the Foresters Arms and the Goat & Boot.

To the north of Colchester lies Suffolk, whose undulating southern reaches, straddling the River Stour, are home to a string of picturesque, well-preserved little towns such as Lavenham and Kersey. Elsewhere, Bury St Edmunds can boast not just the ruins of its once-prestigious abbey, but also some fine Georgian architecture on its grid-plan streets. The north Suffolk coast is breathtaking, with the elegant Georgian resort town of Southwold providing excellent seaside recreation and entertainment. Further north is Norfolk, which boasts Norwich, renowned for its Norman cathedral and castle and for its high-tech Sainsbury Centre, and Blakeney Point, one of England's top nature reserves. Cambridge is also within easy reach, famed for its world-renowned university town and the cathedral town of Ely.

Colchester is conveniently located on the A12 from London. The town has two train stations with services from London, Ipswich and Harwich arriving at the mainline Colchester North Station. The bus station is off Queen Street and caters to both local buses and long distance coaches. London Stansted is the nearest airport, serving domestic and international flights.

Selection of hotels in this region:

Swallow George

The Red Lion Hotel

Holiday Inn Colchester

Click below for a full list of hotels and online booking

Colchester Hotels
Holiday Inn, Travel Inn, Marriott, Travelodge, Hilton, Hyatt, Novotel, Best Western, Comfort Inn, Swallow. <*pagetitle*> <*countrydescription*> from

Selection of other locations with hotels available:

Holiday Inn | Travel Inn | Marriott | Travelodge | Hilton | Hyatt | Novotel | Best Western | Comfort Inn | Sheraton
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