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Colchester Area Guide

From a walk into and around the town centre of Colchester. Image courtesy of Flickr user Nic McPhee

Colchester is thought to have been established by the leader of the British Trinovantes tribe, Cunobelin, in 5AD, and over the centuries has been the site of several pivotal historical events.

Colchester (or Camulodunum as it was then known) was captured by Roman invaders, destroyed by the revolt of Boudicea and sieged during the Civil War, and evidence of these incidents can be found all over the town. For this, and many other reasons, 4.5 million tourists visit Colchester every year.

Situated in the country of Essex, approximately 80 km north of London, Colchester is a popular home for commuters looking to escape the chaos of the capital. The town is surrounded by countryside, with nearby outdoor attractions including Fingringhoe Wick (one of the county's finest nature reserves), so residents of Colchester are never too far from the great outdoors.

Demographics

The population of Colchester is 173,600 and it is recognised as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. The types of dwellings in Colchester range significantly throughout the town and no one particular type outnumbers another.

Predominantly white British, a large proportion of Colchester's inhabitants range in age from 35-54, are educated to degree level and above, and own their own home either outright or with a mortgage or other loan.

The median average household income in Colchester is £23,874 and 13% of dwellings in the town are socially rented.

Education

There are seven state maintained secondary schools in Colchester, most of which were rated satisfactory in a recent Ofsted inspection. Two of the schools were rated 'good' (The Gilberd School on Brinkley Lane and The Stanway School on Winstree Road), while one, Colchester Royal Grammar School, was rated outstanding. The Colchester Royal Grammar School is situated on Lexden Road and has 819 pupils on its register.

There are also two independent secondary schools in Colchester, Colchester High School and St Mary's School for Girls.

Transport

Colchester is connected to the rest of the UK by the A12, as well as several smaller roads which lead out of the town. Colchester railway station is served by Greater Anglia, and lies on the London to Norwich line. A frequent service runs to and from London, Ipswich, Chelmsford and Norwich. As well as this, Stansted Airport is 50 minutes away from Colchester by road.

A new bus station opened in Colchester in January 2013, located on Osborne Street and Stanwell Street, and a good bus service runs throughout the town and to towns in the surrounding area.

Amenities and Shopping

Colchester offers a range of things for visitors to see and do regardless of budget. For culture and heritage, the town has several museums, including the Colchester Castle Museum, Hollytrees Museum and Colchester Natural History Museum.

For shopping, Colchester has both small independent stores and larger UK high street stores. The Williams & Griffin department store, which originally opened in 1963, is a Colchester landmark, and has six floors of products ranging from fashion to furniture.

There are a variety of restaurants, pubs and bars in Colchester, but The Lemon Tree Restaurant, set inside the town's historic wall, is perhaps one of the best.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.