Local area guide

Living in Colchester

Britain's oldest recorded town and one of the UK's newest cities: Colchester's exciting blend of history, energy and countryside is hard to resist.

Your guide to moving to Colchester

Why Colchester is a good place to live

Living in Colchester is a captivating juxtaposition, with a diverse local economy and excellent connectivity set against the backdrop of rich history and beautiful countryside.

Colchester is home to a wealth of historical sites, cobbled streets and a Norman castle that help it retain the feel of a quaint market town. At the same time, you've got top-notch shopping, vibrant nightlife and a large university thrown into the mix.

Colchester offers easy access to the bustling city life of London and the serene countryside escapes of Essex. Whether you're a commuter or a nature enthusiast, you'll find your perfect balance here.

What's more, house prices are a lot more affordable this far from London, and you've got the choice of historic townhouses, modern developments and country cottages. Colchester is one of the UK's fastest growing cities, with a strong local business scene creating good job opportunities and a strong sense of community among residents.

What is Colchester famous for?

Colchester has the unique claim of being Britain's oldest recorded town. It's thought to date back to 2,000 years ago and Colchester Castle is an iconic symbol of this historical heritage.

Things to do in Colchester

Colchester promises days of historical discovery, contemporary fun and countryside exploration.

Step back in time at Colchester Castle, the town's stunning Norman castle and museum. You can walk through its well-preserved chambers, admire the Roman artefacts and head up to the roof for panoramic views.

Stroll through Colchester's charming streets to find quaint antique shops, quirky fashion stores, award-winning art galleries and independent cafes - plus plenty of high street favourites. Colchester has a great culinary scene, with everything from modern fusion restaurants to excellent pub grub.

Castle Park is located alongside the River Colne and a great spot for picnics or riverside walks. It's also well worth heading out of town to explore the surrounding countryside - we recommend hiking or cycling along scenic trails and stopping off at some local vineyards.

Average asking prices in Colchester today

We update our average asking prices daily using data from millions of properties for sale.

Terraced

Avg. asking price

£290,000

217 properties for sale

Detached

Avg. asking price

£500,000

725 properties for sale

Semi-detached

Avg. asking price

£350,000

302 properties for sale

Flats

Avg. asking price

£175,000

309 properties for sale

Properties currently for sale in Colchester

Whether you're after a family home or a beautiful apartment, we've got you covered.

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Local pubs in Colchester

In partnership with
useyourlocal
  • Victoria Inn

    Colchester, Essex, CO1

    A proper pub. Drinking, chatting, socialising & good music. A nice place for nice people. Freehouse. CAMRA East Anglia POTY 2014.

  • Marquis

    Colchester, Essex, CO1

    The Marquis, Colchesters oldest pub! Visit today to view our huge, beautiful garden!

  • Centurion

    Colchester, Essex, CO1

    Your home from home! Craft beer and cider, cocktails and sensational food! All live sport and live acoustic just to top it off.

  • After Office Hours

    Colchester, Essex, CO1

    Pay weekend is the perfect time to treat yourself.. theres no better way than getting a bottle of spirit or bubbly.. and theres no better venue to do so than After Office Hours!

Transport in Colchester

Trains

The main Colchester (North) Station is a couple of miles out of the town centre and offers frequent services to London Liverpool Street in around 50 minutes. It also has regular direct services to Chelmsford, Ipswich and Norwich.

Colchester Town is the smaller station in the city centre. It has fewer services with trains running to London Liverpool Street, Walton-on-the-Naze and the Colchester (North) Station.

Buses

Colchester has an extensive bus network, with the main bus terminal at the Osborne Street Bus Station. Regular buses run to nearby towns like Braintree, Chelmsford and Sudbury.

Park and Ride

Colchester's popular Park and Ride service is a great way to avoid town centre traffic. The site is located just off Junction 28 on the A12 and has good facilities. The route runs past Colchester Hospital and the train station on its way into the city centre.

Keep in mind that the carpark is often used for match day parking when Colchester United FC are playing at home.

Car

Colchester has excellent road links, primarily thanks to the A12 - a major road connecting the town to London and Ipswich. The journey from Colchester to London via the A12 typically takes around an hour and a half, depending on traffic conditions. The A120 road provides access to Stansted Airport.

Airport

The nearest major airport to Colchester is London Stansted Airport, situated about 40 miles south of the town. Stansted offers a wide range of domestic and international flights and is easy to reach by train, bus or car from Colchester.

Transport connections

Colchester
National Rail
0.3 miles / 0.5 km
Colchester Town
National Rail
0.8 miles / 1.3 km
Hythe (Essex)
National Rail
1.7 miles / 2.7 km
Wivenhoe
National Rail
3.9 miles / 6.3 km
Marks Tey
National Rail
4.7 miles / 7.6 km
Alresford (Essex)
National Rail
5.3 miles / 8.5 km

Schools in Colchester

Colchester's has an excellent reputation when it comes to schools and education, with a diverse range of schools catering to different needs and preferences.

Colchester Royal Grammar School and Colchester County High School for Girls are highly regarded for their academic excellence. Philip Morant School is a co-educational secondary school with a thriving sixth form college and The Gilberd School is another well-thought-of state secondary school in Colchester.

The University of Essex also contributes to the town's educational landscape and brings a vibrant student population to the city.

Schools in Colchester

North Primary School and Nursery
Ages: 3 - 11 years old
Ofsted Rating: Good (2023)
St Helena School
Ages: 11 - 16 years old
Ofsted Rating: Good (2017)
Colchester Institute
Ages: 16 - 99 years old
Ofsted Rating: Good (2022)
The Sixth Form College Colchester
Ages: 16 - 99 years old
Ofsted Rating: Good (2017)
Kingswode Hoe School
Ages: 5 - 16 years old
Ofsted Rating: Good (2022)
Oxford House School
Ages: 3 - 11 years old