Budget Travel Guide to Colchester UK

Colchester Budget Guide


Colchester is a large historic town in the county of Essex and has a population of 121,859, according to the 2011 census. It is the oldest recorded Roman town in Britain and has been named as one of the fastest growing towns in Britain.

At one time, the town was the capital of Roman Britain. The rich historic past of the town makes it a great tourist destination for people who love history. Visiting a new town may be met with the challenges of overspending on basic services and products due to the ignorance of what goes around within a specific place.

If you are planning your next trip to Colchester, this guide will help in visiting some of the most renowned places in the town, while keeping your budget low. 

How to get there


Colchester is located 50 miles (80 km) northeast of London and can be accessed through the Great Eastern Main Line and the A12 road. The passenger ferry port of Harwich is 20 miles (32km) away, while the Stansted Airport is located 30 miles (48 km) from the town. This makes it convenient to access the town by sea or air depending on your current location. 

By air
Colchester is home to London’s third international airport, Stansted Airport, which is 50 minutes away from the town by road. Regular Coach transfer services help people travel between the airport and Marks Tey Train Station

By sea
DFDS Seaways and Stena Line operate ferries from the Hook of Holland to Harwich. As you are planning your next visit to the town, you should ensure that you check the ferry timetable.

Ferry timetables vary throughout the year and you may find yourself stuck if you do not plan your trip accordingly. You can check the ferry timetables from the companies offering ferry services to compare prices, book tickets and view special offers. 

By rail
You can opt to use the rail to Colchester which is 50 minutes from London Liverpool Street and one hour from Norwich. The InterCity services offer frequent rail transport to the town form Sudbury, Harwich International Port and Clacton. There are two rail stations available in Colchester. Colchester North Station is the main rail station which connects directly to Norwich and London and is 10-minute bus ride north of the town. Colchester Town runs between Claton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze and Colchester.

Train travel on tracks

Getting around town


Walking
Walking is one of the best ways to explore the town and it plays a big part in reducing your budget as it is free. The small population makes it possible to walk around the town without any commotions from vehicles and people. 

Public transit
If you are planning on travelling to a specific destination and not a fan of walking, the use of National Express Coach is the best option. The services offer daily travels and you can access the timetable of bus trips from the Visitor Information Centre.

You can also use a bus which runs regularly, both locally and regionally, and has its station on Osborne Street in the Town Centre. More information on local bus services can be accessed from Essex County Council. The bus fare starts from as low as £5.

Biking
For people who love exercising, hiring a bicycle to explore the town would be the best alternative to boarding a bus. You can get a bike to ride around the town for as low as £8 per day.

Couple on a rental bike UK

Culture and affordable attractions in Colchester


Apart from the town which is one of the greatest tourist attractions, there are other places that you should not leave the town without visiting. 

Colchester Zoo
A day travel to the zoo will see you and your family discover more than 260 species of wild animals. The zoo is open during weekdays and weekend, and tickets range from £13.59 for children to £19.54 for adults and £9.77 for the disabled. 

Family and giraffe in zoo

Colchester Castle Museum
The Castle Museum offers a historic Roman scene convenient for both adults and kids. For a £21 family ticket, you can be sure to learn a lot about the Roman history and culture.

St. Botolph’s Priory
A free tour to the scenic ruins of St.Botolph offers an amazing hidden history and great for photo lovers. There is a car park nearby for people who want to drive to the historic scene. 

St Botolphs Priory ruins in Colchester UK

Cheap food and drinks


If you are looking to cut your travel budget on meals while in Colchester, it’s advisable that you buy them on the streets or from cheap hotels.

These hotels some of the best dishes in the town, yet at an affordable price. You may also choose to take tap water while in the hotels as compared to bottled water. 

Cheap hotels in Colchester


You will need a place to relax and freshen up after a long day walk or ride around town. Colchester offers the perfect hotel packages depending on your budget. With the prices starting at £35, you will get almost all the amenities available in a 5-star hotel. The customer care representatives are friendly and always welcoming.

You will find a haven in a new town by making a reservation in one of the hotels. For a better experience of the town, you may opt to choose a hotel which shows a great view to some of the famous sceneries in the town. The type of the hotel you choose will also depend on the company you have and purpose of the trip.