Best Things to do in Colchester

Colchester castle at sunset

Within a short drive from Gladwins Farm lies Colchester, the oldest recorded town in Britain. Rich in history with a vibrant community feel Colchester is an ideal stop for a day trip, with plenty of indoor activities for kids on rainy days and tonnes of great family-friendly restaurants. If you’re ready for some history, fun and relaxation, read on for our top picks of the best things to do in Colchester.

Colchester Zoo

One of the UK’s leading zoos, Colchester Zoo provides a whole host of things to do. These include ‘character breakfasts’ where you can meet some of the zoos most popular animal characters. Workshops include photography, animal feeding sessions, an indoor soft play area with a sizable toddler area, not to mention an amazing gift shop full of goodies too. And if dry weather prevails, there are multiple play areas great for children of all ages. Visit the Colchester Zoo website.


Firstsite is a major artspace with free entry that also includes a cafe, shop, and cinema. It is well-situated in central Colchester, surrounded by restaurants, cafes and another cinema close by. They even run family-focused events, show family films and provide free children’s activities, mostly outside term times. To find out more about what’s on when you’re in the area, check out their calendar on their site.

Colchester Castle

This is an amazing space for the whole family to get lost in the history of one of the oldest towns in Britain. Take advantage of the children’s quiz they have created to pique their interest as they walk through the castle. There are one-of-a-kind Roman vaults and treasures to experience. The great news is that you are fantastically located in the town centre with everything close by, including a fabulous children’s area steps away in Colchester Castle Park.

Visit the Colchester Castle website.


What better way to end your day out than in one of our self-catering cottages followed by a splash around in our heated indoor swimming pool? Our temperature is always a warm 30 degrees which means you can all enjoy the pool together for tonnes of fun and exercise. That night, you will all be able to look forward to relaxing together in your cosy cottage with minds full of new ideas and memories you’ve built together. Find out more about our Suffolk holiday cottages or contact us for further information.