Colchester & Harwich

Your Local editor is Amanda and you can contact her at: colchester@mumsnetlocal.com

Nestled between the bustling estuary areas of Harwich and Brightlingsea to the East and South, the beautiful countryside of the Dedham Vale to the North and with excellent connections to London and the South East, lies Colchester – Britain's oldest recorded town.

Probably best known for its castle, zoo and the Colchester Garrison, locals and regular visitors will know there is so much more to the area than that. While Colchester's origins stretch back to Roman times, in recent years it has become something of a cultural hotspot, with the multimillion pound contemporary architecture of visual arts organisation firstsite, being the most obvious sign. However, not far off the beaten track, a thriving and eclectic music scene can be found in Colchester's many pubs, bars, theatres and churches. October sees the town play host to the annual Colchester Film Festival. The town centre offers a bustling mix of contemporary shopping precincts and quaint little streets crammed with independent boutiques and coffee shops.

A great place for families to enjoy, Colchester has a variety of excellent parks and fascinating museums such as Colchester Castle, Hollytree Museum, Natural History Museum and the East Anglian Railway Museum.

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