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Into Exploring Colchester with walking guides from Visit Colchester

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Written by: Jess Walker

Visit Colchester have plotted out some great historical walks in and around Colchester town centre. And as it's coming up to National Walking Day what better way to celebrate than to take in the sights and history of Colchester! Check out the walks below.

There's also great sunspots throughout the town centre if you fancy a picnic.

Walk the Roman and Medieval Gates

Walking the walls' is a great way to explore Colchester's history. The town's Roman Walls, have stood for 2000 years and have the stories and scars to prove it. Around two-thirds of the wall is still standing making it the earliest, best preserved and longest town wall in Britain!

Follow this circular walking route around the perimeter of the walls. The downloadable guide focuses on the original Roman gates to the town as well as the later Medieval additions, and the walk is supplemented by both interpretation panels around the route revealing further history, and metal plaques embedded in the pavement marking the key points highlighted in the map.

Download the map here

The Siege of Colchester

During the second English Civil War in 1648, Colchester found itself under siege as parliamentarian forces surrounded the town and trapped both Royalist troops and the townsfolk inside for 11 long weeks. Although Boudicca's destruction of the town is more famous, it is the scars from this siege that can still be seen today, and the event itself was to change the town's history and fortunes for years after.

Walk this roughly circular trail, discovering key sites from the Siege, surveying the damage, and unravelling the history. Starting at the Visitor Information Centre you will finish at the Old Siege House, just a short walk (and a steep hill) back to your starting point.

Download the map here

Great picnic and rest spots in Colchester town centre.

St Botolphs Priory

Founded about 1100, St Botolph's was one of the first Augustinian priories in England.

An impressive example of early Norman architecture, built with flint and reused Roman brick, the church displays massive circular pillars, round arches and an elaborate west front. It was badly damaged by cannon fire during the Civil War siege of 1648.

The priory grounds have both grass and benches and is open daily - you can find out more here.

Mercury Theatre / The Jumbo

There is both grass and bench seating surround Mercury Theatre and The Jumbo. Despite being situated between the sometimes busy high street and Balkerne Hill. This spot is a perfect tranquil rest area by a section of the towns roman walls.

Firstsite

Located in Lewis Gardens, Firstsite is an award-winning building a stone's throw away from Castle Park. The courtyard lends itself to perching for a bite to eat, or a moment in the sun, before continuing on your walk.

Castle Park

The obvious choice for a rest in town, between Hollytrees Museum, the bandstand, or around the castle you're spoilt for choice for places to picnic here.