There is plenty to see and do in the area with attractions to suit virtually every interest.
For the Nature Enthusiast
Literally on our doorstep is Abberton Reservoir. This 1,200 acre reservoir is a Wetland of International Importance, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and one of the most important wildfowl havens in Europe. For more information go to the Essex Wildlife Trust's website at www.essexwt.org.uk/visitor_centres__nature_reserves/abberton_reservoir
Also close by is Fingringhoe Wick, a large nature reserve where the Essex Wildlife Trust has its headquarters.
Coast and Creeks
Only five miles away is Mersea Island, well known for its oysters. The main village on the island is West Mersea, a popular sailing centre, while at East Mersea is Cudmore Grove, a country park bordered by the coast.
Other well-known small coastal towns nearby are Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea. More tucked away is the village of Tollesbury which has a marina and good walks along the sea walls.
Steeped in History
Colchester is the country's oldest recorded town and was settled by the Romans. Much of the old Roman walls can still be seen in the town. A fine collection of Roman artifacts can be viewed in Colchester museum which is housed in the town's 11th century castle. For information on this and other Colchester museums go to www.colchestermuseums.org.uk
Play the short video below to see a few highlights of Colchester's attractions
Layer Marney Tower Located nearby in a neighbouring 'Layer' village, Layer Marney Tower is the largest Tudor gatehouse in the country. Next to the Tower is Layer Marney church, a fine Tudor building also well worth visiting.
And There's More . . .
Among the many other local attractions and facilities are:
- Colchester Zoo. One of the finest zoos in the country which is highly regarded for its participation in endangered species breeding programmes.
- Five Lakes Golf & Country Club
- Beth Chatto's Gardens, at Elmstead Market.
- Dedham Vale, also known as 'Constable Country' where you can visit Flatford Mill and Willy Lott's Cottage (NT). Here John Constable painted some of his best known pictures.
- Excellent shopping and a wide variety of eating options in Colchester. More information for visitors to Colchester can be found at www.visitcolchester.com
For more suggestions of places to go and things to do in our locality have a look at www.birchandlayer.org.uk/timeout.htm