Living in Colchester as a student
Colchester is a historic town located within the county of Essex in northeast United Kingdom. Located 80km northeast of London and 4 hours away from Manchester by train, the town is situated with the River Colne running through it. Colchester has a population of over 121,000 Colcestrians who live, work, and study within its limits. The local university, the University of Essex, has over 14,000 students who go to its campus.
Colchester is known for being the oldest recorded Roman town in England, and was once the capital of Roman Britain. The town still has stretches of Roman walls that are still standing, with the Balkerne Gate being the earliest and most complete Roman gateway in the United Kingdom. Other beautiful landmarks include Colchester Castle, St. Botolph’s Priory, and St. John’s Abbey Gatehouse. Colchester also has stunning Victorian architecture, visible in attractions such as the Colchester Town Hall and the Jumbo Water Tower. Colchester has a number of museums and theatres, including the Natural History Museum, the Mercury Theatre, The Minors, and firstsite, a contemporary art organisation. The town is also home to the Colchester Film Festival, a well-known annual international film festival. Nightlife in Colchester is quite well-developed, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants located throughout the town; even the University of Essex itself has a bar and several restaurants on campus for students.
The University of Essex’s campus is located within the 200-acre Wivenhoe Park, 3km east of city centre, on the edge of the town. The campus itself has shops, a street market, and even a theatre, so many students tend to live within the halls provided, for easy access. Many students who don’t live in halls tend to choose accommodation in areas such as Greenstead or Hythe.