Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle was the largest Norman Keep in Europe. It was constructed on the foundations of the Temple of Claudius, built when Colchester was the first Roman capital of Britain.

The Colchester Castle Museum includes archaeological collections of international quality covering 2,500 years of history, including some of the most important Roman finds in Britain.

The castle was refurbished in 2013/2014.

Expert-led tours down into the Roman vaults and up onto the panoramic Castle roof can be booked for a small additional charge.

Colchester Castle is open seven days a week from 10.00am to *5.00pm Monday to Saturday; 11.00am to *5.00pm on Sunday. * Last admission each day is at 4.30pm


Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is constantly developing and has won many awards for its work. Their most recent award being The TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Attractions Awards, which rated Colchester Zoo the 11th best zoo around the world and in the top 2 zoos in the UK!

Learn about the animals as you see them up close and why not watch one of many daily displays. You even get the opportunity to feed the elephants and giraffes yourself and take a ride on the ‘Lost Madagascar Express’ road train! You can also come face to face with Komodo Dragons; see white rhino, giraffes, ostrich and kudu roaming together at Kingdom of the Wild and walk underwater through the 24m tunnel at the Playa Patagonia sealion pool.

The most recent addition to the zoo is ‘Butterfly Glade’ a brand new walkthrough enclosure of free flying butterflies which opened in April 2015


Freeport Shopping Village

Situated in the heart of Essex, Freeport Braintree is the savvy shopper’s paradise. Over 80stores showcase some of the most desirable fashion and lifestyle brands, offering savings of upto 60% off all year round.

Conveniently served by its own train station, the Centre is easily accessible by public transport and less than one hour away from central London via rail. With a FREE shuttle bus service from Braintree town centre and close proximity to the M11 and Stansted Airport, Freeport Braintree can be easily reached by all.

Opening Times

Sunday*:10:00am – 5:00pm Monday:10:00am – 6:00pm Tuesday:10:00am-6:00pm Wednesday:10:00am – 6:00pm Thursday:10:00am – 8:00pm Friday:10:00am – 6:00pm Saturday:10:00am – 7:00pm

Tiptree Jam Factory and Museum

A lifetime ago, J.S. Wilkin began collecting the paraphernalia of preserve making and Essex village life. In quiet corners of the preserve factory he carefully stored away pictures, documents and redundant machines. Then, as the business approached its Centenary celebrations, ‘Mr. John’, as he is known, asked for room to display some of his hoard.

At first, the collection was displayed in a private room within the factory. Mr. John’s wife Daphne worked tirelessly to record each artefact and document, producing notices to explain and help visitors understand the history of the jam-making business and indeed that of the village itself.

Later, with the opening of the museum in a renovated farm building at Tiptree, Mr. John’s foresight was at last rewarded. Today, visitors can see how village life used to be and how the art of preserve-making has advanced over the years at Tiptree.

Entry to the Tiptree museum is free

Opening Times:

Summer:     Monday-Saturday   09:30am to 5:00pm

Sunday  10:00-5:00pm

Winter:         Monday – Saturday   09:30am to 4:30pm

Sunday   10:00am to 4:30pm

Cressing Temple Barns

Cressing Temple, between Witham and Braintree, is of supreme interest for its unique buildings and gardens. Given to the Knights Templar in 1137, its Grade I-listed Barley and Wheat Barns, built in the 13th century, are among the oldest timber barns and the few surviving Templar buildings in England. Displays inside explain the history of the Templars and the site.

Among Cressing Temple’s many gardens, the Walled Garden is faithfully reconstructed as a Tudor pleasure garden – one of few in the country. The Barns tea rooms and picnics in the gardens are popular.

Admission and parking at Cressing Temple is usually free. There may be admission charges if there’s an event on – please call ahead to check. Open Every day 10.30 am to 4.30pm


East Anglian Railway Museum

The EARM is a living heritage site based at Chappel railway station.

original Victorian buildings, restored trains, carriages and Signal Boxes tell a unique story of railways and people’s lives in East Anglia from the 1840s to the present day.

EARM became a Registered Museum in 1995 and four years later in 1999 the 150th Anniversary of the opening of the Colchester, Sudbury, Stour Valley and Halstead Railway was celebrated in grand style at Chappel in conjunction with the launch of the Gainsborough Line name on the Sudbury Branch.

We are open Monday to Sunday between 10:00 and 16:30 except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. During the Winter months, we close at dusk if this is earlier than 16:30.