The Borough of Colchester is a local government district and borough in Essex, named after its main town, Colchester. The area is rich in history and heritage and therefore offers an abundance of opportunities to explore and learn. Did you know that Colchester is Britain's oldest recorded town? It's colourful history dates back to over two thousand years! As the former capital of Romain Britain, Colchester has many important and unique Roman sites and ruins that are well worth a visit. Having a lengthy history means there is plenty to discover from other eras of English History too! Learn all about the Normans, Tudors, and Victorians who all contributed to Colchester's story.
Layer Marney is a farm at a startling historical Tudor location that's just 20 minutes' drive from the acclaimed Mersea Island. Layer Marney Tower is the tallest Tudor gatehouse in England and was built by Lord Marney, longtime friend of Henry VIII. It is barely an hour from Greater London, as seen recently on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV series, in which the owners of the Tower were joint winners, showcasing both the glamping opportunities and the tower itself. Furthermore, Layer Marney is one of the most romantic places in England and therefore a popular wedding venue.
Layer Marney is well placed to explore the surrounding area. Ford bird watching Abberton Reservoir, one of Europe's top wetland sites, is a ten-minute drive away. Equally close is Colchester Zoo, recently voted one of the top two zoos in the country. Colchester Castle, the largest Norman Keep in Europe, built on the site of a Roman Temple when Colchester was the Roman capital of England, is well worth a visit, as it's fabulous for both adults and children.
Further afield from Colchester, there are many smaller museum worth a visit. From exploring the island heritage at Mersea Island Museum to the Nottage Museum in Wivenhoe, the Tiptree Jam Museum at Wilikns & Sons' factory and even the Boxted Airfield Museum.
The area also offers plenty of beautiful landscapes and parks with breath-taking views for an afternoon stroll or hike. Other than walking, why not take on cycling? There are multiple National Cycle Network Routes in the area, ready to be explored!