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Colchester is a city full of character and has a wealth of history. It is thought to be Britain's oldest recorded city and attracts 4.5 million visitors every year...
And for good reason! The town has plenty to offer visitors. Attractions include Colchester Zoo with more than 270 species to admire; Colchester Castle, with the largest Norman keep in Britain which re-opened in the spring of 2014; the Natural History Museum; and the Hollytrees Museum, which is located in an 18th century house and exhibits three centuries worth of history.
Colchester is also great for shopping - the Clacton Factory Outlet, Lion Walk Shopping Centre and Colchester market will certainly help those in need of some retail therapy.
After a long day of shopping, head to the town's restaurants and treat yourself. There's a wide range of cuisines, as well as traditional pub food to take your fancy.
If you rent a car in Colchester, you can pick your vehicle up from many downtown locations. Find the best car hire deal by using our search gadget to the left of the page.
With car hire, Colchester's surrounding areas are easily accessible. So where should you go?
Just over an hour's drive from Colchester is England's iconic capital, London. Ideal for a city break or just visiting for the day, London is full of culture, packed with sights to see and activities to do, such as Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussauds, Big Ben and the London Eye.
If you prefer to get out into the countryside instead of sightseeing in a bustling city, then head to Wivenhoe, three miles south east of Colchester. Here, you can sit on the waterfront and admire the views of the River Colne. Or head to England's smallest town, Manningtree, and sit on the River Stour's beach and enjoy the coastal view.
Mersea Island is nine miles (14km) south west from Colchester and sits in an estuary of the Blackwater and Colne rivers. It can be accessed from the mainland by road or foot and is well worth the short journey.
Walk along the promenade of Frinton-on-Sea to Walton-on-the-Naze or to neighbouring Clacton-on-sea for some coastal sea air.
Wherever you choose to explore, Colchester is in a great location to fulfil your every need.