Adventures around Colchesterwith PlusBus

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From the monumental ruins of a Norman Priory just off the High Street to penguins, red pandas, leopards and lorikeets in the sixty-year-old zoo, Britain’s oldest recorded town is full of surprises. Colchester, or Camulodunom as the Romans called it, was the first capital of the imperial Roman province of Britannia. Enjoying city status since 2022, ancient Colchester boasts Britain's earliest surviving town walls, tallest water tower and largest standing Roman gateway. Add PlusBus when you buy a train ticket to Colchester (or when you arrive at the station) and you can travel by bus across the whole area all day.

  • County: with PlusBus
  • Great for: bluebell woods | castle | riverside walks | roman remains | ruins | zoo |
  • Refreshments: lots of great cafes, restaurants and pubs.
  • Please note: researched/updated in September 2023. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 3. Country walks near Colchester

    Your PlusBus ticket can also help you access some exceptional Essex countryside. High Woods country park with its hills and meadows, lakes and wetlands is a great place for a rural ramble without even leaving the city.

    • How do I get to High Woods by bus? Stroll down to the main road outside the station and hop on bus 8. You don’t need to cross the road. Get off after five minutes at Wryneck Close and walk a few steps back down Turner Road to find the sign for High Woods and a tarmac path leading straight there.
    • Another great place for a walk in any season is Hillhouse Wood near West Bergholt. It’s also a short bus ride from Colchester Station and has spectacular spring flowers and autumn colours. Small but perfectly formed with flowering valleys, clear steams, songbirds, woodpeckers, this is the place to find patches of wild garlic and carpets of bluebells.
    • How do I get to Hillhouse Wood by bus? Walk down to the second bus stop outside the station (Stand Ea on Station Way) and catch bus S3 to the stop called Orpen Hall. Walk down Firmins Court and take the path from the end across fields to St Mary’s Old Church just outside West Bergholt village. The church is open every day and occasionally serves tea and cakes to visitors during bluebell season. Take the lane beside church and follow it to wood’s main entrance. The directions below describe a couple-of-miles’ walk from the village through the wood and back. There’s a map here.
    • Walking through Hillhouse Wood, fork left near the pond, and head down through through the valley, and up again following any way-marked path through the woods until all the paths converge to cross two little bridges and climb up to a gate in the top corner of the wood.
    • Follow the path ahead along the edge of a field and, reaching a brick cottage, walk along Cooks Hall Road past some paddocks back towards West Bergholt. Turn left at the crossroads and go on over Lexden Road to find the Queen’s Head pub. The bus back to Colchester station leaves hourly from the bus stop round the corner on Chapel Road.