Is Colchester A Good Place To Live For Students? | The Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

If you’re heading to University of Essex Colchester Campus to study, come September, then you’ll probably be curious as to whether it’s good place to live for students. Rest assured; you’ll have an amazing time whilst living in this southeast town. Within this guide we’re going to be discussing the best things to do, carry on reading and you’ll be convinced in no time.

Let’s get going.


Go For Something To Eat & Drink At The Wooden Fender

Voted the number 1 restaurant in Colchester on TripAdvisor is The Wooden Fender. This traditional pub dates back to the 17th century and is the ultimate destination for pub grub in the town. Despite being slightly far out from the town centre with its location in Ardleigh, it’s worth the 15-minute drive or bus journey.

They specialise in home cooked food with a wide selection from Duck Pancakes to Slow Roasted Pork Belly to Sticky Glazed Ribs to get everyone’s tastebuds tingling. Don’t worry, they also cater for vegan, veggie and gluten free diets. If you’re fancying a few drinks, choose from a variety of alcoholic and soft drinks as well as over 30 different Gins – wow!

Enjoy some lovely food and refreshing drinks in their relaxing space with wooden beams and a log fire to get cosy on a rainy day.  The service and presentation here really is similar to what you’d find in a 5-star restaurant, see for yourself!


Address: Ardleigh, Colchester CO7 7PA

Experience The Nightlife At The Silk Road Lounge & Cocktail Bar

The Silk Road Lounge is a one-of-a-kind nightclub and bar in the heart of Colchester town centre. The venue has a great atmosphere and has been newly refurbished so you can party the night away during freshers with their 3 bars, VIP areas, 2 dance floors and 2 DJ boxes. There’s also a heated garden area for when you want some fresh air or want to have a chit chat with your pals.

In terms of drinks choices, you’ll have lots of options here from spirits, lagers, gins, to champagne. Its open 7 days a week so no matter what day it is, you can experience booming events from Cyber Monday to Tipsy Tuesday to Fresh Fridays.

It’s also the only bar in Colchester with a licence to stay open until 5am. So, if you’re keen to dance into the early hours here is the place to do it!


Address: 4 St Botolph’s St, Colchester CO2 7DX

Take In The Sights At West Mersea Beach

Going to West Mersea Beach is one of the best things to do whilst living in Colchester. It’s located on Mersea island, just over a 20-minute drive from the University of Essex Colchester Campus. It’s also accessible by public transport from the town centre.

If you want to explore the Essex coast and get away from the busy town life, this quiet beach offers beautiful scenery and a chance to relax and enjoy the sunshine (if you go in summer, that is!) It’s also home to colourful, traditional beach huts, which make for the coolest pictures to post on Instagram!

There’s a selection of restaurants, pubs and cafes located nearby so you can make a day of it with your friends, who doesn’t love the seaside?!


Address: 401 Victoria Esplanade, West Mersea, Colchester CO5 8AT

Learn About History At Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle and museum is a great place to visit if you’re a history lover or want to visit one of England’s most important heritage sites. The castle dates to the second half of the eleventh century and lies on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius.

Gain an insight into Colchester’s Roman history and learn about the rise and fall of the Roman empire. There are loads of interesting exhibitions and interactive displays to see as well as the scenic Castle Park which you can walk around and chill in the green space, for free!

The views of the castle are stunning with the building being mostly intact despite being built in and is the largest norman castle within Europe. Tickets are only £7.25 for a student, so bring along your ID card to make the most of it. It’s for sure one of the historical sites you need to experience whilst living in Colchester!



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dan (@edwin_plus_one)

Address: Colchester CO1 1TJ

Experience Some Culture At Firstsite

Firstsite is an award-winning art gallery in Colchester town centre, located less than a 5-minute walk from Colchester Castle so you can make a trip here with ease. It was voted the national Art Fund’s Museum of the Year in 2021 and we’re not surprised!

This fantastic art space is designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects and is a place to view exhibitions, watch films, attend events, enjoy a bite to eat in the cafe or take a seat in the outdoor area.

Its free admission so you can explore modern and contemporary art from around the globe without paying a penny – we love a student friendly budget! If you’re curious for things to do in Colchester, then make Firstsite a go-to.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Firstsite (@firstsitecolchester)

Address: Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester CO1 1JH

Chill At High Woods Country Park

High woods Country Park is one of the nicest green spaces within Colchester. Take a 15-minute bus ride from the town centre and enjoy some peace and quiet away from the busy streets.

There are woodlands, grass areas, a lake, wildflower meadows, community garden as well as a variety of wildlife to be seen within the grounds. There’s lots of open spaces after you’ve had a stroll where you can enjoy a nice picnic or get your head into a book.

If you’re a big walker or keen for somewhere relaxing to go during exam season, then Highwoods is the place to go. There is also a skatepark if you’re a skater who wants to go for a ride and show off your tricks too!



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cristina Birca (@cristinapopa87)

Address: 174 Turner Rd, Colchester CO4 5JR

Go Rollerscating At Rollerworld 

If you’re after unqiue things to do in Colchester, then Rollerworld should be on the top of your list. The venue is located just over a ten-minute walk from Castle Park, so you don’t need to worry about faffing around to get there.

They offer a variety of skating sessions like RollerDISCO, Adult Only Nights as well as Karaoke nights – how hilarious would that be with your flatmates?!

They have a café and bar so you can get something to eat and drink which you can order through the app for table service – you don’t even need to take off your skates! Choose from a selection of comfort foods like burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and burgers. You can also pick from a range of beers, cider, wines, cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks.

Tickets are only £13 so you might as well try it whilst living in the town, mightn’t you?!



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rollerworld (@rollerworlduk)

Address: Eastgates, Colchester CO1 2TJ

Okey dokey, that’s it guys. We hope we’ve managed to convince you that Colchester is more than a good place to live as a student with buckets of things to do!

If you’re still waiting on results to find out whether you got into your university of choice, then good luck! If you’ve managed to secure a place studying within Colchester, then we know you’re going to have the BEST time.

This blog seems like a good read for you next: Things We Wish We Could Say To Our Parents.

Looking for luxury student accommodation in Colchester or other cities in the UK? Here at Prestige Student Living we have you covered. Explore our modern properties today.