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Home to a campus for the University of Essex, Colchester is a vibrant and historic town with a modern outlook. Set right in the heart of Essex your new home at our Colchester student accommodation provides you with the perfect foundation to enjoy your studies at university, make new friends in the communal areas of the accommodation, and an easy spot from which to explore and enjoy what is claimed to be the oldest town in Britain. In fact you can trace the origins of Colchester back to Roman times, and alongside this stunning history you can see the town through the ages, from Colchester Castle through to Colchester Zoo.
At our comfortable Colchester student accommodation you’ll have your home away from home, with all of the amenities, bars, shops, restaurants, and public transport to make your life as easy as possible. You’ll be living just a short walk away from The University of Essex’s Colchester Campus. We offer a mixture of large shared student apartments and spacious studio space, but what you’ll always get is a nice bed, ample storage space, a study area and en suite bathroom. The communal areas are designed to enhance your new friendships and provide you with the best place to unwind and relax after a hard day of study.
The University of Essex has almost 15,000 students from over 140 countries around the world. It is a diverse mix of students all aiming high, and this is demonstrated in the type of teaching and learning environments set out at the University. It is a bold and daring university, supporting its students to fulfill their potential in whatever chosen career path they take. As well as the main Colchester campus there is also a campus located at Southend.
The main library at the Colchester campus is called The Albert Sloman and is open 24 hours a day. Here, students can find six floors of amazing resources, including over 1.7 million books, e-journals, microfilms, and other educational materials. There are short loan and students collections for those books in high demand – a total of 34,000 extra copies to cope with demand. There is another extensive library found at the Southend campus. The Silberrad Student Centre at the Colchester campus is open 24 hours a day and allows students to access study pods to participate in group work, IT-rich areas to study and revise, as well as being home to the Student Services Hub. The Hub is a one-stop shop for all student advice and issues that matter during university, such as all financial support and advice etc. The Orangery, The Limehouse, and other areas are great places to meet your classmates and work on group projects together.
A modern 180-seat wet lab for the School of Life Sciences and a 150-seat It-rich exploratory learning space allows for fantastic collaboration across the Faculty of Science and Health, whilst the Languages for All programme provides modern foreign language classes at no extra cost. Both are examples of how high the university values all levels of learning.
The University actively encourages its students to find part-time work alongside studies, as it is a fantastic way to build your CV, develop key skills, and build confidence that will stand you in good stead after you finish your studies. CareerHub+ provides information and access to full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities within the university and with external employers.
Frontrunners is also available, a placement scheme that has paid placements on campus within both academic departments and the administrative sections of the University. The student ambassador scheme through the Students’ Union is also well developed and has a range of part-time job roles throughout campus. The Big Essex Award is the employability award that over 5,000 students have taken part in, with over 100 extracurricular activities and employability tasks judged. The Essex Interns and Faculty Placement teams work with thousands of students and graduates to help find paid work experience that will be of significant value going into a chosen career, including 12-week summer placement schemes within industry.
The Students’ Union has bars, the Sub Zero nightclub, shops, a coffee shop and kitchen, Cine10 showing some of the latest films, a bank, a quality gym, sports facilities, health centre, and even a hairdresser. Colchester town centre is only 10-minutes away on the bus, but you’ll be able to find most things you need on campus.
You will never have to worry about finding something to suit your tastes when going to eat out as a student in Colchester. There is a wide range of dining options and cuisines to suit all tastes and budgets, from top restaurants for a posh night out to cheap and cheerful fish and chips. You’ll be able to enjoy the comforting tastes of all the high street chain restaurants you are used to, alongside fast food chains, but there is much more to Colchester than that, with some historic independent food providers you have to check out!
Mersea Island is one of the first places you should put on your list of things to see in terms of Colchester food. The estuary is a haven for lovers of seafood and you’ll find a number of high quality oyster bars serving what is highly regarded as one of the best places to eat oysters. Another Colchester delicacy that has been lost but recently revived is the Colchester Pudding. It was created in 1850 to be served as part of civic functions in the town and is made up of fruit, custard and topped with meringue. Jamie Oliver found it when searching for historic recipes and it is making a tasty comeback!
There is plenty of choice on offer in this historic town though. One of the most traditional places to grab a bite to eat and have a pint at the same time is the Purple Dog located in the very centre of town. Here, you can find good pub food, whilst at the Church Street Tavern and the Old Siege House Bar and Brasserie (this is in a magnificent 17th century half-timber building) is something a little more fancier if the budget allows.
If you are after something a little ‘posher’ then there are a few places worth taking the folks when they come to visit, or to celebrate after semester has come to and end. Greyfriars has some of the finest ingredients, including Colchester oysters from Mersea Island, Dedham Vale beef and Dingley Dell Pork, in a luxurious setting and an array of European-style dishes.
We all know that students love some American-style diner food and at the Three Wise Monkeys you can do just that. Fill your face with fantastic barbeque food and burgers down on the High Street. Love Thy Burger is another place that is a great homage to the burger. Take on the juicy patties, extravagant sides, and some tasty beers to wash it all down.
For most students living at our Colchester student accommodation the big nights out can be found on campus rather than in the town centre. That’s not to say there isn’t a lively nightlife in town, and there are some great bars and student nights to enjoy, but for the vast majority the time will be spent at the Students’ Union. There is good reason for this; with free membership to the Students’ Union you’ll have access to a wide range of nightlife options and things to do with your friends after a hard day of study is over.
There are two bars in the SU, as well as two nightclubs, and two restaurants. So whatever you fancy there is something for you, with plenty of different club nights on offer, different types of drinks promotions and discounts, and specific nights for different sports clubs and societies at different points. The clubs welcome touring acts, live comedy and music, as well as put on shows from the students themselves. The SU is an inclusive place, welcoming all students to come together, to make new friends, and to have a great time, whatever it is you like to do. Why not try it all?
Alongside the bars and nightclubs there is also a fantastic state-of-the-art cinema with 2k Resolution and 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound. Cine10 is the on-campus cinema showing all the latest Hollywood blockbusters alongside some classic films, and all for the very, very reasonable price of just £3.50. You really can’t beat that price when you compare it to the big chain cinemas. If you join the Film Society you can buy tickets for an even cheaper price.
If you do decide to venture out into the town centre there is plenty of choice for all tastes. If you like to drink in an old-fashioned pub and sup on a pint of real ale there are certainly some great examples of this. The Victoria Inn and Bricklayers Arms are two such pubs to the North of the centre, offering a selection of find drinks and hearty pub grub, whilst to the South of the centre you’ll discover The Odd One Out and The Old New Inn. For craft beer why not try out Three Wise Monkeys, Church Street Tavern, and Queen Street Brew House, all conveniently located in the very centre of Colchester and easily reached from your student accommodation in Colchester.
For a late night in town there are a few options that’ll keep you on the dance floor well into the next morning. The Bull on Crouch Street is a great place to start a late night however, with live music and great DJs getting the blood flowing with a mix of original songs and covers. Three Wise Monkeys has regular theme nights on their top floor, whilst Twisters Bar is a popular destination for its DJ. On Queen Street, both Fashion Café and Silk Road are open very late until 3.30am on some nights, so head over to that part of town once the pubs shut it you want the party to carry on.
There is a wide range of both outdoor and indoor sports and activities to get involved with when living in Colchester. Whether you are looking to have some fun with friends and play a team sport from time-to-time in football, rugby, basketball or something similar, or you wish to take on an individual sport with a view to becoming a serious athlete, you can find it all through the University of Essex and just in the town of Colchester itself.
The town has a range of sports facilities for you to explore, as well as several swimming pools. Alternatively, if you are looking for a fun and active day out with your new friends from University, why not try out one of the roller rinks or trampoline parks that have become popular in recent years?
Most students looking to stay active and take on some sport at University will do so through the Students’ Union and the SU at the University of Essex has over 45 sports clubs from you to choose from. As well as the usual football, rugby, hockey, and tennis, you can also find everything from acrobatics to volleyball. The sports clubs are open to anyone, no matter whether they have previous experience of the sport they have chosen, or whether they are participating for fun, to stay fit, or with the motive to become a professional athlete in the future.
The Essex Sports Arena is a magnificent multi-purpose space that has a wide range of sporting facilities for you to take advantage of, including a large sports hall that is the size of three basketball courts, as well as a state-of-the-art Sports Therapy Clinic. It is also a great place for many different events, from local charity nights to community enterprises and sports tournaments.
If you would like to stay fit whilst getting around Colchester you’ll find that it is a beautiful part of the world to explore on foot and via bike. There are many walking and cycle routes available that can take you not only around the town, but also out to the peaceful and beautiful surrounding countryside in Suffolk and North Essex. If you are a more serious cyclist then you can join Nation Cycle Route 1, which passes through Colchester en route to Scotland, or even join the North Sea Cycle route on to the Netherlands and beyond into Europe. There is also an annual Half-Marathon for those adventurous and competitive runners, as well as sailing on Mersea Island.
For spectator sports there is football to be found at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, where Colchester United play in League Two. The stadium is a community centre; a hub of activity every day of the week, and you can venture here to watch professional football at a reasonable price.
Whether you are looking for big name brands and high street shops, or independent stores and a crafty boutique-shopping environment, you’ll find what you need when living at our Colchester student accommodation. The historic lanes of this old town has plenty of exciting shops and stores that you wouldn’t expect to find, but it is also home to some modern shopping facilities. That way all bases are covered. When you first move to your new student home it is best to venture out as quickly as possible and get the feel of your new surroundings, find the cheapest supermarkets that will stretch your budget through carefully bought fruit and vegetables, and cheaper cuts of meat. Another way to look at shopping for yourself for the first time is to get on board with the local markets and find some great value from local producers if you can.
Wandering along the streets of Colchester you can wander into the contemporary shopping arcades, and head back out to see a trendy boutique just outside. The choice is endless, and the compact nature of the historic town means that you can see all the town attractions, shop, and grab a bite to eat, without having to wander too far.
An award-winning department store, Fenwick Department Store is home to many world famous brands, furniture stores, and fashion boutiques. Over the six floors of the stunning department store you’ll find some of the latest fashion trends and must-have items, alongside brilliant gift ideas, and always receive the highest standard of customer service.
There is a regular market in the town, with the main one taking place on the High Street every single Friday and Saturday. There is a wide range of food stalls on offer, to eat as you walk by or to buy quality local produce, and tasty speciality food. The Farmers Market, which takes place once a month inside Colchester Art Centre, also hosts many local producers. For craft and vintage markets you can find regular pop up events across the town, such as the monthly Bazaar in Firstsite, Secret Vintage World, and other vintage markets. The Christmas Markets are an excellent place to shop for gifts for friends and family as you enter December.
The history in Colchester makes it an interesting place to live, with plenty of attractions and events throughout the year that celebrate the rich traditions. It was Britain’s first city and was the capital when the Romans were in charge. This 2,000-year-old history makes it an important landmark in the history of Britain. Take a stop off at Colchester Castle and you can see the thread of history running through the town. There are many Roman sites for you to visit, as well as artefacts and exhibitions relating to Norman times, the Tudors, and through to the Victorians and the modern day. The English Civil War left a significant impact on the town and you can see all of this at the award-winning museums in town.
Modern day Colchester has a lot to offer also though, and Colchester Zoo is a fine example of a great day out with your new found friends you’ve made on campus at the University of Essex or at home at our comfortable Colchester student accommodation.
Colchester is a forward-thinking town that is rich in art and culture. The Arts Centre is a particular standout, as is the Firstsite gallery, which is deemed to be internationally important. The town is also home to three first-class theatres; so you can expect to find many live theatre events, live music and comedy, and a wonderful array of exhibitions during your time living in the town.
For outdoor activities the surrounding area has wonderful walking and cycling routes along the beautiful coastline and in the countryside. For annual events there is always something interesting happening in the town, including the NSPCC Book Fair and other exciting fairs that take place on the Castle Park grounds. Colchester Food & Drink Festival is a particular highlight.
There is a lot more to Colchester than just the historic town centre, and as you are going to be living at our Colchester student accommodation for a while you’ll love to explore the countryside and the surrounding region, including the stunning Essex coastline. This includes Mersea Island, Tiptree, and Dedham Vale to name just a few. Every little town and village in the area has its own unique story to tell.