Colchester has large lengths of its Roman walls still standing.
Built around AD 65-80, the walls surrounded the Roman town.
The section in the photo is alongside Balkerne Hill and is visible beyond the new entrance to the Balkerne gate built when the road was constructed.
Colchester Zoo - Visiting details
I know some of you are completely against zoos, but Colchester Zoo is a shining example of what a good zoo should be like. (See my next tip).
I have quite a bit to say about the Zoo, and not much space, so it will be spread over several tips.
Colchester Zoo has been established as long as I can remember, and has steadily grown over the years. The zoo had over 500,000 visitors in 2005. It is home to over 2,500 animals, (plus 1000 leafcutter ants !) covering more than 250 species, many of which are classified as endangered or vunerable species in the wild. There is an extensive conservation and breeding programme which is helping to protect some of these species.
Some basic information: -
Admission prices (Jan 2007): Adults £13.50 Child £7.50 Discount available by ordering tickets on-line.
Opening Times: - Open daily except Christmas Day
09:30 - 18:30 Summer holidays
09:30 - 18:00 Easter – September, June & July to start of holiday
09:30 - 17:00 October - March (or dusk if earlier)
Accessibility: - Whilst some areas of the zoo are built on fairly steep slopes, there are good paths, and there is a wheelchair route taking in some of the main attractions (marked by a yellow line on the path.
Too short an afternoon in Colchester
This East Anglian coast area was where a lot of the waves of invasion washed up, from the Celts to the Romans to the Anglo Saxons. Colchester is part of this deep background of Britain, and was the first capital of Roman Britain. In addition to the embarrassment of riches in the Castle Museum, there are medieval and post-Reformation sites for the history buff to explore......AND a natural history museum......AND a zoo. Suffice it to say, I did not see it all on my one afternoon. It's probably easiest to get to Colchester by train from London, rather than the round -about route I had to take from Cambridge, where I was based for this visit.
Flatford Mill & Willy Lott's Cottage
A motorbike ride, followed by a brisk walk in glorious March sunshine, was just what my daughter and I needed to blow away the Winter cobwebs.
We plugged a minidisc player into our intercom and with the sound of Kelly Osbourne telling us to "shut up", headed North.
"The Walk up stream."
Parking up at Cattawade Brantham, we followed the River Stour. The river route was peaceful, only disturbed by the occasional walker.
We followed the river for about 1 and 1/4 miles before arriving at Flatford Mill.
We crossed the river and stopped for a cup of tea and home made shortbread. (Well deserved!).
"Willy Lotts Cottage."
Felling refreshed we continued on, passing Willy Lotts Cottage as pictured in John Constable's Haywain.
"The return Journey"
We continued our circular route back to the bike, mission accomplished.
Cobwebs duly despatched.