The Balkerne gate was the main west entrance to the Roman town of Colchester, and was built around AD 65-80, after Boudicca sacked the town in AD 60. The part that survives is the southern third, one of the pedestrian entrances.
The remainder of the site is occupied by a pub, the Hole in the Wall (formerly the King's Head), which was enlarged around 1843 destroying part of the North side of the gate in the process.
"Summary of my favourite places in Colchester"
I've lived in Colchester since 1999, initially as a student at the University of Essex on the outskirts of the town, and with my fiance in the centre of town, since graduating. I therefore have many fond memories so will share some of my favourite places!
I lived in London before and it was a bit of a culture shock moving to a town even of Colchester's size when you're used to the convenience and size of London, but I wouldn't go back now!
Everything you need is in walking distance of the high street, cinema, restaurants, pubs, clubs, skating rink, mini golf, leisure centre with pool and spa, bowling etc.
Colchester park is fantastic in the summer for picnics and there's a bandstand too that hosts a variety of music styles.
The Mercury theatre provides a variety of entertainment including all sorts of shows and plays and attracts a lot of up and coming artists, from the world of drama, music and comedy. See www.mercurytheatre.co.uk. The Art Centre is also one of Colchester's music venues but used to be a Church (If you've not been clubbing or to see a performance in a church before this is your chance!) and has everything from rock to folk music artists, comedians and club nights. See www.colchesterartscentre.com.
The Rose and Crown Best Western Hotel at the bottom of East Hill on East Street by the level crossing, has a great menu (and the bar menu is taken from the restaurant menu, it's just smaller!). You'll pay a little more here than in other hotels but for this food it's worth it. Try the Seabass! It's an old tudor building that used to be a jail (you can go into the prison bar for a quick look at the original cells). I wouldn't necessarily get a room here (Try the George Best Western Hotel it's actually in the high street whereas the Rose and Crown is about a 30 minute walk out of the town centre) but I would definately recommend a meal here and a few drinks if you wanted a quieter night out (although drinks are very slightly more expensive than in some of the bars in town - try O'Neills, the Playhouse or Yates for cheaper drinks but be warned they are bars from a chain of other bars with little personality).
'Twisters' on North Hill is great for an alternate, fun and intimate club-style atmosphere after the pubs turf you out but for a real taste of Essex Clubbing head for 'Route' (Queen Street), Edward's (North Hill) the Hippodrome (High Street) or Club Valentino (St Helens Lane, behind the high street).
Colchester without a camera
" a most under rated day trip "
Colchester is an easy day trip from London. The Colchester Castle is one of the best "town" museums we have seen.
Hollytree House was also pleasant to view. Coming in winter one could only see dormant bushes along the walk, but the roses must be something else in early summer.
The Natural History Museum in a redundant church was out third stop. It would be a good place to go if you had 5-9 year olds in tow.
We took a little time going in and out of a few shops then headed back to the train station and were back in London for our evening meal.