A decent place to live. There is good access to most services and amenities available. The range of shops and restaurants is adequate but could be improved. There aren’t many options for going out, but there are a good few. The public bus service is pretty good and reliable, however it isn’t the best compared to other areas I have lived in/visited within the UK.

By member1253130 On 14th December 20

Study in Colchester

The Colchester campus of the University of Essex is perched just on the edge of the city of Colchester, in some beautiful countryside.

 

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#51

University of Essex

The University of Essex has 3 campuses, the largest of which is in Colchester. It also has 3 faculties: Humanities, Social Sciences and Science and Health. It has been rated highly for research excellence and has been recognised with a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework for its teaching reputation. Over 16,000 students are enrolled at the University of Essex.

Study in Colchester? Review your location

Colchester Student Life

Colchester is the oldest recorded town in England, so is steeped in a rich and varied history. It’s a perfect place for those who like to have everything within easy reach, whether that be shops, restaurants or nightlife spots, but without the hecticness of a big city.

Cost of Living

Accommodation

Student accommodation costs range from £92 - £208 per week; the average is £144 per week. 

Compare the average elsewhere: Norwich: £150/week, Luton: £132/week, Canterbury: £166/week.

(prices are for all purpose-built student accommodation (both private and university-owned) over the last 12 months, as listed on StudentCrowd)

The average price for:

A cheap meal at a restaurant: £12

A pint of beer: £3.70

A regular takeout coffee: £2.58

1L of milk: £0.99

A loaf of white bread: £0.93

Prices (cost of living only) are about 2% lower than equivalent costs in Norwich, about 3% lower than Luton and about 6% lower than Canterbury.

(Source: Numbeo)

 

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Nights Out

There is a modest nightlife in Colchester, largely because of the fact that the university is on the edge of town and has a lot of its own clubs and bars on the campus that offer popular nights for students. Those willing to venture into Colchester town centre will find a selection of clubs and bars, including student favourite nightclub ATIK and Three Wise Monkeys, a gin bar and tap house. There’s an Odeon cinema and a couple of theatres too. The Mercury is the bigger one, drawing tours, bands and popular comedians, while the Headgate Theatre is a bit more intimate. Creative Arts Live at the Colchester Institute hosts live gigs from across the performing arts, so their yearly line-up can include anything from classical music to rock, opera and musicals.

Public Transport

Buses run from campus to town every 15 minutes and there’s also a 20-minute bus that goes to the train station. Don’t miss the opportunity to get cheap bus tickets by buying a discounted annual season ticket offered by First Buses Essex. There are frequent trains from Colchester to London Liverpool Street which takes just under an hour. National Express coaches run from the campus to destinations all around the country, that include London and major airports too.

Eating Out

 

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Shopping

There’s easily enough shopping to get you by. The Lion Walk and Culver Square centres are the hotspots, with forty big names shops under one roof. The surrounding high street area between Southway and Castle Park is where you’ll find the rest of the shops, including a market along Culvert Street at the end of the week. If you are looking for a bigger selection of shops, both Stratford or Chelmsford are great shopping destinations that are just a train ride away.

Days Out

 

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Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is a really good zoo. So good, in fact, it is one of the country’s top two zoos. They have 260 species of animals from all around the globe in over 60 acres of parkland. Everyone should visit at least once!

 

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Colchester Castle and Park

As England’s oldest recorded town, the castle is a treasured heritage site dating back to when Colchester was the Roman capital city of Britain. As well as viewing the castle, you can take a tour of the Roman vaults beneath the building. When you are done with all the history, enjoy a picnic in the gorgeous surrounding park.

 

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London 

London is an easy and fun way to spend a day out when you need a break from your studies. In just over an hour, the train will take you straight into London Liverpool Street which makes it very easy to explore trendy East London or bustling Central London. 

 

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Beach 

Your nearest good beach is in Southwold. It is famous for its soft golden sand and is about 90 minutes away by car. If you’re not so fussy and have less time, you could head to the busy seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea or the more isolated Mersea Island.

Top 10 Colchester Accommodation

#1
4.37 /5
(58 reviews)

The Maltings 4.37 /5

I couldn't be more pleased and satisfied with the service here at The Maltings Accomadation. The room is nice and spacious, the gym space is great and...

#2
4.23 /5
(24 reviews)

Hythe Mills 4.23 /5

The staff are very approachable , very warm and friendly people. Especially during covid time, when we students can find the university time more emot...

#3
4.17 /5
(45 reviews)

The Towers 4.17 /5

Such a great experience, defo recommend for first years, its so social and gives you a great opportunity to meet 13-15 other people immediately so the...

#4
4.04 /5
(31 reviews)

The Meadows 4.04 /5

I meet wonderful people in my first-year accommodation as it is social space allowing lots of opportunities to talk with your neighbours...

#5
3.62 /5
(72 reviews)

South Courts 3.62 /5

It was good and very clean...

#6
3.54 /5
(25 reviews)

University Quays 3.54 /5

Quays is lovely. I share a couples room with my boyfriend and we have the most stunning view of the river - as most quays students do! I definitely pr...

#7
3.4 /5
(14 reviews)

University Square, Southend 3.4 /5

in 1979 we had avon way and the towers and they were comfortable heating during winter, south end seems latest in architecture and psychology which wi...

#8
3.38 /5
(10 reviews)

The Houses 3.38 /5

In my opinion the houses are the best accommodation on campus. in deciding upon which accommodation I wanted I had three main priorities. The first wa...

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member1360472
24th June 2021

it is a cool place to...

it is a cool place to live with lots of historical and natural viewpoints of interest read more

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member959557
4th June 2021

Car is needed for ease...

Car is needed for ease of transport as there would be a bit of walking, but a nice town/city area read more

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member459558
4th June 2021

Town has everything need...

Town has everything need for students but transport is limited read more

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member1158225
19th May 2021

A beautiful and quiet...

A beautiful and quiet city with an education orientation read more

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member755699
29th March 2021

I think that Colchester...

I think that Colchester is a great place to live, with plenty to do in the town. read more

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member754947
4th March 2021

Colchester is a little...

Colchester is a little town but there’s so much to do here. Honestly love love this town. read more

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member854592
24th February 2021

Whilst Colchester is...

Whilst Colchester is small, there are so many things to do and perfect for student living. read more

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member1253130
14th December 2020

A decent place to live....

A decent place to live. There is good access to most services and amenities available. The range of shops and restaurants is adequate but could be improved. There aren’t many options for going out, but there are a good few. The public bus service is pretty good and reliable, however it isn’t the best compared to other areas I have lived in/visited within the UK. read more

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member752039
11th November 2020

The city is beautiful,...

The city is beautiful, has many shops. The center has many attractions and beautiful nature. read more

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TheBadUsernane
12th August 2020

Colchester isn't a town...

Colchester isn't a town made for students rather there is actually a conflict here between student and resident population where I find can he quite unsettling studying with people talk behind your back. I especially had this when studying in the library at town or, shopping. You can find more even looking at the local news agency where people are make comments that students are ruining the town. It could be true but the council and university needs to work on improving local community outlook. Other than that the shopping is okay but limited amount of shops but primarily a night out on campus is better with dating out being one of Colchesters best assets. read more

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member449751
7th July 2020

I guess my city is ok....

I guess my city is ok. At least is not expensive read more

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member849684
6th July 2020

a very good student life...

a very good student life gives room to manoever. read more

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Anisha Al-firdous
9th June 2020

Colchester is meh, you...

Colchester is meh, you can get to London quick which is a plus side read more

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karensmith
2nd June 2020

Get the bus pass if you...

Get the bus pass if you live quite far from campus. Buses can be late sometimes/not come at all. Not much to do in town but honestly depends on the company you keep. Uni club is fun to go with friends read more

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member548908
1st June 2020

FIRST BUS IS DOGSHITE,...

FIRST BUS IS DOGSHITE, i couldn’t name a worse bus service in the country. Very good links to london with 40 mins to Stratford and 50 mins to LST on the high speed service. read more

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fvckthemaltings
29th May 2020

Honestly, not much to...

Honestly, not much to do in town. It is very quiet and peaceful though (obviously some crime but it's nice to be away from the city) read more

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member1048841
29th May 2020

Not much to do in this...

Not much to do in this small town. However, if you find the right group of friends, it'll be all worth it read more

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member1048840
29th May 2020

Cost of living is expensive...

Cost of living is expensive for students regarding the quality of living offered read more

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Johng
29th May 2020

Very good town, lacks...

Very good town, lacks on nightlife and activities read more

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Alex21
27th May 2020

Colchester is only 40...

Colchester is only 40 minutes by train to London and has everything a town needs. read more

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julijazilinskaitw
22nd May 2020

Small but great place...

Small but great place to live for few years read more

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member548565
21st May 2020

Public transport is so...

Public transport is so unreliable. There’s barely anywhere to eat or shop. There are places, but being from London it’s very basic read more

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Welshy
21st May 2020

Colchester is lovely...

Colchester is lovely and historic with plenty of places to eat and do read more

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Hamze7327
21st May 2020

Other than busses and...

Other than busses and not having the quality you get in other places for shopping , it’s a nice place to live read more

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member548507
20th May 2020

Colchester is not the...

Colchester is not the best town to live but can be interesting at times. Cheap place. read more

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member848389
18th May 2020

Colchester is such a...

Colchester is such a great town to be in so many parks and outdoor places to visit. read more

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member848386
18th May 2020

need more buses and better...

need more buses and better nightlife read more

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Emily18301
18th May 2020

It’s not massively expensive...

It’s not massively expensive in Colchester. There are lots of restaurants (wagamamas, turtle bay, Taco Bell, etc), but not fantastic for nights out. ATIK is fun when you’re a fresher but soon gets boring. Sub zero on campus is pretty good and very convenient. Buses are very unreliable, Normally late. read more

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member12483801
18th May 2020

The city is small and...

The city is small and there are not so many things that you can do there. read more

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member1048354
17th May 2020

Colchester has everything...

Colchester has everything I need read more

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member748331
17th May 2020

I like Colchester, like...

I like Colchester, like any big town it can be robust at night. read more

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member1048326
17th May 2020

Good busy town with good...

Good busy town with good amenities and nightlife read more

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ChannelPupYT
14th May 2020

I've lived in Colchester...

I've lived in Colchester my whole life and there was a time when Colchester was a nice place. Colchester sucks. The living costs beyond student accommodation are very steep and a lot of lettings agents are highly extortionate and cruel. Really really read those contracts, folks. There are a lot of nice places to eat though and Colchester Castle, as well as the Hollytrees Museum are great attractions. Nights out are vulgar and disgusting, partially thanks to the kinds of people the clubs in Colchester attract. If you want to see some jumped up angry guys smack each other and walk on sticky vomit laden floor, a night out in Colchester is for you. Shopping is fine, there's some nice shops. Public transport...no, just, no...First Bus arrives whenever it wants but they put schedules up anyway. Abellio Greater Anglia usually have rail replacement on Weekends but that won't stop them from charging you full rate. read more

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member548178
14th May 2020

This city is very basic....

This city is very basic. Nothing much to do. You will get bored and depressed easily and very quick. read more

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member648164
14th May 2020

Colchester is a big town...

Colchester is a big town and there are some nice sides. read more

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member1248108
14th May 2020

It is a very quiet place,...

It is a very quiet place, but the nightlife is awesome University also does a lot of fun events read more

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member1048077
13th May 2020

Popular town with lots...

Popular town with lots of shops, restaurants, pubs and clubs. Always plenty to do and lots to see read more

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member947972
12th May 2020

needs more buses and...

needs more buses and routes to town. Town centre not that great for night life read more

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Member8293040
12th May 2020

Love colchester and love...

Love colchester and love how friendly the people are around here! read more

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member647539
26th April 2020

Loads of things to do,...

Loads of things to do, nightclubs, swimming, golf, bowling, cinema, sports, travel to London or the beach. read more

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member746956
26th March 2020

cute small town, not...

cute small town, not the best option as a city if you looking for fun read more

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Ias2020
4th March 2020

Southend is a chill city...

Southend is a chill city to study, but not very attractive for artistic people. read more

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member1145597
12th February 2020

Worst public transport...

Worst public transport in the history of the world . At least there’s wagas and Nando’s to eat in town but good luck trying to find a bus on time after 7pm. Very very expensive cost of living: public transport, food, drinks, it might as well be called London 2.0. Castle park in town closes by 5pm, and anytime after that is when the homeless and crazy people come at u begging or screaming and u fear for ur life. Town is very dangerous, full of acid attacks, people with knives, fights happening all the time, drug deals, homeless people. Nothing nice to actually see in Colchester , it’s just a dead boring town read more

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member1044871
17th January 2020

Why even bother with...

Why even bother with this s*** town? sure the university is good, Do not bother commuting for university though, this town knows how to test your patience by putting roadworks on the same roundabout for over a year now...like wtf?? what's taking so long? the town went from being slow to unbearable. the traffic is no joke. Avoid where you can, and to be honest, everything is expensive compared to other towns, violence has started to rise as well. read more

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Misturah
29th November 2019

Could so with more eating...

Could so with more eating spots & shops near the accommodations read more

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member643953
23rd November 2019

Trains don't run past...

Trains don't run past 12, taxis aren't cheap and food isn't the cheapest but there is a nice place to shop read more

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Jay
14th July 2017

Colchester does not cater...

Colchester does not cater well to students. There is very little nightlife or activities for students to get involved in. I felt that accommodation off campus was either affordable and dismal or anything worth living in was overpriced. It is certainly not the safest town to live in. Can be difficult to live in if you are used to a big, lively city. read more

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member711775
31st July 2015

Colchester is your average...

Colchester is your average larger town really. There's enough shops to go wander around, there's enough variety of choice for quality food and it's easy to get there in 15 minutes from campus via bus. The nights out are okay, not the best, in town, but there is a club and enough to do on campus in the evenings anyway so it's not really a worry. read more

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member1111771
31st July 2015

First buses can be annoying...

First buses can be annoying but so can buses everywhere. Just wish there was a Primark! read more

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member1211762
31st July 2015

Plenty of high street...

Plenty of high street restaurants, and most high street stores, however if you want a big shopping day best to go to Stratford or Chelmsford as Colchester is not massive. read more

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member1211756
31st July 2015

Great buses into the...

Great buses into the town centre every 10 minutes. Colchester has a variety of shops however there aren't many for people shopping for clothes on a budget. It has all the other essential though. read more

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member911493
23rd July 2015

colchester is ok, there...

colchester is ok, there are some interesting things to do, but there is no need to leave campus as everything you will find is available here. read more

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TastyHerbivore101
15th July 2015

Colchester is a lovely...

Colchester is a lovely town- lots of shops and places to eat out. Really lovely parks. Not to far away from the uni either, just a short bus ride away. Nightlife is decent- we mainly stuck to the nightlife on campus though! read more

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member811202
14th July 2015

Regular transport (every...

Regular transport (every 10 minutes) between the campus, the town centre and local railways stations (three in total - the closest is a 20 minute walk away). London is a 50 minute train journey away. Shopping is good, with a huge selection of shops, including national brands/stores and more unique shops. There is a huge selection of places to eat, from the fast and cheap, to the higher quality and slightly more expensive meals. There are several clubs and many bars, with drinks being cheap on certain nights (although, they are not too expensive anyway). The buses don't run really late unfortunately, but taxis are relatively cheap and you could even walk (the town centre is about a 15-30 minute walk away). Tesco is a 10 minute walk away, which is the cheapest place to buy groceries and food (it's not too expensive - no more expensive than anywhere else). For a few bits, there is a shop on campus! read more

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member811202
14th July 2015

Regular transport (every...

Regular transport (every 10 minutes) between the campus, the town centre and local railways stations (three in total - the closest is a 20 minute walk away). London is a 50 minute train journey away. Shopping is good, with a huge selection of shops, including national brands/stores and more unique shops. There is a huge selection of places to eat, from the fast and cheap, to the higher quality and slightly more expensive meals. There are several clubs and many bars, with drinks being cheap on certain nights (although, they are not too expensive anyway). The buses don't run really late unfortunately, but taxis are relatively cheap and you could even walk (the town centre is about a 15-30 minute walk away). Tesco is a 10 minute walk away, which is the cheapest place to buy groceries and food (it's not too expensive - no more expensive than anywhere else). For a few bits, there is a bar on campus! read more

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member511173
13th July 2015

Everyone looks like they...

Everyone looks like they are from Jeremy Kyle, and behaves in a similar way. read more

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member1211158
13th July 2015

town not far from uni...

town not far from uni and has everything you need ranging from retail shops to restaurants to clubs read more

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member1111153
13th July 2015

Yeah it's a pretty nice...

Yeah it's a pretty nice town :) read more

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member1111136
13th July 2015

Colchester has a good-sized...

Colchester has a good-sized high street with a variety of shops, restaurants and activities. However, students will likely use Tesco, Waitrose and Aldi, as they are close to campus - the campus is closer to Wivenhoe than to middle of Colchester. read more

Cost of Living
Eating Out
Nights Out
Shopping
Public Transport
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member511119
13th July 2015

Super cheap. Not a lot...

Super cheap. Not a lot of shops / 'big' nightlife, but it's easy to get to london and we have other things... zoo, rollerworld... read more

Cost of Living
Eating Out
Nights Out
Shopping
Public Transport
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member129531
30th June 2015

Enough that you'd need...

Enough that you'd need but not superb. Less than an hour from London for anything more you could want. read more

Cost of Living
Eating Out
Nights Out
Shopping
Public Transport
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Dominic
21st February 2015

All the typical shops...

All the typical shops and restaurants are easily accessible from the Town railway station Easy access to London via train read more

Cons?
Relatively high crime levels at night

Cost of Living
Eating Out
Nights Out
Shopping
Public Transport
All reviews are the views of StudentCrowd members, not of StudentCrowd Limited problem with this review?

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