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.
University of Essex
The University of Essex is a public research university whose reputation for teaching has been recognised with a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. 15,600 students are enrolled at the University of Essex.
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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
Student accommodation costs are on average £145 per week.
Compare the average elsewhere: Norwich: £163/week, Luton: £133/week, Canterbury: £165/week.
(prices are for all purpose-built student accommodation (both private and university-owned) in August 2020, 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: £0.88
A loaf of white bread: £0.79
Prices are about 1% higher than equivalent costs in Norwich, about 7% lower than Luton and about 8% lower than Canterbury.
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 premises that offer popular nights for the 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 here, and a couple of theatres. 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 lineup can include anything from classical music to rock, opera to musicals.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Your nearest good beach is in Southwold. It is famous for it’s 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
Brilliant student accommodation with well maintained facilities and lovely modern rooms. The Maltings is in a convenient location in close proximity ...
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...
Rooms are new and great. All appliances are top notch, reception team is helpful & friendly and property is well-maintained. They’ve managed to take c...
I meet wonderful people in my first-year accommodation as it is social space allowing lots of opportunities to talk with your neighbours...
Forest Road House
It is a nice place, friendly staff. The outside garden area is really nice to have a few beers with friends, have a BBQ. The place itself is quite pea...
Location to campus and surrounding areas is ideal, and the value for money is fantastic with the services provided - cleaning, Internet etc...
During the academic term (2019-2020) I stayed here which I would say by the end of it. Im really glad I did decide to have confirmed going to this acc...
It was good and very clean...
Felt we should have got a lot more for our money compared to others, i am moving into campus accommodation next year that is far superior for the same...
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...
Read Colchester Reviews
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Relatively high crime levels at night