Living in Colchester – 12 Reasons to Move to Essex
25th November 2023

Living in Colchester – 12 Reasons to Move to Essex

Are you thinking of living in Colchester?

As the UK’s oldest town, Colchester provides residents with a great balance of rich history and a modern lifestyle.

Being one of the biggest settlements in the county, the town is flourishing in this leading role.

So what is contributing to the area’s popularity?

Essex is certainly a very popular region with commuters, its status as one of the home counties no doubt contributes to this.

With a balance of urban city lifestyle and rural living, there are many reasons it is so desirable.

In this article, we discuss 12 great reasons to consider calling Colchester your new home.

Carry on reading to discover why each of these reasons means moving to Colchester could be ideal for you.

Property in Colchester

Terraced Houses, Colchester
Terraced Houses, Colchester. Image credit: Depositphotos

It isn’t surprising that the cost of property in Colchester is considerably less than in the capital, London.

You may be wondering how much cheaper Colchester is.

According to Zoopla, the average cost of a property in London is £732,670.

Compare this to the average cost in Colchester which is sitting at £305,948.

This is a significant saving, with the average cost being more than half of what you can expect to pay in the capital.

When it comes to property types Colchester is sure to appeal, with homes available for all kinds of buyers.

The current average price of a detached home in Colchester is £470,375.

Those looking for a semi-detached property can expect an average cost of £329,736, whilst terraced properties are sitting at £272,095.

If you are on more of a budget, flats are the best option for you.

They currently sit at an average price of £181,946.

If you are looking to rent, Numbeo suggests that a one-bedroom property is 61.9% cheaper in Colchester than in London.

Whilst there is certainly lots to consider, the value for money living in Colchester provides is undeniable.

Colchester’s Culture

Colchester Town Hall
Colchester Town Hall. Image credit: Wikipedia

The town has a rich lineage of producing culturally poignant artists.

Colchester resident Jane Taylor composed the famous nursery rhyme ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ in the town in 1806.

You can still visit Stockwell Street where she lived to view the plaque commemorating the significant rhyme.

The famous Second World War song ‘There’ll always be an England’ was written by Ross Parker in Colchester in 1940.

He wrote the song in a pillbox while he was stationed at Roman Way Camp.

The town is drawing from this distinguished cultural past and is now home to a budding arts movement.

Home to the Firstsite art gallery, the Colchester Arts Centre and Mercury Theatre to name but a few, there is a seemingly endless list of arts and culture hub in the town.

You can help support the arts scene in Colchester by partaking in a spot of shopping at the Bazaar.

This monthly market showcases some of the finest arts, crafts and street food traders in Essex.

Shopping in Colchester

Colchester offers retail lovers everything you would expect from a major town.

The town centre offers a wonderful shopping experience, with niche independent shops neighbouring big-name retail giants.

The popular Culver Square is where you will find popular high-street brands including, H&M, Topshop and more.

To indulge in a more unique shopping experience, a trip to Lion Walk may be for you.

Its proximity to Culver Square and range of independent stores make this a truly distinctive shopping location.

Visit Colchester town centre on the right day and you can enjoy one of many markets that take place.

A variety of shopping options for those moving to Colchester certainly offers the opportunity to unwind with some retail therapy.


Castle in Colchester 11th century Norman
11th-century Norman Castle in Colchester. Image credit: Depositphotos

If you look beyond the veil of retail centres and eccentric art galleries, the town in fact has a rich history to discover.

Colchester boasts of being the oldest town in Britain.

It has a very distinct history that covers almost 2,000 years, including the Roman invasion and the town being named the capital of the country!

Colchester Castle is the standout attraction in the town.

It is the largest Norman keep in Europe as well as being one of England’s most significant heritage sites.

The Colchester Castle Museum explains all the facts in great detail, giving visitors an idea of just how historically important the town is.

The Museum also houses remarkable relics from the 2000-year period, including some of the most detailed accounts of Roman life in Britain.

Interactive exhibits will guide you through the history of Norman architecture, Roman medicine, witch-finders and chariots.

Guided tours around the offer a unique insight into the area as well as breathtaking views of Colchester.

If you live in Colchester, make sure to soak in the history of the UK’s oldest town.

Fantastic Food

Any foodies out there will be more than happy in Colchester.

The history of the town doesn’t stop with the Castle, Colchester has been known down the years for its food!

The Romans loved the town for its oysters, a delicacy that is still celebrated to this day.

You can visit the annual Colchester Medieval Fayre & Oyster Market, where Colchester’s history and seafood are celebrated.

Today, dining options range from low-budget to world-class Michelin-star restaurants.

If seafood is not your cup of tea there’s a plethora of charming pubs and restaurants that are sure to please.

The town is also home to a regular farmer’s market, showcasing all of the top local produce.

Click here for some more great ideas of places to eat out when in Colchester.

Things to do in Colchester

Colchester Zoo
A male Lion at Colchester Zoo. Image credit: Unsplash

Colchester is home to a range of popular attractions which provide a variety of things to do.

With its illustrious history, it’s no surprise that Colchester is home to an array of museums.

One of the most unique and highly regarded of these has to be The Munnings Art Museum.

With a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, it is a splendid attraction sure to broaden your artistic horizons.

The jewel in the town’s crown is Colchester Zoo.

Housing over 260 species within the 60 acres of parkland, it is a fantastic example of a modern conservation park.

It is currently listed in the top 2 zoos in the UK and the 11th best globally and houses various rare and endangered species.

The zoo also offers a variety of different experiences including, birthday parties and the chance to be a zookeeper for the day!

Green Spaces

Colchester castle park
Colchester Castle Park. Image credit: Depositphotos

The green landscapes and quaint countryside are sure to be a welcome sight for any anyone living in Colchester.

Colchester has a great landscape heritage, the environment of the region is exemplified by the quality, quantity and variety of its parks and open spaces.

The borough stretches well beyond the town, amounting to 135 square miles of coast, woodland and countryside.

It may be somewhere to walk, relax or view the wildlife, whatever you’re after, Colchester certainly has something to offer everyone.

For some more fantastic ideas and scenic walks in the area, you can visit the Essex Walks website here.

Commuting from Colchester

Colchester Station
Colchester Station. Image credit: Wikipedia

Looking for the best commuter hub into London?

The Only Way is Essex.

This county is undoubtedly at the top of the list for commuters.

Last year the Daily Mail reported that living in Colchester was the best option for those looking to travel to the capital for work!

The commute between Colchester and Liverpool Street station takes just 49 minutes, with season tickets more competitively priced than most other Essex towns.

The nearby A12 also connects the town to London and the east coast, making a day at the beach or weekend in the capital stress-free.

It’s certainly no surprise that Colchester is a great option for commuters.

Employment in Colchester

Whilst it is clearly very easy to commute to London from Colchester, the town is also home to plenty of job opportunities much closer to home.

Colchester has a very diverse economy, with strong sectors in healthcare, education, retail, and technology.

This variety means there are plenty of opportunities for people with a wide range of skills and qualifications who are looking to move to the area.

As mentioned, one of the major sectors in the town is within healthcare.

With several hospitals and healthcare facilities, including the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, there are ample opportunities for healthcare professionals.

Jobs in this sector include doctors, nursing, therapy services, and administrative roles.

Alternatively, Colchester also houses a thriving education sector.

The town is gone to the University of Essex, one of the UK’s leading academic institutions.

This means that opportunities are in great supply!

Roles are not just limited to academic positions, however, with administrative, technical, and support roles within the educational sector available as well.

Cost of Living in Colchester

Cost of living in Colchester
The cost of living in Colchester is significantly cheaper than in London. Image credit: Pixabay

It is important to consider what the cost of living may amount to when moving to a new area.

Whilst many commodities are sure to remain the same price nationwide, certain costs may be different than what you are used to.

If you are a gym lover moving out of London, you can expect to save a significant £24.43 per month on your gym membership in Colchester!

Planning to make the most of one of Colchester’s many fantastic restaurants?

You will be pleased to hear that on average, a three-course meal for two costs just £70, £10 cheaper than the capital.

If you are considering using public transport, it is interesting to note a monthly pass will cost just £58, over £100 cheaper than in the capital!

All of these figures are taken from Numbeo and are liable to change over time.

Check out their website for more of the most up-to-date figures if you are considering moving to the area.

Education in Colchester

School with pupils
Children in a classroom. Image credit: Depositphotos

Those moving to Colchester with young families are lucky enough to have access to a variety of fantastic schools.

The town is home to 41 primary and 14 secondary schools, with the majority of primaries being rated as “good” by Ofsted.

Hamilton, St Teresa’s Catholic, Home Farm and Montgomery Infants stand out from the crowd having all received “outstanding” reviews.

There are also a number of desirable secondary schools servicing Colchester including The Stanway, St Benedict’s Catholic, The Thomas Lord Audley, St Helena, Colchester Academy and The Gilberd, all of which are ranked as “good” by Ofsted.

Colchester County High and Colchester Royal Grammar School are top of the pile for secondaries having both received “outstanding” status.

You can visit the site here for even more information about each specific school.

A Bright Future

Major regeneration projects have ensured the town will receive significant investment from the £318 million allocated to Chelmsford and Colchester.

The project aims to deliver two significant changes.

A new road linking the A120 and A133, improving connections both locally and across the wider region.

This will subsequently allow for the development of up to 7,500 homes.

These new properties are to be built in the Tendring Colchester Borders Garden Community development by 2047.

Wider interest in the town is clearly ensuring that those living in the area can look forward to a bright future.

Moving to Colchester?

Goodmove truckColchester is one of the most desirable places to live in the East of the UK, the city offers its residents the full package.

With its rich history and London only a stone’s throw away, Colchester is the prime location for those looking to take a break from capital city living.

GoodMove Moving & Storage will make moving to Colchester an easy and stress-free task.

We take great pride in ensuring everything runs smoothly and seamlessly, helping you to settle in your new home right away.

As such, in addition to our competitively priced removals package, we can also offer additional services such as temporary or long-term storage facilities should you require them.

We cover all areas of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk and our friendly estimators can call round at a time convenient to you and strategically plan your move to perfection.

To find out more about how we could get your dream move to Colchester or any other location underway don’t hesitate to call us on the number listed above.

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or click on our live bot in the bottom right and a member of our customer services team will be in touch shortly.