1 June 2016

An unexpected journey to Colchester - June #travellinkup

After a morning of passing wizard exams*, I was intending to spend a leisurely afternoon on my own with my book in hand, snuggled in a nice nearby London coffee shop. But, unable to choose where to go, I had found myself staring at the train departure boards of Liverpool Street Station and buying a ticket almost all the way to the East Coast of England.

Colchester Essex  Things to do Adventures of a London Kiwi (4)
Colchester Essex  Things to do Adventures of a London Kiwi (4)

This isn’t a normal person behaviour, I know, but the combination of a sunny afternoon and a terrible case of wanderlust in my soul, Colchester - the oldest town in England - was selected almost at random based on having a castle, length of train journey and fascinating history.

If only all life decisions were so easy to settle on.

Colchester Essex  Things to do Adventures of a London Kiwi (4)

Letting my better half know I was fleeing London, and wishing (much too late) that I had left the house with a coat and phone charger, we hurtled through the lush green countryside as I hurriedly googled ‘what to do in Colchester’ before we pulled into the train station.

Colchester Essex  Things to do Adventures of a London Kiwi

Colchester Essex  Things to do Adventures of a London Kiwi (4)

“The castle?” The bus driver looked at me blankly. Slightly befuddled I answered “Er, yeah, Colchester has a castle according to Google Maps doesn’t it?” (Because of course Google Maps is the holy grail of directions...) “OH, yes, you mean the High Street stop really.” Only in the UK are castles are so common to the locals that an ancient structure isn’t considered a landmark anymore. To be fair the castle is on a small slip road behind the shop (and a hilariously wonky Estate Agents office.) #SoVeryBritish

Colchester Essex  Things to do Adventures of a London Kiwi
Colchester Essex  Things to do Adventures of a London Kiwi

With no real plans in mind, a dying phone (and camera battery) and the onset of mid-afternoon very much in the forefront of my mind I simply meandered along the High Street, wandering down along steep side roads lined with pastel homes, through Wisteria draped archways and along the floral paths of the Castle Park.

 What to do in Colchester Essex Adventures of a London Kiwi

As I mooched (the locals must have thought I was homeless or something) and snapped away, I discovered a few back roads of cool graffiti, an Andy Warhol exhibit in an incredibly modern building and modern follies tucked in amongst suburban homes.
 What to do in Colchester Essex Adventures of a London Kiwi
What to do in Colchester Essex Adventures of a London Kiwi

Serving as the first capital of Roman Britain, and claiming to be the oldest recorded town in Britain, Colchester has been home to the Romans, Saxons, Normans and Victorians all leaving their mark on the landscape.

What to do in Colchester Essex Adventures of a London Kiwi

What to do in Colchester Essex Adventures of a London Kiwi

Claiming to be the birthplace of several nursery rhymes - Humpty Dumpty (Richard III's defeat in the battle of Bosworth Hill), Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (written by Jane Taylor in the 19th Century) and Old King Cole (a derivation of Cole's Castle) - even the High Street is rather fascinating.

 What to do in Colchester Essex Adventures of a London Kiwi

I also stumbled on the cutest tea rooms tucked behind an archway; complete with daisy studded lawns, kids birthday parties and warm scones served with clotted cream and local jam. The sun ducked behind a cloud as the Mums began to round up their tribes and I attempted to improve my flatlay skills - much to their amusement.

What to do in Colchester Essex Adventures of a London Kiwi

What to do in Colchester Essex Adventures of a London Kiwi

I wish that I’d had a little more foresight and a little more battery for planning, but as far as on the hoof adventures go (I’ve managed to get at least 9 action words into my sleepy little afternoon description) it was a pretty cool little place.  

And then, then I discovered the Victorian Water Tower.

What to do in Colchester Essex Adventures of a London Kiwi




Have you ever found yourself in an unexpected place?

*Not an everyday occurance sadly, but a brilliantly themed escape room. The only upset was when Miss Runaway Kiwi declared that I was of Slytherin House - I’m not entirely sure if our established friendship is going to survive such a character assasination but we’ll see. We’ll see.

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