Colchester: A Day In Britain’s Oldest Town

Colchester

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Last weekend, my friend Jenn and I traveled to Colchester, which is supposedly Britain’s oldest recorded town. We wanted to take a day trip out of London and chose Colchester on a whim–or, rather, on a Buzzfeed article. (This one to be precise). While we had a bit of a bumpy start (read: confusing travel and almost getting lost) we arrived in Colchester in one piece and set off exploring. Neither of us had a set plan for the day, just the general idea that we’d explore the old winding roads and perhaps see some old buildings. We decided to visit Colchester castle first and set off with high hopes only to realize about twenty minutes in we were headed in the wrong direction. (It seems this is a common theme when Jenn and I are together). But seeing as Colchester is small, we were able to reorient ourselves enough to get back to the castle pretty quickly. Colchester castle itself was, shall we say, underwhelming but the grounds themselves were very pretty. Unfortunately, the rain that had started off as a mist became quite heavy and with our numbing hands (I could barely use my camera), Jenn and I decided to go get lunch. IMG_6668 IMG_6669

We had lunch at a restaurant aptly named Lunch which served “American” inspired food. Jenn went for a classic burger while I got something called a Hangover sandwich (though thankfully I wasn’t suffering from that affliction) and we shared some fries. What American lunch would be complete without fries? Lunch was a perfect pick me up. The food was very good and inexpensive and by the time we went outside, the rain had all but subsided. So we went back to exploring the streets of Colchester.

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Colchester is small but it has many lovely little places to see and winding roads to walk along. Jenn and I stumbled upon a small market that was inside an old church. There were several stalls–some with vintage, some with records, others with unique jewelry. After we covered what seemed to be all of the town centre, we decided on some afternoon tea before catching the train back to London. There were so many cute cafes and tea shops that it was hard to pick a place but we ended up settling on Caffe Sala which seemed to be a popular choice among locals too.

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Our “Afternoon Tea” ended up being a somewhat believable excuse to indulge in two, rich pieces of chocolate cake. Writing this now makes me crave something sweet and those pieces were extremely sweet–and extremely good. Jenn and I made our way back to the Colchester station happy and full up on caffeinated beverages and chocolate cake. It really was a great end to a trip that had started off a bit unfortunately.

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Once we arrived back to London, neither of us were particularly hungry for dinner yet so we spent a good amount of the evening looking up places to spend our “Galentines” Day Brunch. While Colchester will likely not be my favorite day trip, it was a perfect, quaint little town for a Saturday afternoon out of London.

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