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Colchester Student Guide

Make the most of living in Colchester

Experiencing life as a student in Colchester introduces you to a unique blend of historical charm and contemporary student living. Nestled in the heart of Essex, Colchester is known for its rich heritage and, more recently, its dynamic student community. Most of the student accommodation in Colchester are in convenient locations, allowing students to seamlessly move between the university campus and the city centre. Our Hythe Mills student accommodation for example, is just a short 15 minute walk to the main University of Essex campus.

What Our Students Have to Say About Moving to Colchester

When our students were asked how they felt about moving to Colchester, many of them expressed that they were worried that it would be “a town full of old people” but have since changed their minds and realised that there is a range of ages living in Colchester as well as a vibrant student community, with many stating that Colchester now feels “like home”. One student noted that “Colchester feels like a journey through time, with its ancient landmarks and buzzing student life. It’s a perfect blend of old and new”. Another student noted that they love the “convenience of having everything within walking distance” and that “it’s easy to balance studies and social life”. These comments show Colchester as an ideal city for student life.

How to Make Friends in Colchester

Making friends in a new city can be daunting, but Colchester’s inclusive atmosphere makes it easier. Joining university clubs, participating in social events at student accommodations, and exploring the city are great ways to meet people. “I found my best friends at a local coffee shop near the university. There’s a real sense of community here,” shares a student. 

Student Accommodation in Colchester

Private Student Accommodation in Colchester

Many students opt for private accommodations due to the amenities and community events they offer. “The private accommodation in Colchester is top-notch, with fantastic facilities and a great student community,” one student remarks. Many of the students we spoke to said how much they loved our Hythe MIlls accommodation and added that they did not want to leave when their time of study came to an end. One student remarked, “I’d recommend Hythe Mills in a heartbeat, to anyone”.

University Student Accommodation in Colchester

Colchester has a large variety of options when it comes to university based student accommodation, meaning students can consider a range of possibilities. The university offers traditional dorms to modern flats, students can choose something that will make them feel at home. One student we asked commented that, “living on campus has been so convenient and fun. There’s always something happening”.

Renting a Student House in Colchester

Students that prefer to live in a more independent way can rent a house through a private landlord. In this case, it is common for students to share houses to reduce costs and still enjoy a more communal living experience. 

Best Places to Study in Colchester

Throughout Colchester the academic environment is versatile and supportive. With the range of university libraries and study halls, there are loads of public cafes and spaces that provide a great atmosphere for studying. One student commented that, “my favourite study spot is the little cafe by the river – great coffee and a peaceful vibe.” and another recommended Patch Cafe. 

Patch: Dine-in cafe

Address: 24 Trinity St, Colchester CO1 1JN

Website: patchcolchester.co.uk

Student Activities in Colchester

Adventurous Student Activities in Colchester

For those who are really adventurous, Colchster offers outdoor activities like hiking in the nearby natural reserves and visiting historical sites. “Exploring the old Roman ruins was an unforgettable experience,” shares one student.

Relaxing Student Activities in Colchester

For students that want a more relaxing experience, there are a variety of cosy cafes and wellness centres. One student commented that “I love spending my Sundays in Castle Park, just unwinding and reading”.  Colchester also has a great shopping centre in town which houses lots of local businesses as well as popular high street chain shops, perfect for a spot of retail therapy. A favourite spot for lunch is Loofers in the town centre, which is famed for its wraps and drinks. 

Castle Park, Colchester

Address: Colchester CO1 1UN

Website: colchestercastlepark.co.uk

Loofers Food & Coffee Place

Address: 1 Culver Street W, Colchester  CO1 1JG

Website: loofers.co.uk

Educational Student Activities in Colchester

Colchester is rich in museums and cultural sites, providing educational experiences outside the classroom. Students often visit historical landmarks and participate in local cultural events for a broader learning experience. Some of these include: 

Roman Theatre: Remains of excavated Roman theatre foundations dating back to the Boudican attack.

Address: Maidenburgh St, Colchester CO1 1TT

Colchester Castle: Stately castle completed in 1100, featuring interactive exhibits, a jail & landscaped gardens.

Address: Castle Park, Colchester CO1 1TJ

Website: cimuseums.org.uk

Firstsite: Eclectic contemporary art from new and emerging creatives among free galleries, plus films and a cafe.

Address: Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester CO1 1JH

Website: firstsite.uk

Student Nightlife in Colchester

Colchester’s nightlife ranges from vibrant club scenes to relaxed pubs and bars. “There’s always a great spot for whatever mood you’re in – from chill pubs to lively clubs,” a student notes. Some of the options available include:

Trilogy: Nightclub with high-tech sound and lights and a regular lineup of themed dance music events.

Address: 131 High St, Colchester CO1 1SP

Roberts Bar Club

Address: 18-22 Vineyard St, Colchester CO2 7DG

Website: robertsbarclub.com

Rubix Bar and Nightclub: Two floor’s playing 70’s, 80’s and 90’s hits

Address: 33 Crouch St, Colchester CO3 3EN

Website: rubix-nightclub.com

Transport in Colchester

Transportation in Colchester is student-friendly, with accessible bus routes and bike paths. “Getting around Colchester is a breeze. The bus service is reliable, and everything is pretty close,” a student mentions. From our Hythe Mills accommodation the city centre, and everything it offers, is within a short walking distance. 

Student Costs in Colchester

Living in Colchester is relatively affordable for students and very much in-line with the general cost of living for students around the country. With careful budgeting and taking advantage of student discounts, it’s manageable to enjoy a fulfilling student life without breaking the bank. “I use student discounts wherever I can, and it really helps to stretch the budget,” advises one student. Another student advises that getting a Tesco Clubcard is a good idea, as our Hythe Mills accommodation is only a 5 minute walk away from a Tesco store and having a clubcard has helped with food costs. 

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