The Colchester Camping & Caravan Park is ideally located for stop-overs to and from the Harwich ferry port, being well-signposted along the Colchester Central A133 slip road, just off the A12. It is open from 1 April until 30 September each year.
It is a well-maintained, family-run site with a friendly atmosphere and was established around 20 years ago. Since then, the East of England Tourist Board has awarded the site with Four Stars and it has received Four Pennant awards from the AA (Automobile Association). The site has approximately 160 pitches for caravans, motor homes and tents, with hard standings and electrical hook-ups available for some caravans and motor homes; it also has a secure area for short- or long-term caravan storage.
Reception is located at the entrance of the site, inside the licensed shop which sells everyday groceries, basic camping equipment and necessities, and a limited choice of alcoholic drinks. There is a public telephone at the front of the shop. Opposite the shop is a small wooden hut with maps, leaflets and brochures about local attractions, as well as about other places of interest in Essex.
For campers' security, there is a key-operated electronic barrier which is locked between 11.30pm and 7am1. The key is obtained when booking in to the site and returned when you leave the site for the last time. There is a maximum speed limit of 10mph (16km/h) and speed ramps, but these are low gentle ramps.
The site has three centrally-heated amenity blocks, all three of which have toilets, washrooms and showers all in privacy cubicles and a coin-operated hairdryer. At the side of each building there are sinks with drainers for washing dishes and two of the blocks have a laundry room. Block three has locked wheelchair-accessible facilities; if you require the use of these a key is available from reception. The areas in these blocks are clean and well looked after. All three blocks have waste water and closet disposal points for the emptying of mobile toilets. If your caravan needs a wash, there is a caravan wash bay.
Drinking water taps, rubbish bins, as well as large wheelie bins and fire points are situated throughout the site. A children's play area is located near the entrance. The site is split into sections by the use of rows of trees, which provide shade and a little privacy, as well as being visually pleasant.
Probably the most endearing feature is the population of wild rabbits hopping around the site. However, the traffic noise of the nearby A12 and trains from the railway line can make sleeping difficult for some people. If you can tune out the noise, or wear earplugs, it is a great place to stay.
Nearby Colchester is the oldest town in Britain; it is worth a visit for its narrow cobbled streets and multitude of shops2. It is approximately four miles (6km) from the site. If you don't want to drive, there is a bus stop3 ten minutes' walk away at 'The Crown' pub or alternatively you could walk there.
Colchester Castle Museum has previously been a ruin, a library and a prison for witches. It is currently a museum with a wealth of history on display, which you can see, hear and touch. Special events are held throughout the year and the grounds have some exceptional flower bed displays, as well as waterfalls.
The local nature reserve is a short walk from the site. The directions are quite simple: as you leave the site turn left (following the countryside code you should be walking on the right side of the road, facing on coming traffic) then right at the main road, walk up the hill; the first road on the right is Cooks Lane and the nature reserve is at the end. A country park is also located nearby on the left of the main road.
Lexden Wood Golf Club an 18-hole golf course, pitch & putt and driving range, again within easy driving distance (directions available from the shop). The golf club also has a licensed bar in their clubhouse.
Parking in Colchester
There are plenty of multi-storey car parks in Colchester's town centre, however parking is not cheap - it may be more economical to use the bus service. There is a lower parking rate between 5.30pm and midnight, at which time the car parks close