Below we have put together a few example itineraries for when you come to stay at Wivenhoe House. As well as pre-planned maps we have included a couple of videos from Visit Colchester, see if you can spot Wivenhoe House!
Arts & Culture
Wivenhoe House is the ideal base for a weekend break to appreciate the arts. The hotel itself was immortalised in canvas by John Constable in his painting of ‘Wivenhoe Park’ and we are a short drive away from the heart of Constable Country & the Munnings Museum.
Munnings Art Museum
The Munnings Art Museum is at Castle House, the former home of the artist Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) and his wife, Violet. Described by Munnings as ‘the house of my dreams’, he lived and worked in this elegant Tudor and Georgian building for over forty years until his death in 1959. The House, garden, artist’s studio and Garden Café are set in forty acres of beautiful countryside in the Dedham Vale on the borders of Suffolk and Essex. The museum owns the largest collection of art works by this prolific East Anglian painter and former President of the Royal Academy (1944-1949)
Walk in Constable’s footsteps and stand where the Haywain was painted. The Mill was once owned by John Constable’s father and Constable made the Mill and the surrounding area the subject of many of his works of art, which are now world famous.
Firstsite is the East of England’s contemporary visual arts organisation. From its spectacular golden building designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, Firstsite presents a varied and challenging programme of exhibitions, commissions, residencies and screenings, in a broad range of media and art forms, by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. At Firstsite, visitors will experience the most exciting developments in contemporary art, and explore the rich artistic legacy cultivated by the East of England’s unique landscape and character.
The Mercury Theatre in Colchester, Essex is at the heart of the town’s arts scene – an active theatre venue involved in putting on plays of national and international importance, as well as in the creation of its own theatre pieces by local artists (Made in Colchester). An evening out at the Mercury Theatre is a perfect way to end a day of sightseeing or shopping in Colchester town centre.
University of Essex, Colchester
Within the lush green grounds of Wivenhoe Park lies an urban jungle of adventure, a place of learning, curiosity and discovery. This place is the University of Essex and within its labyrinthine walls next to a beautiful lake there is an underground delight that has been described as Colchester’s best kept secret. This place is Lakeside Theatre.
View the itinerary on Google Maps
Colchester Town Centre, Essex
A visit to Colchester Castle is better than ever before with interactive displays and star exhibits, like the Colchester Vase and Fenwick Treasure. Visit the museum to have a go at building a Norman archway, excavating a Roman doctor’s grave or steering a chariot. Be wowed as a large scale ‘son et lumière’ projection transforms the east wall with light and sound. Expert-led tours down into the Roman vaults and up onto the panoramic Castle roof can also be booked.
Stanway, Colchester, Essex
With more than 260 species spread across 60 acres, award-winning Colchester Zoo is a must-do for any family visiting the area. The zoo is proudly listed as the 11th best zoo around the world and in the top 2 zoos in the UK as part of the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Attractions
Jump Street Trampoline Park is a world where the wall becomes the floor and the rules of gravity no longer apply. The rush of Jump Street is infectious. If you look around, everyone is buzzing, whether they are running up the “Wall”, launching into the BAG, loosening up in the freestyle jumping area or perfecting the perfect “Slam Dunk” in the basketball area.
View the itinerary on Google Maps
The Beth Chatto Gardens
Elmstead Market, Colchester
Just four miles from Colchester are The Beth Chatto Gardens, a beautiful tranquil haven to delight any garden lover. Set up in 1960 by Beth Chatto and her late husband Andrew, the garden features many unusual plants and Beth Chatto has published books and lectured around the world sharing her love and knowledge of planting.
Colchester town centre
Colchester town centre offers a fantastic shopping experience, with specialist independent shops sitting alongside big names and department stores. You can browse through the historic lanes of the town as well as enjoying the latest high street trends in its contemporary shopping arcades. Whilst shopping, you can effortlessly explore Colchester’s unique history intertwined throughout the town centre, you will pass within minutes of the town’s main attractions, and find yourself spoilt for choice with the range of places to eat. You will discover regular market days held in and out of town, including the Colchester Market held weekly on Fridays & Saturdays on the High Street.
A trip to the seaside
Mersea Island, Colchester
Follow the River Colne down to Mersea Island, home to the Colchester native oyster, and the ideal place to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Go for a paddle on the beach, bird-watching in Cudmore Grove Country Park, or simply for a walk across the tranquil island. Mersea Island is also a great place to discover local produce – a platter of fresh Mersea seafood, with glass of local wine!