Cheap Train Tickets to Colchester

Colchester, often touted as Britain's oldest recorded town, is a captivating blend of ancient history and modern vibrancy. With its origins dating back to Roman times, Colchester offers a rich tapestry of historical landmarks, including the well-preserved Colchester Castle, which houses an impressive museum detailing the town’s storied past. Visitors can wander through the charming cobbled streets, explore medieval buildings, and discover Roman ruins that tell tales of a bygone era. Beyond its historical allure, Colchester boasts beautiful parks and gardens, providing serene spots to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the English countryside.

Cheap Train Tickets to Colchester

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Beyond its historical and natural attractions, Colchester is a lively cultural hub with a thriving arts scene, bustling markets, and a variety of dining options that cater to all tastes. The town hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from arts and literature to local food and drink. Families will find plenty to entertain children, from the renowned Colchester Zoo to engaging hands-on exhibits at local museums. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a charming town to explore, Colchester offers a unique and enriching experience that shouldn't be missed.

Journey Times to Colchester

Several train companies provide services to Colchester:

  1. Greater Anglia: The primary operator for trains to Colchester, offering frequent and direct services from London Liverpool Street. Greater Anglia also operates regional services connecting Colchester with other parts of East Anglia.

  2. CrossCountry: Offers limited services to Colchester from other regions of the UK, typically requiring a change at major hubs like Cambridge or Ely.

  3. London North Eastern Railway (LNER): Provides connections to Colchester from the north of England, although this often involves changing trains at London Liverpool Street.

Journey Times to Colchester

  • From London: The fastest direct services from London Liverpool Street to Colchester take around 45 minutes. Slower services that make more stops can take up to an hour and a half.

  • From Cambridge: The journey from Cambridge to Colchester typically takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes, often requiring a change at Ipswich.

  • From Norwich: Direct trains from Norwich to Colchester take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  • From Birmingham: Traveling from Birmingham to Colchester usually involves a change at London Euston or Liverpool Street, with the total journey time around 3 hours and 30 minutes.

By using Trainsplits journey planner and our tips and trinkets you can secure cheap train tickets to Colchester and enjoy your journey without breaking the bank. Plan ahead, explore your options, and embark on your adventure to this captivating city with ease and savings in mind.

Getting around Colchester.

Colchester, with its blend of historical charm and modern amenities, is a town that's easy to navigate whether you're on foot or using public transport. Here's a guide to help you get around this fascinating town efficiently.


One of the best ways to explore Colchester is on foot. The town's compact size and pedestrian-friendly streets make walking a convenient and enjoyable option. You can easily stroll through the historic center, where you'll find notable landmarks such as Colchester Castle, the Roman Wall, and Hollytrees Museum. Walking allows you to soak in the town's rich history and vibrant atmosphere, and it's perfect for discovering hidden gems like quaint shops, cosy cafes, and picturesque parks. For nature lovers, Castle Park offers a scenic green space with well-maintained paths, perfect for a leisurely walk or a relaxing picnic.

Public Transport

For those who prefer public transport, Colchester offers several convenient options:

  1. Buses: Colchester has an extensive bus network that connects the town center with surrounding neighborhoods and nearby towns. The main bus operators are First Essex and Arriva. Buses are frequent, reliable, and offer a cost-effective way to get around. Key routes include services to the University of Essex, Colchester Zoo, and other local attractions. The town's bus station is centrally located, making it easy to transfer between services.

  2. Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Taxis are readily available throughout Colchester, with several taxi ranks located in the town center, at the train station, and near major attractions. Ride-sharing services like Uber also operate in the area, providing a convenient and flexible option for getting around, especially for short trips or when you're carrying luggage.

  3. Cycling: Colchester is increasingly becoming cycle-friendly, with several dedicated bike lanes and cycling routes. Bike hire services are available, and cycling offers a quick and environmentally friendly way to navigate the town. The Wivenhoe Trail is a popular route that follows the River Colne, providing a scenic ride between Colchester and Wivenhoe.
  4. Trains: While Colchester is well-connected by train to other major cities, the town also benefits from local rail services. Colchester Town Station offers connections to nearby destinations, making it easy to explore the surrounding area. For instance, a short train ride can take you to the coastal town of Clacton-on-Sea or the historic village of Wivenhoe.

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Getting the best-value rail tickets possible is something that we at Trainsplit are sure many people want to do. This can include booking in advance, using a Railcard if you have one, travelling outside peak times, and – of course – splitting tickets via our website. If you’d like further information on any of these, please get in touch, and we’ll do what we can to assist you. We do have a comprehensive guide here at Trainsplit on the booking process, which we hope will be very useful. Below, we've outlined some of the key points, including securing cheap train tickets.

Cheap Train Tickets to Colchester

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How to book Cheap Train Tickets to Colchester

Book Your Train Tickets Early

For the best deals on Cheap Train Tickets, don't delay until the day of departure. Instead, book an Advance Ticket up to 12 weeks ahead when released by the Train Operating Companies. Advance Tickets for trains to Colchester, offering lower prices, often sell out fast. We recommend booking your journey in advance, as early as possible, to secure the most affordable fares. Even if you need to book last minute, you can sometimes still purchase Advance Fares up to an hour before departure.

Use a Railcard

Pairing your journey with a railcard can slash up to a third off the ticket price, offering significant savings on cheap train tickets. If you're a regular train traveller, investing in a railcard will swiftly offset its cost through discounted fares.

Split Your Tickets

With Trainsplit’s unique journey planner, we search for the best-priced train tickets for your journey. You can easily discover the best split ticketing combinations that maximise your savings on train tickets, and best of all, Trainsplit will do all the work for you and doesn’t charge a booking fee.

Avoid Peak Times

Opting for off-peak travel not only saves money on higher-priced train tickets but also offers a more tranquil journey experience. Off-peak hours typically commence around 09:30, making them an ideal choice for budget-conscious travellers heading to Colchester. Additionally, considering splitting your tickets during off-peak hours can further enhance your savings on cheap train tickets for your journey.

Travelling with Multiple Passengers

Explore Groupsave train tickets for discounted fares when travelling with a group of three or more people. It's a great way to save on train tickets and make your journey more affordable. And remember, you can also consider splitting your tickets with Trainsplit to save even more on your train tickets. 

Consider an Alternative Route

If you're not starting your journey from London, why not try a different route that doesn't pass through the capital? Cross Country trains offer trips that avoid London, providing a smart way to cut down on train travel costs. With Trainsplit’s journey planner, you can easily find cheaper routes to Colchester by splitting your tickets. This can save you money on your train tickets, ensuring you enjoy affordable travel to your destination.

Avoid Booking Fees

Many ticket retailers impose booking fees for each journey booked, adding unnecessary expenses to your travel costs. With Trainsplit, we don't charge a booking fee. Instead, we only charge a Share of Savings, which is a small percentage of the savings you made if we found a split for your journey. Rest assured, it will still work out cheaper than purchasing a through fare. If no splits are found, no Share of Savings will be charged.

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Claim Delay Repay

In the event of a delay, you may be entitled to compensation under the Delay Repay scheme. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the compensation policy of the operator you're travelling with and submit a claim for any eligible delays.

By following these tips, along with using Trainsplit’s unique journey planner to unearth the best deals on cheap train tickets to Colchester, now is the perfect opportunity to embark on exciting adventures to this vibrant city.

If you have any other questions, then our FAQ section can be a good place to start. If your question doesn’t appear there, then feel free to get in touch with our customer service team.

Discover Colchester: Some great things to do and explore

Colchester, known as Britain’s oldest recorded town, offers a rich blend of historical attractions, cultural experiences, and natural beauty. Here are the top five things to do when visiting this charming Essex town.

Cheap Train Tickets to Colchester

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Visit Colchester Castle - A trip to Colchester wouldn’t be complete without exploring Colchester Castle, one of the town’s most iconic landmarks. Built on the foundations of a Roman temple, this Norman castle is the largest of its kind in Europe. Inside, the museum offers fascinating exhibits on the town's history, from Roman times through to the medieval period. Don’t miss the interactive displays and the chance to venture into the castle’s vaults and climb to the rooftop for stunning views over the town.

Stroll Through Castle Park - Adjacent to Colchester Castle is the beautiful Castle Park, a perfect spot for relaxation and recreation. This award-winning park is ideal for a leisurely stroll, with its well-manicured gardens, boating lake, and children’s play areas. During the summer, the park hosts various events, including concerts and festivals. The park’s tranquil setting and scenic beauty make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Explore the Colchester Zoo - Colchester Zoo is one of the top-rated zoos in the UK, home to over 220 species of animals. The zoo is committed to conservation and education, offering visitors the chance to learn about wildlife from around the world. Highlights include the impressive African savanna, the underwater tunnel in the sea lion enclosure, and the walk-through butterfly glade. Interactive exhibits and feeding sessions provide fun for the whole family, making it a must-visit attraction.

Discover the Natural History Museum - Housed in a former church, the Colchester Natural History Museum provides a fascinating insight into the natural world. The museum’s exhibits cover local geology, wildlife, and ecosystems, offering interactive displays that are both educational and engaging. It's an excellent spot for families, with plenty of hands-on activities for children. The museum also offers a glimpse into the prehistoric past with its extensive fossil collection.

Wander the Historic Town Centre - Colchester’s historic town center is a treasure trove of architectural gems, quaint shops, and inviting cafes. Take a stroll down the picturesque lanes and discover landmarks such as the Hollytrees Museum, which offers a glimpse into Georgian life, and the Roman Wall, a reminder of the town’s ancient origins. The bustling market, held on High Street twice a week, is perfect for picking up local produce and unique gifts. Don't forget to stop by the Mercury Theatre, known for its excellent performances and vibrant arts scene.

Cheap Train Tickets to Colchester

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Top places to eat in Colchester

Colchester boasts a diverse culinary scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. Whether you're in the mood for an upscale dining experience, a cosy mid-range meal, or a quick and affordable bite, the town has plenty to offer. Here are the top places to eat in Colchester, categorized by fine dining, mid-range, and cheap eats.

Fine Dining

Talbooth Restaurant - Gun Hill, Dedham, Colchester, CO7 6HP

Located in a picturesque setting along the River Stour, Le Talbooth is renowned for its exquisite cuisine and elegant ambiance. The restaurant offers a seasonal menu featuring modern British dishes crafted from the finest local ingredients. Highlights include the expertly prepared seafood and the extensive wine list.

GreyFriars - High Street, Colchester, CO1 1UG

Set in a beautifully restored Georgian building, GreyFriars offers a sophisticated dining experience with a menu that celebrates British and European flavors. The dishes are meticulously crafted using locally sourced produce, and the impeccable service enhances the overall dining experience. The afternoon tea at GreyFriars is also highly recommended.

Mid Range Dining

The Church Street Tavern - 3 Church Street, Colchester, CO1 1NF

This popular spot combines a relaxed vibe with high-quality, locally sourced food. The Church Street Tavern offers a diverse menu that includes hearty British classics, fresh seafood, and delicious vegetarian dishes. The welcoming atmosphere and extensive drinks menu make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Middletons Steakhouse & Grill - 19-20 North Hill, Colchester, CO1 1DZ

Located in the heart of Colchester, Middletons Steakhouse & Grill is known for its excellent steaks and vibrant atmosphere. The menu features a variety of meats cooked to perfection, alongside an array of sides and desserts. It’s a great choice for a satisfying meal at a reasonable price.

Eating on a Budget

Love Thy Burger - 58 High Street, Colchester, CO1 1DH

For a quick and tasty bite, Love Thy Burger is the go-to place in Colchester. This casual eatery serves up a variety of gourmet burgers made with high-quality ingredients, including beef, chicken, and vegetarian options. The friendly service and reasonable prices make it a popular spot for a casual lunch or dinner.

Thai one - 82A East Hill, Colchester, CO1 2QW

Offering authentic Thai cuisine at affordable prices, Thai1 is a favorite among locals looking for a quick and flavorful meal. The menu features classic Thai dishes such as pad Thai, green curry, and tom yum soup. The generous portions and vibrant flavors ensure a satisfying dining experience without breaking the bank.

Cheap Train Tickets to Colchester

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Sports & Leisure

Colchester offers a vibrant sports and leisure scene that caters to visitors of all interests and activity levels. The town is home to Colchester United Football Club, a prominent team competing in the English Football League Two. Football enthusiasts can catch a match at the JobServe Community Stadium, which provides an exciting atmosphere and the chance to experience local sports culture. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Colchester's numerous parks and green spaces, such as Castle Park and High Woods Country Park, offer opportunities for jogging, cycling, picnicking, and leisurely walks amidst beautiful natural surroundings.

In addition to football, Colchester boasts a variety of other sporting and leisure facilities. The Colchester Leisure World is a comprehensive sports complex featuring swimming pools, a fitness center, and courts for various indoor sports, making it ideal for families and fitness enthusiasts alike. Golfers can tee off at the Colchester Golf Club, an 18-hole course set in picturesque landscapes. For a unique experience, visitors can also try their hand at water sports on the River Colne or enjoy a game of tennis at the well-maintained courts in Castle Park. With such a wide range of activities available, Colchester ensures that visitors can stay active and entertained throughout their stay.

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Are you a Sports Fan? Trainsplit has partnered with Pledgeball, a grassroots charity that rallies fellow fans to take action to protect where we play, making changes that improve our air and our green spaces. It can be as simple as swapping to reusable water bottles or taking the train to a match instead of driving. Fans, players, clubs, grassroots teams – the impact we can have together is game-changing.

Overnight Stay or Weekend Away

Colchester offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets, making it an ideal destination for an overnight stay or a weekend getaway. For those seeking luxury, GreyFriars Hotel provides an elegant experience with its beautifully appointed rooms and top-notch amenities, all set within a stunning Georgian building. Boutique hotels like The North Hill Hotel offer charming and stylish accommodations with personalized service, perfect for couples or solo travelers. Budget-conscious visitors can find comfortable and affordable stays at well-known chains like Premier Inn and Travelodge, which provide reliable service and convenient locations near the town center. Additionally, cosy bed and breakfasts and self-catering apartments are available, offering a homely feel and often situated in scenic spots ideal for exploring Colchester's historic sites and natural beauty. Whether you're looking for luxury, comfort, or affordability, Colchester has a wide array of lodging choices to ensure a pleasant stay.

Ready to book your stay? Click here to explore the variety of accommodations for an overnight break. 

We hope we’ve managed to convince you to consider a break in Colchester. If we have, then fantastic! You’ll of course want to work out how to travel there and back, and we would very much recommend travelling by train. For the best-value train tickets, don’t forget to use our website, and please do get in touch if you have any questions. We’re on hand to assist you with any queries you may have.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book Cheap Train Tickets to Colchester?

You can find the cheapest train tickets to Colchester by booking in advance and considering split ticket options. Websites like Trainsplit offer tools to help you find the best deals.

What's the most cost-effective way to travel to Colchester?

The most economical way to travel to Colchester is by booking cheap Advance Tickets  and exploring split ticketing options, which can significantly reduce your travel expenses.

When should I book my train tickets to Colchester for the best prices?

To secure the cheapest train tickets to Colchester, it's advisable to book well in advance, as fares tend to increase closer to the travel date. Additionally, consider exploring split ticketing options for additional savings.

Can I save money by splitting my train tickets when travelling to Colchester?

Yes, splitting your train tickets to Colchester can often result in significant cost savings compared to purchasing a single through ticket. Services like Trainsplit can help you find the most advantageous split ticket combinations.

Are there any discounts available for frequent train travellers to Colchester?

Consider purchasing a digital railcard that offers discounts for frequent train travellers to Colchester and other destinations. A railcard can provide significant savings on train tickets, especially when combined with strategies such as split ticketing, to ensure you get the cheapest possible fares for your journeys. Whether you're commuting regularly or planning occasional trips, a railcard is a valuable investment that can help you maximise your savings on train travel to Colchester and beyond.

Is it cheaper to book train tickets to Colchester online or at the station?

When looking to secure cheap train tickets to Colchester, booking online in advance typically provides the most cost-effective fares. Using train ticket booking platforms like Trainsplit can also help in finding split ticket options, further reducing your travel expenses. 

Remember, if you have any questions about train travel or need assistance, feel free to reach out to our team. We're here to help you plan a memorable journey.

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