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Colchester Castle throws open its historic doors

PUBLISHED: 13 May 2021

After many months with its historic doors closed to the public, Colchester Castle is delighted to announce that it will re-open on Monday 17 May.  

Colchester Museums and its curators are the custodians of a vast collection of nationally important treasures, and the team works hard to share these collections with as many people as possible. Whilst the museums have been closed, the team has continued to provide access to the collections through its work with local schools and organisations, it’s Museum From Home programme, through its social media channels and, more recently, the launch of Collections Online, an online catalogue of its collections.

As Colchester Castle is one of the East of England’s most popular tourist destinations, visitors are it’s beating heart, and the team have missed the daily interactions with them and the opportunity to share Colchester’s historic past. Housed in Europe’s largest Norman Keep, it was the central focus for Boudica’s revenge on the Romans and has a rich and colourful history, making it the perfect place to visit for heritage-lovers of all ages.

Visitors will find a modern, spacious museum packed full of nationally important objects. Families can discover the famous Colchester Vase, the Colchester Mercury, glittering Roman coins and fun interactive exhibits for all ages, including a Roman chariot racing game and interactive tablet hire.

To ensure all visits are safe, visitors will need to call ahead and book a timed entry slot. This is to ensure the Castle does not have too many people in the building at any one time, everyone has plenty of time to enjoy their visit, and social distancing can continue to take place.

The new timed entry slots are super easy to book: simply pick a time between 10.00-16.00 (Mon-Sat) and 11.00-16.00 (Sun) and call 01206 282939. You will still need to call if you have a Resident or Membership Pass, just make sure you have your pass details handy when you call.

On arrival you may be asked to queue until your reserved time slot starts – so we advise arriving no more than five minutes before your booked time. Markers will be in place and you will be asked to abide by social distancing rules to ensure the comfort and safety of everyone. 

Once inside the Castle, your journey will be directed by a one-way system. Do not worry – you will still have plenty of time to stop and look at the exhibits as always, we just ask you to be mindful of other visitors and remember to socially distance. Hand-sanitiser stations will be available along the way, and signage will guide visitors safely through their time exploring the museum. 

Once your visit is over, the Castle shop will be open providing a wide selection of gifts and souvenirs, many at pocket-money prices. Contactless payments will be encouraged wherever possible and screens have been installed around the tills. The shop area is small, so visitors will be asked to be patient and observe social distancing guidelines. 

Councillor Julie Young, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Performance and Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “We are thrilled that we can open safely once again and thank the public for bearing with our new ‘normal’ and booking a visit ahead of time. The friendly team can’t wait to welcome smiling faces back this summer and see the return of the Castle’s beating heart, it’s visitors.”

Page last reviewed: 13 May 2021

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