We've updated our getting ready for uni blog, and we've split our tips into different parts so that we can bring you all the details you will need over the next few months as you prepare for September and move in day.
Best Places to visit in Colchester.
Ahead of its opening this summer, just in time for those going to uni in Colchester this September, the team at 27 Magdalen Street have pulled together some of the best things to do and places to visit while living with us at Host.
Get to know the history of Colchester.
Head to the Castle.
Colchester is home to a Norman Castle built by William the Conqueror way back in 1076, its famous for its almost intact keep which is the largest in Europe. The keep is now home to a museum, which showcases the history of Colchester from Celtic Kings, through Roman invasion and Boudiccan revolt, to Norman conquest and medieval life. Student entry costs £6.75 and you can do a tour of the roof and the vaults for an extra £3.
The Castle sits within what’s now Colchester’s Castle Park. The park is a perfect way to spend a summers afternoon providing green space in the town centre, where you can sit, walk, enjoy music, play games, or picnic amongst wonderful flowers and trees.
Castle Park runs great events throughout the year, including this year’s headline act, Westlife on the 11th July.
Explore the National History Museum.
Okay don’t expect the Blue Whale skeleton or Dippy the dinosaur, but Colchester does have its own National History Museum! The free to enter museum is located in the former All Saints Church.
Get all artistic.
The Minories Gallery are part of Colchester Institute and house a contemporary art gallery in a listed Georgian building. Take a look around the galleries or horn your artistic side with a class run by the institute.
The Gallery is also home to an art and crafts shop and tea room, in the beautiful walled gardens.
Get out of town and explore the local Countryside.
When the uni work is getting all a bit too much, Colchester is an ideal base, to just get out and explore.
Head to Mersea Island
Hop on the bus and spend a day on the island, its only 9 miles outside Colchester and it’s the most easterly inhabited island in the UK. Make sure you check the tide times though or the causeway could be cut off by the tide!
Not feeling the island life?
Then head inland to Highwoods Country Park, its perfect for a walk to clear the head or a spot of fishing. Just hop on the number 8, 8a or 65 bus from stand S in Head Street.
Or head to Abberton Reservoir it’s an internationally important wetland site where up to 40,000 ducks, swans and geese visit each year.
Get all Captain Jack Sparrow
And hire your own boat! You can hire a rowing boat from Dedham and row yourself up and down the river Stour. After messing about on the river why not join the Constable trail and take the mile and a half walk to Flatford Mill, which was made famous in the John Constable painting.
To get to Dedham from Colchester just hop on the 81A bus from Osborne Street towards Manningtree.
We’re goin’ to the zoo, zoo, zoo. How about you, you, you?
Colchester is home to a zoo, the second-best zoo in the UK according to Trip Advisor. Colchester Zoo is home to over 240 species from Bears and Chimpanzee to Elephants and Wallabies. You’ll want to go at least once when living with Host in Colchester!
Let’s go shopping!
Jump on the train to Braintree and visit Braintree Village Outlet Centre. Home to over 85 stores, you’re bound to pick up a bargain or two! Braintree Freeport station is right outside the village.
For city-centre shopping, Ipswich is within 40 minutes or head to the Capital! London is just a 50-minute express train to Liverpool Street Station.
Host opens in Colchester this summer!
And you could be one of the first to experience this brand-new development from September. Situated in the centre of town, 27 Magdalen Street is the perfect choice for students, studying in Colchester.
Come and have a look for yourself…
…Our Show Flat is now open. You’ll find us at 27 Magdalen Street, Colchester CO1 2ZT. We’re open for viewings Monday to Friday (9am – 5pm) so pop in and say hello.
Getting serious about the environment we live in.
To become more ‘environmentally friendly’, Host is launching the #HostEnvironmentalPledge campaign to encourage responsible behaviour and drive sustainability across our sites throughout the UK and Ireland.
It’s a simple campaign! If we can reduce our overall utilities (electric, water and gas) consumption by 1% then we will donate £10,000, 2% reduction means £20,000, 3% is £30,000 and so on, to 3 charities; BulliesOut, Planet Patrol and World Land Trust.Show me all news
For the times when you scroll through list after list and can’t decide on what to watch, this may be handy for you. Here are some of the latest Netflix releases that Lisa our marketing executive recommends for a night in…
It's important to get to enjoy the summer; there are plenty of things that you will now be able to do freely, and boosting your brain should be one of them. We've put together ways to keep your brain active over the next few months before you begin your university experience.