Castles, Crazies and Crumbling Cloisters

Before I headed back to the big smoke from Ipswich Matt and I went out in search of a castle and ended up spending the day in Colchester.

Colchester castle is set in a beautiful park and even on a rather dreich day it looked pretty amazing.

Colchester Castle1

Colchester Castle2

Colchester Castle3

Colchester Castle is the largest Norman Keep in Europe. Luckily it didn’t suffer too much action which is why most of it still stands today but it was frequently used as a prison and county gaol throughout the centuries. Disappointingly for me not much of the original castle still stands and it’s more a shell which houses a fantastic interactive museum.

That’s not to say that I didn’t have a great time. I enjoyed soaking up knowledge of the local area and who doesn’t appreciate the chance to dress up as a soldier or take part in a good old chariot race? The castle even came with it’s own crazy person who muttered to me as I was taking some pictures outside about executions!

Inside Colchester Castle1

Inside Colchester Castle 2

Inside Colchester Castle 3

On our way back to the car we spotted a gorgeous ruin and had a wander round so I could take some pictures.

It turned out to be St Boltolph’s Priory which was founded in 1103 and was the first Augustinian monastery in England. I find it fascinating that we still have structures, no matter how battered and bruised they may be, that date from so far back in history.

Priory 3

Priory 1

Priory 2

Colchester is Britain oldest town and as such has a wonderful history. It’s that great blend of small town with bright lights; quiet enough for you to have a relaxing time but busy enough that you won’t find yourself bored.

Being obsessed with hotels I couldn’t help but sneak a peek at what’s on offer were I too visit properly for a weekend and my pick for anyone looking to indulge in a relaxing break in the Colchester area would definitely be the Maison Tolbooth.

*Picture taken from the Official Maison Tolbooth website

With just twelve rooms each named after a literary great you’re sure to have a wonderful and inspiring stay. For more information on exploring what Colchester has to offer visit the Visit Colchester website.

{This is not a sponsored post, I just had a really great day and wanted to share it with y’all!}

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