A Guide to
Colchester's Pubs - there's one to suit everybody's taste!Some of our pubs are of particular interest from a historical and visual viewpoint. We feel that they would therefore be recommended to visitors in Colchester.
Some of our pubs are favoured by connoisseurs of beer, usually members of CAMRA. They are usually (but not always) sparsely furnished, dedicated places, without pool tables or juke boxes - not particularly somewhere to take a first date.
Some of our pubs can be quite lively, favoured by the younger set, usually with loud music.
Some of our pubs are renowned for their cooking.
......and then, some of our pubs are great 'locals', offering a bit of everything.
So, what is it that suits you best?
Here follows a list of Colchester's pubs and a few chosen ones from the general area outside of Colchester.
Special Interest - of particular or historic interest.
Lively Venue - vibrant pub, usually young customers and loud music.
Real Ale - a real ale pub, usually with no frills.
Beer Garden - suitable for children
Sports - Pool, darts, Sky telly, etc.
Food - bar snacks, bar meals, possibly a separate restaurant area.
Music - noticeable or loudly played music
Music - live bands or performances
Central - Within the town walls.
North - Outside the town walls to the north
South - Outside the town walls to the south
East - Outside the town walls to the east
West - Outside the town walls to the west
It is not easy to be objective and we welcome an alternative view of favourite pubs from you out there. Please email us with your favourites and also tell us why. Also, if we have got something wrong or you feel that you can add to the information, please email us.
Our favourites have a beside them.
St. Johns Green, Colchester, Essex CO2 7HA
Tel: 01206 579884
We visited in March 2012. Good atmosphere. Friendly, good pub grub. Pool and darts played. Sports TV. Not an ale pub.
After Office Hours
previously the Faunus and Firkin, previously the Lamb, previously, the Bay and Say, previously the Lamb.
128, High St, Colchester, Essex CO1 1SP
Tel: 01206 564367
Not visited recently. A town centre pub.
Not visited recently. A restaurant with a bar.
Iceni Way, Colchester, Essex, CO2 9EH
Tel: 01206 540986
Not visited recently. A good 'local'.
56 Artillery Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2JQ
Tel No: 01206 798024 wrong?
Visited April 2012. A gem of a pub. Nice atmosphere. A good 'local'.
113, Bromley Rd, Colchester, Essex CO4 3JG
Tel: 01206 863667
Not visited recently. A good 'local'.
31, Osborne St, Colchester, Essex CO2 7DA
Tel: 01206 560666
Not visited recently. By reputation, be wary.
27, Bergholt Rd, Colchester, Essex CO4 5AA
Tel: 01206 852008
A good 'local' and a firm Camulos favourite. We visit regularly and were there as recent as January 2012. Good food but limited beer selection due to beer-tie.
42 Meyrick Crescent, Colchester, Essex CO2 7QY
Tel. 01206 574391
A good 'local'. We visited in January 2012. The then landlord was reluctantly leaving as Greene King have plans to make big changes and making the pub a food pub. The pub was enjoying good trade from the nearby Merville Barracks. It had a strong darts pub as well. Nice, clean, friendly pub but who knows how things will turn out?
67, Military Rd, Colchester, Essex CO1 2AP
Tel: 01206 500933
We visited in January 2012. This is a real ale pub although the range is limited due to its beer-tie. A CAMRA award winner. No frills. Good beer and a friendly atmosphere. This is a gem of an old style pub but too small to offer a range of food. In June 2012, the press announced that it was to be sold, possibly for housing.
Crouch Street, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3ES
Tel No: 01206 366647
A firm Camulos favourite. This pub has undergone major change in the past few years and has become a music venue. We particularly love the Monday night jam sessions. Friendly, good range of beer.
92, High St, Colchester, Essex CO1 1TH
Tel: 01206 563988
A lively town centre pub with a large outside seating area. We visited in January 2012. No frills. Geared to younger set. Landlord not present when we visited so difficult to form a proper opinion.
Mersea Rd, Blackheath, Colchester, Essex CO2 0AD
Tel: 01206 368173
Not visited recently. A good 'local'.
Dog and Pheasant
24, Nayland Rd, Mile End, Colchester, Essex CO4 5EG
Tel: 01206 852427
Greene King, Hungry Horse
Not visited recently. http://www.pub-explorer.com/essex/pub/dog&pheasantcolchester.htm
Dragoon now known as The Ale House
82, Butt Rd, Colchester, Essex CO3 3DA
Tel: 01206 573464
Free house but with an Adnams bias.
We visited in March 2012. Complete change here with the pub extensively refurbished and re-opened under a new name late 2011. 10 beer pumps!
(previously the Royal)
65, Butt Rd, Colchester, Essex CO3 3BZ
Tel: 01206 577990
We visited in March 2012. A firm favourite with real-ale drinkers and CAMRA. Great atmosphere and very friendly.
Castle Road, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UW
Not visited recently but this pub was converted to a food based bistro for a period before reverting back to the traditional pub that it always was. It is lovely to sit outside and watch the world go by. A gem that should be better known than it is.
83, Artillery St, Colchester, Essex CO1 2JQ
Tel: 01206 863379
We visited it in April 2012. A good little local.
Fox and Fiddler
(previously the Boadicea, previously the Headgate, previously the Elephant and Castle, previously the Ship.)
St. John St, Colchester, Essex CO2 7AA
Tel No: 01206 560520
Not visited recently. A firm favourite with real ale enthusiasts and our army lads.
St. Christopher Rd, Colchester, Essex CO4 0NE
Tel No: 01206 843402
Not visited recently. http://www.pub-explorer.com/essex/pub/friarcolchester.htm
116 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TD
Not visited recently. An ancient inn with an excellent restaurant and very comfortable furnishings. more. Not really a pub but well worth a visit if you like posh places.
Goat and Boot Inn
70 East Hill, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2QW
We visited in March 2012. We confirmed that this is a great, well run, friendly pub. It has pool and darts teams. We hear that Greene King have plans to rebrand it, so we will need to wait and see.
87, Mersea Rd, Colchester, Essex CO2 7RB
Tel: 01206 544035
We visited in February 2012. An excellent and busy pub with lovely people running it. Free of tie but no 'ales' on offer due to lack of demand. Darts, pool and poker played here. www.thegrapespub.com
Hole in the Wall
Balkerne Lane, Colchester, Essex CO3 3LA
Tel: 01206 579897/576392
We regularly visit this pub. It has a nice atmosphere but is more geared to the young. A good 'local'. Visit during the day for an appreciation of the hole that was bashed through the Roman wall in 1843 to give a view of the new railway to the north. more
(previously the Tap and Spile)
123-125, Crouch St, Colchester, Essex CO3 3HA
Tel: 01206 542398 .
(beer-tie, guest ales under Adnams control)
We visited in February 2012. Lovely to see that it hadn't changed since our last visit. People we speak to always praise this pub. It is a firm favourite of the real ale enthusiasts. Well worth a visit if you are not a hooligan. One of Colchester's best kept secrets.
177, Shrub End Rd, Colchester, Essex CO3 4RG
Tel: 01206 576397
Not visited recently. A good 'local'.
Crouch Street, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3EY
Tel: 01206 572886 .
We visited in February 2012. No stools at the bar! Good food menu. Clean and efficient and an excellent choice to meet friends and have a meal. This is what GK are doing to our old pubs nowadays. Strictly business!
Shrub End Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 4RH
Not visited recently.
Under temporary management in May 2012.
Short Wyre St
Free House with a couple of real-ales.
A good town centre pub. We visited in March 2012. It is owned by the same people that are restoring the Stockwell Arms and has a manager. Music themed. To be recommended. A gem!
134 Hythe Hill, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2NF
Not visited recently. A good 'local'.
Live and Let Live
Millers Lane, Stanway, Colchester, Essex CO3 0PS
Tel: 01206 574071
We visited in Summer 2007. A busy pub with friendly management. A typical local.
Maltsters now known as the Quayside Inn
Haven Rd, Colchester, Essex CO2 8HT
Tel No: 01206 861944
Free House. No tie.
We visited March 2012. Busy and friendly pub with a lively lunchtime trade from local business people. Darts, pool and Sports TV. Swearing tolerated! Sadly tucked out of the way although the area has been cleared for new development.
(previously the Marquis of Granby)
24-25, North Hill, Colchester, Essex CO1 1EG
Tel No: 01206 577630
Our visit in May 2012 revealed this pub to be popular with young people, a good food menu, friendly atmosphere. Pool table in the back. This pub has some magnificent carved woodwork and building features, mainly 16th century, from a time before it became a pub. A must for those interested in historic buildings but a few rough diamonds get in there so choose your time carefully. more
Berechurch Hall Road
under temporary management and up for sale in May 2012.
Molly Malones now known as Judge and Jury
(also Fagins Den, previously Slipstream, previously the Dickens Hotel, previously the Fountain.)
4, St. Botolphs Circus, Colchester, Essex CO2 7EF
Tel No: 01206 571763
We visited in January 2012. Not really a pub . A music venue. Not the sort of place for comfortable cosy drinking. Brilliant for loud music though.
Chapel Street South, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7AX
Our visit in January 2012 found this pub in new hands. Duncan made us very welcome and explained his plans for the future. It is now a free house. A good local pub for the area, good friendly atmosphere. This pub was damaged by a German bomb during the war and later rebuilt. Up yours Mr Hitler!
New Town Tavern
(previously the Pink Panther and Blue Boar)
Kendall Road, New Town
A good 'local'. We visited in January 2012 and were very impressed. A superb pub that we thoroughly recommend. It's a free house with a good range of beers. Mike Blackmore the landlord.
132 North Station Road, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UZ
A good 'local'. We visited in January 2012. Landlord not present so difficult to give a good opinion.
Odd One Out
28 Mersea Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7ET
Tel. No 01206 513958
Parrick Family (Free House)*
We visited in February 2012. One of Colchester's best kept secrets. This is a dedicated and award winning real ale and cider pub. Expect a whince if you ask for a lager! Pay a visit and step back in time. The Parricks are the longest serving licensees in Colchester at the moment, having come here in 1984. No swearing and no mobile phones allowed. You have been warned! A firm Camulos favourite. more
O'Neills now Pat Mollys
(previously the Waggon and Horses)
66, North Hill, Colchester, Essex CO1 1PX
Tel No: 01206 578555
Not visited ever. A busy town centre pub. Has bouncers on the door of an evening, so we don't go there. Geared to young people.
4, St. Johns St, Colchester, Essex CO2 7AA
Tel No: 01206 571003
J D Weatherspoon
Not really a pub. More a drinking hall. This pub has bouncers on the door of an evening so beware! Visit during the day for an appreciation of the splendid preservation and displays of this old theatre. Visit at any time if you can handle yourself and like a lively house. We don't visit pubs that have bouncers. more
The Commons, Colchester, Essex CO3 4NW
Tel No: 01206 563497
Visted in May 2012. A good 'local'.
(previously the Clarence)
Trinity Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JN
Not visited recently. A good town centre pub. We enjoyed our visit back in 2007. Friendly atmosphere but a bit young for us. Coffee available.
Berechurch Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7QB
Closed in 2011.
43 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1DJ
This is not really a pub but the bar upstairs is worth a visit to view the interior of a 15th century halled house. The food is excellent too. Not for the beer buff! Nice comfortable furnishings. more
Rose and Crown
51 East Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2TZ
Not visited recently. Our visit in March 2007, confirmed that this was a lively, friendly pub, part of a quite high class hotel and restaurant. Well worth a visit to see this inside of a carefully restored 15th century group of buildings that have been made into one. No music, TV, pool or darts. Comfortably furnished and intimate, or not, depending were you choose to be. Good range of beers and a CAMRA favourite. more
Ipswich Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 9BA
Tel No: 01206 845345
Not visited recently. A very well run and comfortable pub offering excellent food and a play area for children.
120, Military Rd, Colchester, Essex CO1 2AS
Tel No: 01206 790214
Free House but wet-tie to Greene King
Visited in March 2012. It revealed a splendid 'local'. Run as a freehouse, it is very friendly and comfortable and caters for darts and pool players and a bit of footy on the box on occasions. A firm Camulos favourite.
2, Church St, Colchester, Essex CO1 1NF
Tel: 01206 564000
Not visited ever. Not really a pub. It started life as a wine bar and has stood the test of time. We have never been in there but we can't help but notice that it is a popular place.
1 Queen Elizabeth Way, Monkwick, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8LY
We visited in February 2012 after a recent refurbishment. Landlord not present so difficult to give a good view. A good 'local'.
Hythe Quay, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JB
Tel: 01206 793176
Not visited recently. Our visit in March 2007 confirmed that this little pub is as friendly as it ever was, an excellent 'local' with a dart board, no pool and a small restaurant area.
10, North Station Rd, Colchester, Essex CO1 1RB
Tel: 01206 514510
We visited in May 2012 and were very impressed. A superb pub, great atmosphere, good range of ales, brilliant landlady. A good 'local'.
Wig & Pen now the Duchess
156, High St, Colchester, Essex CO1 1PG
Tel: 01206 769995
Not visited ever. This used to be a rough place whose customers caused a lot of trouble in the town. Recently reopened under a new name. More a bar than a pub.
53 as at June 2012
NEAR TO COLCHESTER,
These pubs are recommended here,
mainly due to their friendly atmosphere,
their good range of beers
and their excellent food menus.
The Three Horseshoes
under new owners Jayne and Tara
Copford Green, Copford,
Colchester, Essex CO6 1BZ
Tel: 01206 210607
The Peldon Rose Inn
Colchester Rd, Peldon,
Colchester, Essex CO5 7QJ
Tel: 01206 735248
(Great food! Love the kate and sydney pie!))
Just because we didn't particularly like the pub, doesn't mean that others don't. There are a handful of pubs listed that I would not dream of going to, their reputation for trouble being well known to locals. If that is the case, they get no comment, good or bad. Let's face it, some pubs are used by the shaved head, tattooed, football supporter, types. Others are used by middle aged, flat cap wearing, golfers. Whereas this page has been compiled by someone who has sometimes been referred-to by young pipsqueaks as an 'old fogey'. This means that I am in my 50's, I don't like pubs that have loud music or noisy fruit machines, blaring televisions or children in pubs. I like 'old-style' pubs, where music is acceptable if not so loud as to be intrusive, where swearing is frowned upon by the management, where there is usually a place at the bar, from which position, life may be observed, where the beer is cold and the landlord/lady/barstaff look as if they are pleased to see you. On this basis, please proceed and be informed about the best of Colchester's pubs.
Your opinions and suggestions for other good pubs will be appreciated and possibly incorporated on these pages.
Please email us at:
if it is ghosts that you seek,
please link to,
or a book entitled,
The book, now in its fourth edition, gives historical details of all known pubs (both past and present) in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in Britain. Any historical information that you may be able to provide, especially copies of old photographs, documents, etc. would be eagerly received.
Copies available from Red Lion Books.
or, for some other places:
Bristol's Lost Pubs