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?


Inns, Taverns and Pubs



This book 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.

Here follows a list of Colchester's pubs and a few chosen ones from the general area outside of Colchester.

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.

Abbey Arms

St. Johns Green, Colchester, Essex CO2 7HA

Tel: 01206 579884

Free House

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



Cowdray Avenue


Not visited recently. A restaurant with a bar.

Ancient Briton

Iceni Way, Colchester, Essex, CO2 9EH

Tel: 01206 540986


Artillery Man

56 Artillery Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2JQ

Tel No: 01206 798024 wrong?

Greene King

Visited April 2012. A gem of a pub. Nice atmosphere. A good 'local'.


113, Bromley Rd, Colchester, Essex CO4 3JG

Tel: 01206 863667


The longest serving Colchester publican runs this pun. A real pub!

Brewer's Arms

31, Osborne St, Colchester, Essex CO2 7DA

Tel: 01206 560666


Bricklayer's Arms

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.


Also a Gurkha restaurant.

British Grenadier

67, Military Rd, Colchester, Essex CO1 2AP

Tel: 01206 500933


Bull Hotel

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.

Cherry Tree

Mersea Rd, Blackheath, Colchester, Essex CO2 0AD

Tel: 01206 368173

Dog and Pheasant

24, Nayland Rd, Mile End, Colchester, Essex CO4 5EG

Tel: 01206 852427

Greene King, Hungry Horse



(now known as The Ale House)

82, Butt Rd, Colchester, Essex CO3 3DA

Tel: 01206 573464

Free house but with an Adnams bias.

Complete change here with the pub extensively refurbished and re-opened under a new name late 2011. 10 beer pumps!

Fat Cat

(previously the Royal)

65, Butt Rd, Colchester, Essex CO3 3BZ

Tel: 01206 577990

Free House

We visited in March 2012. A firm favourite with real-ale drinkers and CAMRA. Great atmosphere and very friendly.

Forester's Arms

Castle Road, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UW

Great pub! We visit regularly. It is lovely to sit outside and watch the world go by. A gem that should be better known than it is.

Foundry Arms

83, Artillery St, Colchester, Essex CO1 2JQ

Tel: 01206 863379

Managed house.

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


George Hotel

116 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TD

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

Greene King


87, Mersea Rd, Colchester, Essex CO2 7RB

Tel: 01206 544035

Free House

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

Hospital Arms

(previously the Tap and Spile)

123-125, Crouch St, Colchester, Essex CO3 3HA

Tel: 01206 542398 .


(beer-tie, guest ales under Adnams control)

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.

Huntsman Tavern

(now the Berechurch Arms)

177, Shrub End Rd, Colchester, Essex CO3 4RG

Tel: 01206 576397

King's Arms

Crouch Street, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3EY

Tel: 01206 572886 .

Greene King

Leather Bottle

Shrub End Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 4RH


Not visited recently.


Under temporary management in May 2012.

Little Crown

Short Wyre St

Free House with a couple of real-ales.

To be recommended. A gem!


Live and Let Live

Millers Lane, Stanway, Colchester, Essex CO3 0PS

Tel: 01206 574071


Quayside Inn

(previously the Maltsters)

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


New Inn

Chapel Street South, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7AX

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

Free House

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.


132 North Station Road, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UZ

Greene King


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! No swearing and no mobile phones allowed. You have been warned! A firm Camulos favourite. more

Pat Mollys

(previously O'Neills, the Waggon and Horses)

66, North Hill, Colchester, Essex CO1 1PX

Tel No: 01206 578555

Managed House

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'.

Purple Dog

(previously the Clarence)

Trinity Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JN


Queen's Hotel

Berechurch Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7QB


Red Lion

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


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

Rover's Tye

Ipswich Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 9BA

Tel No: 01206 845345



Royal Mortar

120, Military Rd, Colchester, Essex CO1 2AS

Tel No: 01206 790214

Free House but wet-tie to Greene King


2, Church St, Colchester, Essex CO1 1NF

Tel: 01206 564000


Not really a pub. It started life as a wine bar and has stood the test of time.

Silver Oyster

1 Queen Elizabeth Way, Monkwick, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8LY

Admiral Taverns


Hythe Quay, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JB

Tel: 01206 793176



10, North Station Rd, Colchester, Essex CO1 1RB

Tel: 01206 514510


Voted by CAMRA as 'Colchester Pub of the Year'.A superb pub, great atmosphere, good range of ales, brilliant landlady. A good 'local'.


(previously the Wig and Pen)

156, High St, Colchester, Essex CO1 1PG

Tel: 01206 769995

Greene King

More a drinking hall than a pub.

50 as at January 2014

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 80'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.  



 Your opinions and suggestions for other good pubs will be appreciated and possibly incorporated on these pages.

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