Quality Hotel Colchester
A12/A120 Ardleigh Junction
Colchester, EN CO7 7QY
Phone: (44) 1206 230900
Fax: (44) 1206 231095
Ardleigh Reservoir is found in a scenic valley, set amid picturesque Constable countryside. Today, this reservoir is quite popular among match anglers. It is equipped to handle nearly 30 anglers fishing in a single matches and is ideal for fishing during summer months. The scenic Ramada Lake is a great place for beginners since it is quite easy for fishing. Ardleigh Reservoir has got a nice stock of rudd and roach and one can also find eels, tench and perch in its waters.
Only a few walls, pillars and arches remain standing as a stoic memorial to one of England's very first priories. Established around 1100, the priory was run under the Augustinian order and continued to survive until its dissolution in 1536. The priory never grew to be a particularly large or influential one, and after its dissolution the monastic buildings were granted for secular use while the church was utilized as a parish church. The current ruinous state is a result of the Colchester siege of 1648, however what does remain is considered to be one of the best preserved examples of Norman building of this kind. The site is now managed by the English Heritage Trust and is open to visitors daily during daylight hours.
A tall and impressive red-stone water tower, Jumbo Water Tower is located at Balkerne Gate in Essex. For a tower of 35.37 meters (116 feet), the construction took only about a year and eight months, and could hold up to 1069 cubic meters (37,800 cubic feet) of water at a time! Not a water tower anymore, this Grade II listed structure has been proposed to become several things from a heritage site to a glass-walled penthouse, however, nothing materialized. Still, the tower warrants a good look when you drive by.
Castle House was the home of the renown artist Alfred Munnings from 1919 to 1959. Here he lived with his wife Violet and painted some of his best pieces. This lovely Georgian and Tudor style house is now home the world's largest collection of the artist's work, which includes pieces from every stage of his life. The exhibits change over time, each covering a specific theme or time period from Munnings' life. Apart from his exquisite artwork, Castle House has also retained some of the original furniture and other artifacts that belong to the house, and Munnings studio has been preserved. A number of events and learning activities are held regularly, aimed to encourage the appreciation of art amongst the participants and the growth of their own artistic skills. Group visits are welcome and can be arranged even outside of regular opening times. The cafe, gardens and house are also open on bank holiday Mondays apart from the usual open times.
Old Heath Recreation Ground is always energetic and abuzz with vibrancy for it is a center of a lot of sports activity. The grounds of the place house a tennis court and a football ground. On your visit to the grounds you will also be awed by the sheer breathtaking vast expanse of the place. This is a good place to visit if you are a sports enthusiast for it would give you a good insight into the sports culture of the place.
The Beth Chatto Gardens have been developed from an overgrown hinterland into an inspirational garden. Employing the principles and techniques of ecological planting, The Beth Chatto Gardens consist of a Water Garden, Gravel Garden, Scree Garden and Woodland Garden which sync well with the neighboring countryside. These gardens are also home to to a large nursery where you can find more than 2000 kinds of bulbs and herbaceous plants. The tearoom here serves light lunches, homemade cakes, teas and fresh coffee.
The Old St Mary's Church at West Bergholt is a simple and tranquil little church located at a site removed from the village. The church was established during Saxon times, however additions and alterations made over the years have obliterated almost all of the church's original structure except the North wall. Although redundant, the church continues to drawn in visitors seeking out its calming influence and charming air. Inside there is a rare coat of arms painted above the alter dating back to the reign of King James I. The church has also been at the center of its share of scandals through its life, often requiring intervention from the Royal family. Today, the church is managed by the Churches Conservation Trust and is open daily.
Popular for being portrayed in one of the most celebrated paintings of Constable, 'The Hay-Wain', Willy Lott's Cottage is a quaint cottage dating from the 16th Century. Grade I listed Willy Lott's Cottage was originally known as Gibbonsgate Farm but in 1900s, it was rechristened as Willy Lotts Cottage after interest in the John Constable's work saw a revival. A small-time farmer, Willy Lott was also close to John Constable's family. It is believed that Lott only spent four nights away from his house, out of his long life of 84 years.
St Mary's Church at Lawford is a place of worship that is endowed with a congregation of friendly and warm individuals. Within this historic building, the congregation meets to pray every Sunday, while through the week a number of small community groups use the church as a center for their activities and meetings. Although the oldest sections of the church date back to the 12th Century, most of the existing structure was built over later centuries. The final effect is that of a graceful amalgamation of architectural styles, lending the church a distinctive character. Richly inlaid with architectural details and home to some intriguing fixtures, the church has come to be designated as a Grade I listed building.
St Mary's Church is a magnificent parish church proudly standing since the late 13th Century or early 14th Century. The church is highly regarded for its south porch having groin vaulted roof, priests chamber, south door decorated with beautifully carved Jesse tree and memorials of Sir Francis Mannock, 1st Baronet, Giffords Hall. The spectacular building is designated as Grade I listed.
The small river of Colne of Essex passes through Colchester. The river is often confused as a tributary of some other river owing to its depth and length; however it has an estuary which merges with the sea near Brightingsea. The river flows through the Stambourne Green and Birdbook villages of Essex. It also passes through the settlements of Sible Hedingham, White Colne, Earls Colne, Chappel, et al. Civilizations ranging from the Roman times can be linked to this beautiful River Colne.
The Mistley Towers were once a part of the grand neoclassical parish church of Mistley. The church was constructed in 1776 at the behest of Richard Rigby who felt that the original church was not suited to his ambition of establishing Mistley Thorn as a spa town. The two towers were left standing after the main body of the church, which stood between them, was demolished in 1870. The towers resemble elongated pavilions rather than those usually associated with churches; each topped with a cupola and featuring some fine details. The towers still stand today as a reminder of the beautiful church that once stood here and as a tribute to the ambitions of Rigby. Designated as Grade I listed monuments, the towers are now cared for by English Heritage.