Natural History Museum

What you can seePlan your visit


Did you know that there was an earthquake in Colchester in 1884? Or that mammoths and hippos used to roam this area?

Find out more about local wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change at this much-loved, family-friendly museum. Get up close to nature as you learn about stag beetles – a Colchester success story – and discover the secrets of the drowned world underneath the North Sea. 

Plan Your Visit

Opening Times

Tuesday – Saturday
10am – 5pm

11am – 5pm




Children must be accompanied by an adult

Free Admission

Booking not required


Getting Around

50 Ways to Play

Who’s up for some fun?!

Check out our amazing ’50 Ways to Play’ challenge sheet. It’s packed full of ideas for things to do as you explore the Natural History Museum, Hollytrees Museum and Colchester’s Castle Park. There’s fun for all the family, from 1 to 100 years old!



Our museum shop offers a wide range of products, from craft kits for children to precious stones and fossils, cuddly toys to tools for nature-spotters. Whether you’re looking for a memento or the perfect gift, we have something for all tastes and budgets.


What You Can See

The Building

The museum is housed in the former All Saints Church. The nave and chancel are thought to be Norman, while the windows are typically gothic. The north aisle and tower were added more recently.

The Collections

The Natural History collections focus on Britain and north-east Essex in particular.

Did you know that there was an earthquake in Colchester in 1884? Or that mammoths and hippos used to roam this area?

Interactive Displays

Feel the surface of a shell, peek into a badgers sett and hear the roar of a mammoth! You can also find a range of puzzles, books and dress up in our activity area.

Our Shop

We’ve got a range of nature inspired treats for every budget. Why not take home a piece of history millions of years old, or make your school stationary the envy of the whole classroom!

Get Involved



Keep up to date with our latest exhibitions, events and projects by subscribing to our museum mailing list. You’ll receive regular emails with the latest news from the Natural History Museum, as well as Colchester Castle and Hollytrees Museum.


Access At Natural History

Whether you want to know when the museum is quieter, what to expect when you arrive or what facilities we have, simply follow the link below to find out more.

If you cannot find the answers you are looking for, please contact us on 01206 282941 or email and our team will be happy to help. 

What's On


Discover something new in Colchester. Browse the diary to find fun, family-friendly events all year round.

Exhibitions + Displays

Our displays showcase the variety of the collections from art to archaeology, costume to clocks.


Where will your adventure start?