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. 

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

We have a range of hands-on activities for families to explore, from microscopes and magnifying glasses to books and trails. You can even crawl through a badger sett!

Mini Museum Explorers

The museum is particularly popular with young children and families.

Our Early Years sessions have a different theme each month and unlock some of the stories behind the objects.


Colchester Museums was a winner in the 2019 Hoop Awards, scooping Best Holiday Workshops in Essex!

See What's On and come experience our range of family-friendly activities for yourself!


Plan Your Visit

Opening Times

Tuesday – Saturday
10.00am – 5.00pm

11.00am – 5.00pm

Free admission

What can you do?



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.



Every effort has been made to make the Natural History Museum a great place to visit for everybody.

If you have any access queries please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Facilities include:

  • Parking spaces for blue badge holders by Castle Park in Museum Street, and on the High Street.
  • Level access to the main entrance with double glass doors, which can be opened to allow access for wider wheelchairs or scooters.
  • Level flooring apart from a slight slope at the entrance and at the far end of the gallery.
  • Free drinking water available on request.
  • Accessible toilet with baby changing facilities.
  • Hands-on interactive and sensory experiences.
  • Twiddlemuffs (sensory aids) available on request.
  • Breastfeeding welcome.
  • Guide and Helping dogs are welcome.
  • British Sign Language interpretation provided at selected events. Please see our events section for details.

Where will your adventure start?