Visiting Colchester Castle

We are working hard and following Government guidance to protect our visitors and staff. So, when you come to Colchester Castle, things might look a little different.

Scroll down for more information on booking a visit and what to expect when you arrive.

If you, or anyone in your household, are exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19, please don’t visit our museums. Instead, we recommend you follow Government guidelines regarding self-isolation.

Last updated Thursday 8th April

Due to national lockdown restrictions, all our museums must remain closed until further notice.

Booking and Tickets

For your safety and comfort, we are asking visitors to book a ticket in advance for a timed entry to visit Colchester Castle.

Resident Pass holders or Castle Members will still need to call and book a timed entry, you will just need your pass handy to give us your details.

Our timed entry visits are super simple to book, just pick a time between 10am – 4.20pm (Monday – Saturday) and 11am – 4.20pm (Sundays). You can ask our team any questions or discuss special requirements when you phone.

You will be able to book your visit up to 14 days in advance by calling our booking line on 01206 282939 between the hours of 10am – 4.30pm (11am – 4.30pm on Sundays). Please note, our staff may be serving other customers when you call, so do try again if you don’t get through.

Subject to availability you may be able to visit the same day as booking.

You can book up to 6 people from the same household/bubble per timed entry. If your household/bubble has 6+ people, you must book separate, additional entries.

Your contact information will be held on record for 21 days from the date of your visit to assist with Test and Trace if required.

Please note that your ticket will not allow you re-entry all day. Your visit will be concluded once you exit the museum. There is no time limit for your visit, but we ask you to follow the one-way system throughout.

We reserve the right to refuse entry to any visitors who have not pre-booked. Timed entries cannot be exchanged on the day and late entry cannot be permitted. There will not be the facility to wait inside the museum prior to your booked entry time so please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before the start of your timed entry.


Resident Pass and Castle Membership

Please bring your pass or membership card with you on the day and as usual, we may ask for ID on arrival.

All normal Resident Pass T&C’s apply, they can be read here.

All normal Castle Pass membership T&C’s apply, they can be read here.

Any Residents Pass or Castle Pass membership that was still valid on the 19th March 2020 will have the expiry date extended to reflect the length of the Castle closure.


What to Know Before You Visit

Our timed entry means that we are reducing the number of visitors in the museum at any one time.

With regular cleaning and a new one-way system around the displays you will still be able to see everything and stay safe. Please note that some interactive displays will be unavailable.

We have installed hand sanitising stations at the museum entrance and in the gallery spaces.

Please note, the lunch area will not be available to use. Visitors can bring plain bottled water into the museum, but no other food or drink is allowed while our lunchroom facilities are closed. If this is prohibitive to your visit for health reasons, for example if you have diabetes, are breast feeding or need a break-out point for ASD dependents, please do discuss this with us at the time of booking.

We have removed some seating from the gallery spaces to aid social distancing.

If you are visiting with a pushchair, please note you must keep it with you during your visit. There will be no buggy park available.

In accordance with government guidelines, we ask that all visitors wear face coverings. For details on exemptions, please check the website.

Please be aware that Museum staff may choose to wear face coverings, but it is not mandatory. Staff will be wearing masks where it is considered to be beneficial, such as when servicing the rest areas. Where the wearing of a face covering may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound, masks will not be worn. Our team will be adhering to hygiene advice issued by the government and will be supported with any PPE required.


While You Are At The Museum

On arrival you will be directed by a member of staff to the appropriate waiting area, further aided by floor markings and signage.

Once inside, a new one-way system will guide you around the displays. There are plenty of arrows and signage to help show you the way.

We have tried to keep as many of our fun interactive experiences available, but please note some areas of the museum may be inaccessible due to the current safety guidelines.

Our staff will be regularly cleaning throughout the day.

Please keep together in your group throughout your visit. We ask that you follow the current social distancing guidelines and, in areas where distancing is trickier, avoid contact with other visitors by facing away when passing one another.

For the safety and comfort of all visitors, please wait patiently to use an interactive, or to visit the shop if other visitors not in your group are already using that space. Also, please be mindful of the time your group is spending in any one area.

Please clean your hands regularly throughout your visit using the hand sanitiser stations around the museum.


Toilet Facilities

Our toilets/baby changing facilities are still operational, but on a reduced capacity, so we have made a few changes.

The toilets are near the end of our one-way system, so please be advised that it could be around 1 hour after entry until you reach them.

We will be making sure that our staff are attending the area, keeping things clean and helping you to queue if necessary.

Be mindful to use the toilet facilities as a group and, if possible, please avoid multiple trips.

Please dispose of antibacterial wipes and paper towels in the bins provided. Do not flush them down the toilets, as this will cause blockages.


How To Shop

The Castle shop will be available at the end of your visit.

We are encouraging contactless payments where possible and screens have been installed around our tills.

The shop is a small area, so we are asking visitors to be patient and observe social distancing guidelines. You may have to queue to enter.

Please use the hand sanitiser before entering the shop.

Please avoid handling products where possible and, if you have younger people with you, please make sure they do not touch items you do not intend to purchase.

We have reduced the number of products on display to make browsing easier.

Anyone wishing to visit the shop and not the rest of the museum won’t need to pre-book. You may still need to queue however. Simply speak to the museum assistant at the entrance and they should be able to arrange access.


Unable to visit

We know not everyone will be able to visit us once the museum has re-opened. That does not mean you should miss out however:


What’s On


Discover something new in Colchester.

Browse the diary to find fun, family-friendly events all year round. 

Exhibitions + Displays

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

Where will your adventure start?