Things to do in Wivenhoe


Wivenhoe is a small riverside town, close to the University of Essex, with a history of fishing and boat building. Whilst some of this industry remains, it now has a healthy population of students and creatives giving it a unique character within the borough.


Wivenhoe’s small High Street has a collection of independent businesses and eateries, whilst a number of attractive pubs are dotted throughout the town. You can also find the Sentinel Art Gallery, and Nottage Museum close to the riverside in the town.

The University is located in Wivenhoe Park, between Colchester and Wivenhoe, where the once-criticised brutalist architecture is gaining new-found respect and popularity. The park itself, was famously painted by John Constable, and the juxtaposition of 20th century architecture with scenic countryside makes a visually arresting combination.

Within a morning’s walk from Colchester City Centre, and serviced by a regular rail service, Wivenhoe is a popular destination with walkers visiting Colchester. Take the Town to Sea Trail to Colchester’s historic Hythe port, then follow the Wivenhoe trail along the bank of the River Colne. Enjoy a pub lunch, then head back to city on the train.

The University of Essex is relatively self-contained on its Wivenhoe Park campus, with its own theatre, gallery, and the obligatory bars, nightclubs and eateries. There is a large proportion of international students attending the university, with many of them living within the campus grounds, making the grounds a lively and vibrant place to visit.

The grounds themselves are expansive and offer good opportunities for walking and exploring, with first class sports facilities there are also plenty of activities to take part in, and a number of competitive teams to watch in action.

Within the grounds lies the historic Wivenhoe House Hotel, an 18th century Grade II luxury hotel and restaurant which is also home to The Edge Hotel School.

One of the most popular walks in Colchester is the Wivenhoe Trail, following the River Colne from Colchester’s historic Hythe port, along its banks towards the Wivenhoe Quayside.

You can start the walk from Hythe railway station, just a short hop of Colchester mainline station, or extend it by beginning in Colchester City Centre and following the Town to Sea Trail alongside a section of the river further upstream.

The town to sea trail is marked with waymarkers illustrating Colchester’s history, then as the route changes to the Wivenhoe trail, you cross the river next to the permanently moored TS Colne Lightship and continue through the Essex Countryside and local woodland towards your destination.


When arriving at Wivenhoe station to explore the village take time to visit the sentinel gallery at Chapel Road, CO7 9DX The gallery is only a few minutes from Wivenhoe station. The gallery has a number of artists displaying their artwork, pottery and jewellery which is for sale. The displays change every 3 months and all proceeds from the sales go to The Rob George Foundation.