The High Street heroes of Colchester
PUBLISHED: 13:20 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:18 20 February 2013
A centre of power in the past and a beacon of modernity in the present, Colchester provides the ideal blend to be a popular destination for both visitors and local traders. We meet some of the town's High Street heroes
High Street Heroes of Colchester
Photography by: Paula Davies
Colchester is a bustling retail centre with more than 400 shops. Of these, more than half are independent outlets creating a vibrant and varied shopping experience for visitors, which is enhanced even further on Fridays and Saturdays when Colchesters Market sees stalls set up in Culver Street West, Culver Street East and Long Wyre Street.
It is therefore no surprise that this popular town encourages millions of tourists to the county each year with its contrasting mix of attractions. As well as the excellent shopping, Colchester is famous for being the oldest recorded town in Britain and has a wealth of culture and heritage to reflect this. Nowhere is this better reflected that in Colchester Castle, the largest keep ever built by the Normans, the foundations of which were constructed on the Roman temple of Claudius. With the gems of the Essex coast and the delights of Constable Country also just on the doorstep, there really is plenty to enjoy here.
A selection of guided walks and tours give visitors the opportunity to admire the scenery while discovering more of the history and character of the town. From nature walks to themed tours, there is something for everyone, including a selection of ghost tours following the stories of the legends and unnatural manifestations of Colchesters supernatural past.
Also on the edge of the town lies High Woods Country Park. Once a royal hunting forest, the 330 acres boast a stunning array of wild flowers, lakes and ponds. If you prefer to tour on two wheels, the View Finder Trail is a 17-mile cycle ride allowing art lovers the chance to take in the views of Colchester through the eyes of an artist.
As a commercial centre, Colchester is home to numerous small to medium-sized enterprises. Around 80% of the local workforce is employed in companies with 20 or fewer employees and the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency is frequently recognised for its outstanding track record in supporting new businesses from inception through to the first three years of operation. Perhaps it is this performance that has helped contribute to the success of so many of the towns High Street heroes, a selection of which we meet here.