Firstsite is a public contemporary art gallery situated in Colchester, making and showing great art and culture to help all communities be happier and healthier together. Firstsite's spectacular crescent-shaped building, designed by award-winning Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, provides a creative and social space like no other. Open all year – with free admission and a vibrant programme of exhibitions, films, workshops and events to spark your imagination, alongside a café and shop, Firstsite is for everyone.
Awards, accolades and Welcome Schemes
Also in the area
About the area
Essex is full of pleasant surprises. It has the largest coastline of any county in England, with its fair share of castles, royal connections and scenic valleys. Take Colchester, for example, which was built by the Romans and is Britain’s oldest recorded town. Its castle contains the country’s largest Norman keep and yet, a stone’s throw from here, East Anglia’s newest arts centre promises to put Colchester firmly on the map as Essex’s capital of culture.
Tidal estuaries are plentiful and their mudflats offer migrating birds a winter feeding place. Essex was known as the land of the East Saxons and for centuries people from all over Europe settled here, each wave leaving its own distinctive cultural and social mark on the landscape. Walking a little off the beaten track will lead you to the rural retreats of deepest Essex, while all over the county there are ancient monuments to explore:
- the great Waltham Abbey
- Greensted, thought to be the oldest wooden church in the world
- the delightful village of Pleshey has one of the finest examples of a former motte-and-bailey castle
- Hedingham Castle, magnificently preserved and dating from the 11th century.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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