Students walking together inside the university campus

Life in Essex

Essex encompasses all the best parts of English culture. You have access to the beautiful countryside, the scenic coastline plus a buzzing nightlife scene with its close proximity to London.  

“I met my best friend on my first day here! It’s so nice because we always hang out together and Colchester is so nice — it’s a great little city!” 

Carla from Peru 
University of Essex student  

You can study in Essex at:


Essex: things to know 

Essex culture 

Essex is the place to experience different parts of British culture.  

Gray, Cutlery

You’ll never run out of things to do as a student in Essex.   

Historic landscapes

Essex is full of history that stretches back thousands of years, which is evident in its architecture. There are over 21 castles and palaces in Essex to choose from for a day of sightseeing, as well as towers, cottages and even a Victorian fort. Audley End House and Gardens is also a wonderful English Heritage property that’s worth visiting for a stroll through the grounds and its grand interiors. 

Museums, art and culture

There’s lots to learn about Essex, and one way to really get to know the county is by visiting one of its many museums. From the museum inside Colchester Castle, to Chelmsford City Museum and the Combines Military Service Museum, you’ll find plenty of ways to discover British culture. There are also a number of art galleries showcasing modern and historic pieces.  

Retail therapy

Essex is a great place to live if you love to shop. Colchester and Southend both have shopping centres with many popular clothing stores. You’ll also find a huge shopping district in Chelmsford, a city in Essex which is just 40 minutes from Colchester. Braintree, another nearby town in Essex, also has a shopping outlet with discount prices on items from designer brands!  

Portrait, Photography, Head
Nozanin’s favourite places in Essex 

Creamfields South

This music festival has the whole package, with a top line-up of electronic dance acts, fairground rides and food.

Colchester Blues and Rock in the Garden

Enjoy some great music and food at this time-honoured festival that’s been bringing blues and rock to Colchester for over 20 years. Student tickets are just £10 and all money raised goes to charity.

Clacton beach

Clacton-on-Sea is just 45 minutes from Colchester, making it a great place to visit for a day trip to the beach. This charming seaside town also has a pier with fun attractions including rides, bowling and golf.

Southend beach

The beautiful Southend beach, which makes up part of Essex’s 560km coastline, is just a short walk from the University of Essex’s Southend campus.

Green Island Gardens

This 20-acre private garden near Colchester is the perfect place to spend an idyllic afternoon surrounded by greenery. It features a Japanese garden and an array of unusual trees and shrubs.

Dedham Vale

Escape for some peace and tranquility to this quaint, old-fashioned village. Take a stroll or rowboat ride down the river as you admire the scenery on a sunny day.

Students with smiling faces having a walk in green grass field