Winter break off campus

With Christmas fast approaching you might not have much money to spend on going out. So, following on from the post about things to do on campus, here are 5 free things to do off campus during the winter break.

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Colchester

Winter Wonderland – All throughout December, 10AM-9m.

In Castle Park there is a Hyde Park style Winter Wonderland with fairground rides, ice skating and stalls selling hot drinks and gifts. I personally think it’s best to go in the evening and it’s great to get you in the Christmas spirit!

From the University of Essex take the number 62 bus towards town and get off at the top of East Hill (20 minutes). Castle Park is on your left and Winter Wonderland is all around the castle.

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The Minories Christmas shop – Until 24th December, 10AM-5PM.

The Minories is an art gallery that showcases the work of local artists and designers. Both emerging and established artists from the region have created a wealth of exciting and affordable items especially for the Minories Christmas Shop. An amazing place to go if you want to buy unique presents and support local artists.

From the University of Essex take the number 62 bus towards town and get off at the top of East Hill (20 minutes). The Minories is immediately on your left.

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Christmas Fair – Saturday 19th December, 10AM-3PM.

If you’re looking for beautiful art, intricate crafts and a cafe to help warm up in then look no further. This Christmas fair is at Colchester Arts Centre, which is a converted church and my favourite venue in the whole of Colchester.

From the University of Essex take the number 62 bus towards town and get off outside the Odeon (23 minutes). Walk down the small passageway to the left of Hudson and Colchester Arts Centre is immediately in front of you after around 200ft.

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Southend

Farmers market – Saturday 19th December, 9AM-Noon.

Products from farmers and producers within the local area; including vegetables, meat, cheese, cakes, chutneys and sauces. Great for Christmas presents or for treating yourself!

Technically this event is in Leigh-on-Sea. From The Forum walk to the Victoria Station Interchange (5 minutes). Take the number 5 bus towards Basildon and get off outside Leigh Church (19 minutes/13 stops). Walk straight up Elm Road and Leigh-on-Sea Town Council will be on your left (3 minutes).

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Christmas concert – Sunday 20th December, 2pm – 3pm.

The annual Christmas concert in Southend. Join the Southend Band for an hour of festive music and audience carols at the bandstand in Priory Park. A lovely afternoon for getting festive and feeling like part of the community.

From The Forum walk to Whitegate Road, Stop VS (3 minutes). Take the number 9 bus towards Rayleigh, get off at Cuckoo Corner North (12 minutes/7 stops). From here you should be able to see Priory Park, walk to the bandstand (4 minutes).

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I hope you have a lovely winter break wherever you choose to spend it!

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