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With excellent transport links (London just under an hour away by train), good schools and lovely surrounding countryside, it’s no wonder Colchester is popular with commuters. It’s also Britain’s oldest recorded town, once the capital of Roman Britain, and rich in history - the Normans, for example, built Colchester Castle on the foundations of a Roman temple destroyed by Boudica in AD60. Even the town’s Charter Market (Fridays and Saturdays) has been running for 800 years. As for shopping, all the usual big brand names can be found at shopping centres such as Lion Walk and Culver Square. Although Colchester’s Food and Drink Festival is held annually at the end of June, only the popular bistro-style Lemon Tree stands out among restaurants in Colchester – big-brand chain eateries tend to dominate. But out of town, there’s the long-established Le Talbooth at Dedham, and fantastic country pubs like The Sun Inn, also in Dedham, and The Crown in Stoke By Nayland.
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