Things To Do

Walks In Colchester: Exploring Colchester With Questo Tours

If you’re looking for walks in Colchester, here’s something that’s a little different! I recently discovered Questo. This is an app full of self guided walking tours in various cities and locations all around the world. It’s similar to an escape room, in the sense that it’s timed and you have to solve riddles, but it mixes fiction stories with real life facts and locations. Without giving too much away, here’s a look at this Questo self guided Colchester walking tour!

Disclosure: I completed the game for free while it was in beta testing mode. I did however pay for my first Questo game in Malta, so it was an app that I have used previously, and will most likely use more on my travels!

Walks In Colchester

Questo App

First you will need to create a Questo profile with an email address and password. As mentioned, while the games are in beta testing mode, they are free to play. Or you purchase gems to unlock the walks. Most walks seem to be around 50 gems, which is £4.99. (I paid for my Malta tour via a Get Your Guide trip).

It’s quite cool, because the more you play, it adds up the totals of how far you’ve walked, what cities and countries you have completed quests in and your total points. You can also get free gems for referring friends etc.

Questo App

Historic Colchester: The Roman Visitor

There are a couple of Colchester games currently on the app. I played ‘Historic Colchester: The Roman Visitor‘. This is the game blurb listed on the app:

“This game takes players through some of Colchester’s most important Roman landmarks. You play the part of a visiting diplomat, helping the local governor solve a plot for his own murder. The challenges are designed to be easy, so children and adults can both play along. If you want to learn a bit more about Roman Colchester, this is the perfect way to do it” – blurb of the game from the Questo app

The games gives you the start and end locations (which work alongside the maps app), how long it approximately takes to complete, how far the walk is and how many places you stop at.

For this walk in Colchester it lists the following:

🗺Start location: Butt Road & End location: Castle Park

📍10 stops

🚶🏻‍♀️3.5km

🕚Approximately 80 minutes

Once you complete the game, it shows you your stats and this was fairly accurate. It took us 67 minutes to solve the clues, but the games was active for 86 minutes (there are points where you are able to pause the game and the game clock stops). And we walked a total of 4km…we got a bit confused for 2 of the locations which may be why we walked .5km more!

Colchester Castle with crown sculpture
Colchester Castle

There is a car park at Butt Road, but then you’d have to walk back once the game is finished and it is a little further away from the centre. I tend to park in the St Mary’s multi-storey car park when I visit Colchester. It’s more convenient for me and it was closer to the shops, as we did a bit a shopping after the walk!

The Walk/Game Play

The app gives you written directions on where to go without giving you the exactly location. It then displays part of a story. To get the next part of the story, you have to solve a challenge by searching for the answer, either by looking at your surroundings or by reading information boards.

I am guilty of often walking right past information boards, so the Questo walks are a great way to actually stop and really look at your surroundings! Colchester is actually very good for having signs telling you about the different historical locations in the city.

Once you complete a challenge, the game pauses and shares a real life ‘did you know’ fact about the location.

Walks in Colchester Questo game
Questo App

I have been to Colchester many times, but the walk took me to several places that I haven’t been to before, so that was interesting to discover! One place was closed the day I visited (open Tuesday to Friday between 11am until 3pm, entrance £3), however we were able to complete the challenge by looking through the fence! I would be interested in returning and checking it out properly though!

Colchester Roman Circus

One of the challenges did require going IN to a particular location. It is open Monday to Sunday from 10am until 5pm and is free to enter (the also have toilets, so this is a good time to use them if you need too!). This is something to keep in mind if you plan on doing it outside of the opening hours. You can of course guess or you can use clues, however this is deducted from the challenge score!

Colchester firstsite art gallery

Other Questo Games

The creator of ‘Historic Colchester: The Roman Visitor’ also has a second Essex walk, ‘West Mersea Highlights Exploration Tour‘. This tour starts and finishes in West Mersea High Street. So if you were looking for something to do when visiting West Mersea beach, this could be an option!

There are also a couple of other Questo walks in Colchester if you were after more things to do in Colchester!

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