Old King Cole Country

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.

There are many stories about the meaning of this verse. One of them, which seems relevant to this page, refers to King Coel as a 3rd Century king in Britain.( Hence Colchester or Coel's castle) Different meanings are attributed to the pipe and the fiddlers (musicians or his plotting sons?). Most interpretations seem to agree theat he loved his bowl of wine.
All the attractions on this page are centred on Colchester.


Beth Chatto Gardens

The Beth Chatto gardens lie about half a mile east of the Elmstead Market near Colchester. The gardens were started in 1960 by Beth and Andrew Chatto on waste land. Woodland, water, gravel, sun and shade are all used to good effect to grow plants and to provide visitors with a pleasant morning’s stroll. The gardens are closed on Sundays.

On leaving the gardens, take the A133 into Colchester. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit into the town. At the next roundabout, there should be available car-parks near to the town station. Park, and walk north into the town centre, where you will find the Castle Museum.

Colchester Castle Museum provides a detailed picture of some 2000 years of British history. Colchester was Britain’s Roman capital at one stage, and was sacked by Boadicea, It suffered seige in the civil war. Since that time it has been a library, a gaol for witches, and finally a museum. The Castle was constructed on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius.

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Leave the museum and return to your car. Continue along the A133 to the next roundabout, then turn north on the A134. Pass under the northern by-pass. After 2 miles, you should see a brown signpost to Carters Vineyard, off to your right. Follow the signs to the vineyard entrance.

Carters Vineyard

Carters was founded by Mary Mudd, and is now owned by the Burlings. It makes use of alternative sources both of water and electricity, as it is not connected to the mains.The vineyard used to market King Cole red wine, named after the famous local king.
Dedham Vale Website

Activities include:

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