Stanway in Colchester

Things To Do

Welcome to this new page aimed at helping you to keep yourself entertained or acquire a new skill during lockdown.

This is a sample of the free entertainment and educational resources available on the internet. Click on a link to find out more, we will be adding to the list as time goes on:

  • Love Lowry - Colouring-in sheets based on some of the most famous paintings by LS Lowry, download and get creative!
  • Borrowbox and RB Digital apps give access to free e-books, e-audio books, e-magazies and e-comics from Essex libraries, use your library card to log in.
  • Camulos - discover some of the history and attractions of the town of Colchester.
  • Chatterpack - lists and has links to many free, online, boredom-busting resources for those staying at home.
  • Chelsea Flower show - For the duration of the show, between May 18 and 23, the RHS website will host a range of free content from experts in the gardening world.
  • Cressing Temple - Take a virtual tour & get some seasonal gardening tips from their Head Gardener.
  • Cribbage Pro - Fancy playing cribbage? Get the app, available for most devices.
  • Essex University Inaugural Lectures - This year Essex University has launched a series of Professorial Inaugural Lectures called Essex Explores, Challenging ideas, difficult questions, complex answers. All the lectures are via Zoom and will take place every Wednesday evening at 7pm with an opportunity to ask questions at the end. Stanway & Colchester U3A members are invited to attend, pre-registration is required for each lecture. Click the link for further information on the programme, which continues throughout July.
  • Essex Wildlife Trust TV Channel - On Facebook so you need a Facebook account to watch. A weekly schedule includes badger and bird webcams, sessions on different species, gardening tips and more.
  • GEMS newsletter - is a free monthly newsletter created by U3A Online for any interested person in any country. Read all issues online, or subscribe to receive by email. Full of interesting articles and tips.
  • Grey Friars - exists to advance the education of the adult population in Colchester and the surrounding area.
  • London Art Studies - During lockdown the award-winning education platform is making more and more of their short and accessible art history videos available to view free of charge.
  • Mercury Theatre - Moves online with a variety of performances, masterclasses, singalongs and stories. Musical singalong every Wednesday evening at 7pm.
  • Youtube - Watch film trailers, informative talks such as TED Talks, and tutorials on many subjects, or listen to music.


If you do have time and want to learn something new that has a bit more structure yet still have the flexibility of learning at your own pace, why not take a look at the short courses offered by:

  • FutureLearn - all courses are free as long as you do not want a certificate.
  • Open Learn - from the Open University offers an amazing range of free courses from 1 to over 40 hours study.
  • U3A Online - is the worlds first virtual U3A operating exclusively online. It provides over 60 short courses for older people who enjoy learning but prefer the freedom to study where and when they choose.
  • WEA – all online courses are free to access until end of July 2020 and will link through Zoom and Canvas.

If members have any suggestions to add to the above list please get in touch with our Website Manager via the Contact button.