Colchester is an historic market town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in the county of Essex.
At the time of the census in 2011, it had a population of 121,859, marking a considerable rise from the previous census and with considerable development since 2001 and ongoing building plans; it has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the oldest recorded Roman town in Britain, Colchester is claimed to be the oldest town in Britain. It was for a time the capital of Roman Britain, and is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network.
Colchester is some 50 miles (80 km) northeast of London and is connected to the capital by the A12 road and its railway station which is on the Great Eastern Main Line. It is seen as a popular town for commuters, and is less than 30 miles (48 km) away from Stansted Airport and 20 miles (32 km) from the passenger ferry port of Harwich.
Colchester is home to Colchester Castle and Colchester United Football Club. It has a Conservative Member of Parliament, Will Quince, who was elected in the 2015 General Election. The correct demonym is Colcestrian. The River Colne runs through the town.