Visit Jumbo – Guided Tours

Would you like to see inside Jumbo? Would you like to see Colchester from the viewpoint of a peregrine falcon? For a limited time, North Essex Heritage is offering tours of Jumbo, so grab the chance to climb the 157 steps to the water tank and the cupola at the very top!

Proceeds from the ticket sales are supporting efforts to restore the water tower so that everyone can enjoy this Victorian icon in the heart of Colchester.


Jumbo is a Victorian building that has been out of use for 40 years. It is currently being restored but it should be treated as a building site and appropriate care taken. There is limited access into the building, a single steep spiral staircase.

You are individually responsible for your own safety. Please note that Colchester Jumbo Limited, as the owner of Jumbo, and Colchester and North East Essex Building Preservation Trust, as the Lessee, together with the Trustees and any supporting volunteers, cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage to person or property as a result of your presence at Jumbo, or any aspect of your visit to it, including in particular as a result of any slips or falls while climbing or descending the stairs.

You must abide by any rules or directions issued by the organisers.

1. Children under 8 years of age will not be permitted access to the tower.

2. All children 18 and under must always be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

3. Please respect Jumbo and do not deface or remove any part of the structure or items located within it.

4. The building has 157 metal steps to the cupola at the very top. They form a spiral staircase. All visitors climb Jumbo at their own risk and must be confident that they can manage the stairs up and down. Care needs to be taken at all times. A small number of visitors have felt claustrophobic and disliked the sensation of height.

5. The building is undeveloped and, although it has been cleaned, it is dusty. You should wash your hands after visiting. If there has been rain before your visit some areas of the staircase and the tank may be wet andor slippery.

6. Appropriate clothing and shoes must be worn; no flip flops, high heels or loose clothing. There is no heating in the building so dress to suit the weather.

7. Between February and August, the nesting and fledging period for the peregrine falcons, visitors are not allowed onto the ‘engineers’ floor’. It is possible to look through the gate into the room but loud noises should be avoided.

8. Only 5 visitors at a time can go up to the cupola but we will ensure everyone in a party gets the opportunity. Note there is a rail protected by an orange plastic barrier fence where caution needs to be exercised.

9. When descending, tall visitors will need to mind their heads in a couple of spots. During the ascentdescent mobile phones should be put away to enable hands to be free.

10. No smoking or vaping is allowed.

By accepting this disclaimer you also confirm that you know of no health reason as to why you should not be able to climb the stairs to the upper areas of Jumbo and descend safely.
Nothing in this disclaimer shall limit or exclude the Trust’s liability for death or personal injury arising from the Trust’s negligence. Thank you for your cooperation.