Supermarkets across the country are preparing for the countdown to Christmas - including stores here in Colchester.

With the emergence of the Omicron variant and social distancing set to become that much harder, it's understandable that shoppers might be feeling a little anxious about their festive food shop this year.

We have rounded up the quiet times for you to go to the major supermarkets to give you peace of mind and avoid the queues.

Using Google visiting data, customers can see the quietest times to shop throughout the week.

Here is a list of the major supermarkets in Colchester and when it is best to visit them.

Aldi 

Gazette: Aldi logo (PA)Aldi logo (PA)

Magdalen Street

Where: Magdalen Street, Colchester CO1 2FJ

Quietest hours: 8am to 9pm and 8pm to 9pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 10am to 11am and 3pm to 4pm (Sunday)

Busiest hours: 4pm to 6pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 1pm to 2pm (Sunday)

Colne View Retail Park

Where: Colne View Retail Park, Cowdray Ave, Colchester CO1 1YN

Quietest hours: 8am to 9pm and 8pm to 9pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 10am to 11am and 3pm to 4pm (Sunday)

Busiest hours: 12pm to 1pm (Weekdays, Saturday and Sunday)

Asda

Turner Rise

Where: Turner Rise, Colchester CO4 5TU

Quietest hours: 5am to 7am and 10pm to 11pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 10am to 11am and 3pm to 4pm (Sunday)

Busiest hours: 11am to 1pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 1pm to 3pm (Sunday)

Lidl

Gazette: Lidl have a couple of stores in Colchester (PA)Lidl have a couple of stores in Colchester (PA)

Abbot's Road

Where: Abbot's Rd, Colchester CO2 8BG

Quietest hours: 8am to 9pm and 9pm to 10pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 10am to 11am and 3pm to 4pm (Sunday)

Busiest hours: 3pm to 5pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 11am to 12pm (Sunday)

Gosbecks Road

Where: Gosbecks Rd, Colchester CO2 9JT

Quietest hours: 8am to 9pm and 9pm to 10pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 10am to 11am and 3pm to 4pm (Sunday)

Busiest hours: 3pm to 5pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 11am to 12pm (Sunday)

Sainsbury's 

Priory Walk

Where: 11-14 Priory Walk, Colchester CO1 1LG

Quietest hours: 7am to 9am (Weekdays and Saturday), 10am to 11am (Sunday)

Busiest hours: 11am to 1pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 1pm to 3pm (Sunday)

Western Approach

Where: 1 Western Approach, Colchester CO3 8AA

Quietest hours: 6am to 8am and 9pm to 10pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 10am to 11am (Sunday)

Busiest hours: 11am to 1pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 11am to 2pm (Sunday)

Tesco

Greenstead Road

Where: Greenstead Rd, Colchester CO1 2TE

Quietest hours: 6am to 8am and 11pm to 12am (Weekdays and Saturday), 10am to 11am (Sunday)

Busiest hours: 11am to 1pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 12pm to 2pm (Sunday)

Highwoods Square

Where: Highwoods Square, Highwoods, Colchester CO4 9ED

Quietest hours: 6am to 8am and 11pm to 12am (Weekdays and Saturday), 10am to 11am (Sunday)

Busiest hours: 12pm to 2pm (Weekdays and Saturday), 11am to 1pm (Sunday)