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5 Essential pick me ups for winter

Winter brings snowy scenes and thoughts of being wrapped up in a warm blanket or even cosy days with a tasty hot chocolate, but sometimes it’s easy to lose that motivation you had in summer.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be like that. Get motivated to face the winter and build your winter wellness defences with our winter pick-me-ups.

Defend yourself against cold lethargy

When you compare summer’s light warm mornings and winter’s cold, dark mornings it’s easy to see why we’re sometimes demotivated when we wake up. The cold will unfortunately always impact your body, slowing your blood flow and muscle strength, making you feel lethargic.

While it’s easier to hit the gym in the summer, in the winter kick off your day with something less demanding and yet still beneficial like stretching, meditating or even yoga.

If you struggling with joints, aches & pains then Holland & Barrett may be able to help. They have 100s of muscle support and joint pain supplements that will have you doing those stretches with a lot more ease.


Exercise is the perfect remedy to rid those winter blues. A 30min brisk walk a day has been shown to improve mild symptoms of depression, improve mental healthy, vitality and your social functioning.

Less binging

With winter and bad weather come an increase of our cravings for white carbs. We try boost our mood with carb and calorie heavy pizza, burgers and takeaways which should be done in moderation.

Instead of giving into the cravings and we know how difficult it is, but try switch up your diet and look for high quality carbs like parsnips, pumpkin, sweet potato. They are all a good source of fibre and natural vitamins.

More brightness into your life

In the depths of winter we have more darkness. For some, you leave home when it’s dark and don’t get to leave work until it’s dark again. Bringing a bit of brightness into your life has never been more important! Brighten your day and mood with artificial light for even half an hour. Our bodies crave the sun’s natural light and it’s important that we get light to help our bodies.

Spend time with friends

One of the biggest factors in reliving stress and improving your well-being is spending time with friends and family. According to research, having face to face time with friends during the winter rather than screen time can really banish the winter blues.

Autumn Season Edit

Is your wardrobe autumn ready? The seasons have changed and we’re heading back into our knitwear, long-sleeves and jackets wardrobes. While you may think swapping the sun for rain is a negative, it’s not all bad news! To make the transition easy for you this season,we’ve created a trends list to revamp your autumn wardrobe, with every piece in this guide available at Lion Walk Shopping Centre!

River island Black Lace Up Zip Boots – £48.00

Every wardrobe should be stocked with a quality boot as the seasons change A classic pair of black leather boots, like these by River Island, can be worn in formal and informal settings, and paired well with dark-fitted jeans and a knitted jumper.

Primark Chevron Cable Knit Jumper – £14.00

In our opinion, chunky knitwear will never go out of fashion! This season however it’s a little different – layering is in. This Primark Chevron Cable Knit Jumper will comfortably fit underneath your coat and offers style at an affordable price.

New York Yankees 47 Brand Haymaker ‘47 Cuff Knit – £17.00

The New York Yankees hat has become a signature, style accessory seen to be worn by thousands across the globe – you don’t need to follow sports to wear it! It’s a simple add-on that instantly makes your outfit stylish. This New York Yankees Hat by Lids, paired with a trench coat, hoodie and joggers is the perfect autumn outfit to turn heads, while also keeping you at optimal comfort levels.

JD Sonneti Varsity Bomber Jacket – £45.00

The prep style is still in and continues to rule every autumn, with varsity jackets leading the way. This JD Varsity jacket is a good alternative to a blazer or heavy cardigan with a little extra warming. Layered with a hoodie, you’ll be serving that old school, punk rock look this autumn.

River Island Blue Slim Fit – £36.00

These River Island blue slim fit jeans are a great alternative to skinny jeans, with a more relaxed and stretchy fit. The combinations are endless with denim jeans, mix and match to create an array of outfits this new season!

Back To School Guide 2022

Hello September – the new school year is officially upon us! It’s an exciting time for both parents and their children. In some cases, it may be the start of a new school and adjusting to new routines, or just simply returning to normality after several weeks at home.

However, preparing for a new school year can also be overwhelming, and with so much going on, it can be difficult to keep on top of everything! To make life a little easier for you, we’ve created a quick guide to help get your little ones into back-to-school mode and start preparations for the new school year.

Class is in session!

1 – Bedtime routine

If your little one’s sleep routine is out of sync since the summer holidays, the first weeks of school can often be challenging! It’s key to establish a bedtime routine as early as possible to give your children more time to adjust. Rewarding your child with things like trips to the park or meals out for the early wake-ups also goes a long way in establishing a good sleep routine.

2 – Uniform… Check!

If you haven’t already bought your kid’s uniforms for the new school year, it’s not too late. You can still find plain shirts, t-shirts, trousers and skirts in places like Primark for an affordable price. But, it’s important to make sure their uniform fits, everything is labelled – to avoid those P.E. changing room mishaps – and check their school shoes are comfy. A great place to purchase your children’s school shoes is JD at Lion Walk, with their products coming in all shapes and sizes.

3 – “Muuuum! I can’t find my pencils!”

A new school year also means new school supplies luckily. Let your child choose their new pens, markers, notebooks and other stationary items. Get creative with your child and personalise those supplies – help them turn a plain notebook or binder into their own personal work of art! If you’re on the hunt for supplies, WHSmith has a wide range of school stationery supplies including notepads, exercise books, pens, pencils, planners, lunchboxes and much more!

Hopefully, you’ve found some relief in the guide. Especially now that you know you can visit Lion Walk Shopping Centre to get all your back to school supplies.

Behind Lion Walk Shopping Centre lies a rich history

Red Lion Yard, the small shopping district leading from the high street to Lion Walk shopping centre, has a very rich history. But as shoppers, we often don’t take a moment to appreciate the history of the things around us.

Built in 1481 by the first Duke of Norfolk, Red Lion Hotel was the Duke’s town-house in Colchester. The land behind the building also belonged to the duke, then was later passed to the Red Lion Inn, however Red lion Yard had always acted as a public carriageway to Lion Walk. The street crossed Culver Street and extended south to the junction with Eld Lane. First mentioned in 1748, Lion Walk was originally called Cat Lane. Since 1357, it has been referred to as Lion Walk.

Between 1971 and 1974, excavations were conducted on the site of the Lion Walk shopping centre. A huge amount of archaeological evidence was recorded, including an early Roman fortress and its outer defences, post-Roman buildings and included a 12th century stone house. The discoveries didn’t stop there; two mosaic floors from the Roman era were among the finds, one of which depicted a walking lion.

When the Lion Walk shopping centre was redesigned, they replicated the ‘walking lion’ mosaic and installed this on the wall near the Lion Walk church spire. Volunteers from the Trust and children from the local school worked together to recreate the design.

There is a lot of history in Colchester, and it’s always nice to know that your hometown played a part in remarkable archaeological finds.

Christmas Light Switch On 2022

Christmas in Lion Walk Shopping Centre

Christmas 2022 is coming to Lion Walk Shopping Centre and it’s set to be the most magical yet.


Celebrations start on the 16th of November

Throughout the Christmas season, Colchester will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland and similar to last year’s Light Switch On, this year is going to be spectacular! The Christmas 2022 Light Switch On event will take place on November 16 and will officially launch Colchester into a season of festivities.

We don’t want you to miss out on the event, so we’ve created a helpful schedule for the event, so you know what’s happening, where and when.

Late Night Shopping

A majority of retailers in the city centre will also be welcoming shoppers up until 9pm, so shoppers can browse and find all their festive gifts.

Must-do experiences

Visit Santa’s Grotto







Prior to the main stage appearance, Santa’s Grotto will launch at Lion Walk Courtyard from 3pm until 6pm and will run every day until Christmas. There you can see Santa, receive a gift and on some days meet his elves. There will be a £10 admission fee to visit Santa and have the full Christmas experience, including having pictures with Santa.



Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday  – 15:30 pm – 18:30 pm

Wednesday – 15:30 pm – 19:30 pm

Saturday – 10:00 am – 14:00 pm

Sunday – 10:00 am – 16:00 pm


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday  – 15:30 pm – 18:30 pm

Wednesday – 15:30 pm – 19:30 pm

Saturday – 10:00 am – 14:00 pm

Sunday – 10:00 am – 16:00 pm


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 10:00 am – 14:00 pm

Wednesday – 10:00 am  – 15:00 pm

Saturday – 10:00 am – 14:00 pm

Sunday – 10:00 am – 16:00 pm

Live music performances






From 6pm onwards at the Lion Walk Main stage, you can enjoy a special appearance from Father Christmas, Elsa, Anne & Olaf from Frozen. The live entertainment doesn’t stop there, enjoy the music from the local band Cushti and the great DJ skills of Darryl Wright and friends from Actual Radio.

The Après Party

The Après Party, a ski themed party including Chalet Bar & Food will be opening at 9pm. With live music, drinks and a festive atmosphere for all to enjoy. The evening entertainment will continue everyday until Christmas.

Find out more about the Après Party and see the main stage line up for the 16th of November at ColchesterChrismasParty


Firework Display and Light Switch On

The Christmas Celebrations will then begin at 4pm with a light parade which will march from the Mercury Theatre and through the city centre, before concluding at Firstsite around 6pm.

At 7:30pm we will all marvel at the stunning fireworks display and Light Switch On at the main stage area. This will be the hallmark event everyone has been looking forward to and will be an amazing display everyone should attend.

Free Kids Workshop this October Half Term at Lion Walk Shopping Centre

Let your kids unleash their creativity this October with a Tom Knight-inspired kids crafts workshop provided by ArtEatEvents. Join the team on the 28th & 29th of October for a fun-packed day creating unique crafts at Lion Walk Shopping Centre.

The workshop is inspired by local artist and children’s book illustrator, Tom Knight, who created the piece entitled “Colchester”, which draws inspiration from the place itself and the people and stories of the city’s past and present. The piece can be found in Lion Walk Shopping Centre’s ceiling space, by the way leading to Red Lion Yard. This will also be the meeting point for our crafts workshop on both days, the mural tunnel at the entrance to Red Lion Yard.

All materials will be provided and children will be able to take their created crafts home with them. Recommended for ages 3-11 years, we encourage parents to stay and supervise their child at all times. You’ll find us in the mural tunnel at the entrance to Red Lion Yard.

Honey! Where’s my Super Suit?

It’s time to find your super suit and join your heroes at this year’s Invasion Colchester!

Celebrating its 10th anniversary on Saturday 3rd September, Invasion Colchester is bigger and better than ever before. In collaboration with some amazing supporters, the event will be raising money for St Helena Hospice, Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity and Mind (Mid & North East Essex).

Expect to see your favourite characters, props and cars from TV and film including, Ghostbusters, Star Wars, Doctor Who and Disney Princesses. There’ll also be a chance to get involved in some exciting competitions with a great selection of prizes at the event.

Invasion Colchester is always keen to promote and showcase local talented musicians, and this year’s music line-up is shaping up to be an entertaining one. You’ll hear live performances from a mix of musical talent including Stu Skinner, Wooden Maiden, Trevor Johnson-Thurston, Fraser Morgan and DJ Fettdog playing throughout the day.


Several superheroes will be attending and there will an opportunity for your children to win cool prizes, just by dressing up as their favourite characters from TV, film or comic books. The fancy dress competition will be open to anyone under the age of 14 and there will be three different age category prizes for 4 and under, 5-8 and 9+. All categories will have first, second and third place prizes. The competition will take place in Culver Square Shopping Centre and will be a great opportunity for your kids to win some great prizes.

If you’re too old to participate in the fancy dress contest, prizes can still be won! You’ll be able to purchase tickets for the great Invasion Colchester 2022 prize draw! The prize draw will include the chance to win some of the following: a £200 gift card for Culver Square Shopping Centre, 2x £100 gift card for Lion Walk Shopping Centre, 2x Mercury theatre tickets and so much more. Click here to view the full list of prizes available(hyperlink). Physical tickets will also be available from ACE Comics in Colchester prior to the event, and from volunteers on the day. Funds raised will be donated to Mind(Mid & North East Essex). The draw will take place on Friday, 23 September 2022 at ACE Comics. Winning ticket numbers will be published on the website after the draw.

But that’s not all, Invasion Colchester has teamed up with Other Monkey Brewing to craft a special bear for Invasion Colchester 2022! The beer will be available on tap at the Other Monkey Brewery in the Three Wise Monkeys Colchester bar. To really extend the fun Invasion Colchester will also be offering Jedi training; It’s not every day you get the chance to learn the ways of the Jedi. You and your family will get the chance to learn how to wield and use the ultimate weapon: the lightsaber.

This year’s Invasion Colchester promises to be an event filled with music, competitions, costumes, fun, and games for the entire family. We can’t wait to see there.

Lion Walk Chalet Wrapped Up

We’ve had a fantastic Christmas at the Chalet and 2022 has flown by and now, Christmas is almost here. We’re looking back at the significant events we’ve hosted here in Lion Walk and still have plans to ensure your Christmas 2022 starts bigger than ever before the 24th December closing party.

1st December – Comedy Special

We enjoyed the live performances from exceptional comedians that had us laughing out loud.

2nd December – Lianne Kayne Band

We got to enjoy the live music act from Lianne Kayne and the supporting act.

3rd December – Collective

We partied the night away with a selection of DJs playing house grooves and electronic music.

9th December – Band of Fools

The charismatic group had us clapping away with their infectious and energetic stage performance. With their unique instruments and shades of swing and jazz, we were taking on a journey.

10th December – Darryl Wright

Dj Darryl took us on an adventure with his live set and kept the vibe going all night.

15th December – Drag Bingo

Hosted by the fabulous Shar Cooterie, it was a funny, unique experience that made for a fantastic night.

16th December – Laura Wyatt

We were joined by Jupiter Ray lead singer Laura Wyatt and enjoyed her Christmas Jazz set.

17th December – Louda

We enjoyed the performance of Louda, a local name in the House scene.

22nd December – Chalet Aid

All the musicians and performers will be coming together for one special evening of Christmas covers and live entertainment in support of homelessness.

23rd December – Soul Palm

Enjoy the smooth soul sounds of the newly formed band, Soul Palm. Playing a unique style of music, it is a set not to miss.

24th December – Closing Party

For the final event of the Apres Party and Chalet, our very own Apres DJ will be performing a set with a range of sounds for everyone. Experience the amazing sounds of our resident DJs, great music, and a buzzing atmosphere as you start your Christmas with a bang.

Lion Walk Christmas Gift Guide

With Christmas around the corner, we hope you’ve started your Christmas shopping already. But we also do know how busy the time can be, the rushing around and the hours spent browsing online for the perfect gift. That’s why we’ve created a helpful gift guide for 2022, so you can take slow down and enjoy the festive season properly. We also think Christmas should be a time for family, happiness and joy, but it can also put a huge dent in the bank balance. That’s why our guide is budget friendly and features items all under £30.

Our 2022 gift guide features stores you can find in Lion Walk Shopping Centre and can help steer you in the right direction this Christmas.

Calvin Klein Eternity for Women Eau de Parfum 30ml – Boots – £30.40(exception)

A great gift for her, Calvin Klein’s tribute to enduring romance is a modern floral perfume inspired by a diamond wedding band inscribed with the word ETERNITY. The perfume is a signature scent of an all-out romantic and can be used during both day and night.

As a symbol of enduring affection, the bottle’s silver accents are alluring, while the white and silver box symbolises purity of heart.

Oversized Quilted Shacket – Primark – £27.00

The shacket that will instantly transform his look this Christmas. Designed to upgrade your style and keep you warm this winter. With two large front pockets and stylish buttons to really stand out in the crowd.


Twister Game – WHSmith – £19.99

We’ve had enough arguments thanks to Monopoly, it’s time to put it away and add a twist of fun this Christmas. The classic game ties players up in a knot, one person gives the spinner a whirl and the other players have to keep their hands and feet on the mat, on the right dot! 

Who can do it? Left foot green – who’s got it? Players are out if their knees or elbows touch the mat or if they fall over. There can only be one winner!


Hanging Star with LED Bulb – Dear Grace Home Interiors – £6.00

Really transform a home this Christmas with an amazing festive gift! The hanging star from Dear Grace Home Interiors is simple yet elegant, transforming any home into a winter wonderland. The black metal outline star has a filament-style bulb hanging within and a clear cord connecting the battery back allowing for it to be easily hidden from view.


Puma Junior Scuff Slippers – JD – £20.00

With winter coming and days getting colder, PUMA’s Scuff Slippers are the perfect indoor shoe for those sofa days. With their super-soft fleece lining inside for cosy warmth and easy slip-on design, they provide the ultimate comfort for your little ones. PUMA has created the slippers with a tough rubber outsole so you can step outside, too.

SANTA’S GROTTO Frequently Asked Questions



Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday  – 15:00 pm – 18:00 pm

Wednesday – 15:00 pm – 19:00 pm

Saturday – 10:00 am – 18:00 pm

Sunday – 10:00 am – 16:00 pm


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday  – 15:00 pm – 18:00 pm

Wednesday – 15:00 pm – 19:00 pm

Saturday – 10:00 am – 18:00 pm

Sunday – 10:00 am – 16:00 pm


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 10:00 am – 18:00 pm

Wednesday – 10:00 am  – 18:00 pm

Saturday – 10:00 am – 18:00 pm

Sunday – 10:00 am – 18:00 pm

What time will Santa be there?

Santa will arrive on the 16th of November at 3pm and will leave at 6pm.

How long will Santa be at Lion Walk Shopping Centre?

Santa will be at Lion Walk Shopping Centre until the 24th of December.

Where will Santa’s Grotto be?

Santa will be located in Lion Walk Shopping Centre behind River Island.

Who will be at the Grotto?

It’s going to be Santa Claus every day, and his elves occasionally will show up as well.

Can I take pictures with Santa?

Yes, please take some pictures with Santa and tag us at Lion Walk Shopping Centre.

How much will it cost to visit Santa at his Grotto?

There will be a £10 fee to have the full Santa experience and receive a small gift from him.

Do I have to book in advance?

No, you don’t have to book to see Santa. If you just want to see Santa, you can just turn up, but keep in mind there may be a line.

Things to do on the weekend with the kids in Colchester

The weekend has come around and if you’re looking for things to do with your kids, we have you covered! See our list of top things to do with your kids during the weekend in Colchester.

Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town and we’re proud of the city’s rich history. On top of that rich history, Colchester boasts unique attractions including a world-class zoo and plenty of other great things to do with your family.

We’ve compiled a short handy list with some of the great attractions you could do.

Colchester Castle Museum

Colchester Castle Museum is a deep dive back in time with 2000 years of history displayed on its walls. Besides learning about Norman invaders, your kids will get to see real Roman pottery and experience a Roman soldier’s life. Also, it’s a great chance to try on medieval costumes to get those perfect pictures!

Colchester Zoo

Wild adventures await you at Colchester Zoo. Home to over 160 species and covers 60 acres of parkland and lakes. Colchester Zoo hosts a variety of habitats and brings the animals of Africa to you. From Komodo Dragons to rhinos, zebras, and orangutans, there is so much to see, even on the wettest days, you and your family can stay warm and dry.

Your kids will love watching the various animals and participating in the daily elephant and giraffe feeds.

Plays, musicals, concerts, and plays are all available at the Mercury Theatre. This is a real gem tucked away in the heart of Colchester, and it’s great for the whole family on a weekend.

Plays are put on locally, and nationally renowned, so there’s something to entertain everybody.

Natural History Museum

Did you know mammoths and hippos used to live in Colchester? Or that there was an earthquake in Colchester in 1884? There is always something interesting and new to discover at the Natural History Museum in Colchester.

This natural history museum in the old All Saints Church building features interactive exhibits such as crawling through tunnels and peeking through the Night Visitors Window.

As well as the above, Lion Walk hosts a range of events for the entire family, and you can keep up with Lion Walk’s news and events on our social media accounts.