Category: News

Colchester Market is coming to Lion Walk!

Starting on 19 October, Colchester Charter Market will begin a trial of hosting its Saturday market in Lion Walk, Colchester.

A dozen stalls will take up the first opportunity to trial the new location this weekend, which will cover the area around Culver Street East and will operate from 9am to 5pm.

Friday’s market will continue to operate in the High Street as usual.

The decision to trial alternative town centre locations for the Saturday market is part of a number of changes which have been agreed to enhance the market. Other agreed changes to the Charter Market include:

  • Allowing stall holders to use their own stalls providing they meet appropriate safety requirements.
  • Reducing the Colchester High Street Market Pitch to £25 per pitch and offering special offers for pitches when relevant.
  • Consulting on the introduction of an additional Market Day on Wednesdays in the future

To find out more about Colchester Market, visit, like its Facebook or follow its Twitter and Instagram accounts: @colchmarket

Colchester Morris Men

This Saturday outside River Island, come and watch Colchester Morris Mens annual performance!

From 12:30pm, the Morris Men will wow the crowds with their traditional dance routine. Morris dancing is the name given to the English ritual dance, that originally started in the Cotswold’s.



A recent survey carried out at Lion Walk Shopping Centre & Red Lion Yard in Colchester town centre reveals that 23% of shoppers would like to spend Valentine’s Day with a celebrity. Stars on shoppers wish lists included Bradley Cooper, Kylie Minogue, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kelly Brook. But, it would seem that on the whole Colchester people are very much in love – with an overwhelming majority (nearly 70%) saying that the person they would most like to spend Valentine’s Day with is their current partner.


Nearly 80% of people taking part in the fun street poll – which was carried out in the shopping centre over the two weekends before Valentine’s Day – said they were planning to buy someone a Valentine’s gift, while a surprising 20% had other plans.


Shoppers were also asked what gift they would like to receive on Valentine’s Day. Most wished for traditional Valentine’s gifts such as jewellery (15%) followed by perfume (9%), flowers (8%) and chocolates (7.5%). Nearly 10% shoppers were hoping for something a little more adventurous – such as a spa day or even a holiday.


Louise Jensen Deputy Centre Manager commented:

“We thought it would be fun to find out who shoppers wanted to spend Valentine’s Day with. To be honest, we expected more people to dream of spending it with someone famous. I think it’s quite romantic that so many shoppers in Colchester would rather be with their real partner on Valentine’s Day than with anyone else in the world!

“The run up to Valentine’s Day is always very busy in Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard, with shoppers looking to find that perfect gift for the one they love. This year promises to be even bigger as the big day falls on a Saturday. With our great mix of big brand stores in Lion Walk and the quirky independents in Red Lion Yard, there’s something here just right for every taste and pocket. To make the day extra special, shoppers can also stop off at the East Coast Diner for Valentine’s cocktails before they go home or even stay out and enjoy a romantic Valentine’s dinner at the Red Lion Hotel.”


A giraffe statue commissioned as a legacy to Colchester Zoo’s Stand Tall For Giraffes campaign will soon be settling into its new home at Lion Walk Shopping Centre.

The two-metre tall giraffe, which was designed by local school girl Lauren Connell from St Luke’s Primary in Tiptree, will be installed in early June. It follows a large-scale public art event last year (2013) that saw the zoo install more than 100 colourful giraffe statues across the county as part of its 50th birthday celebrations.

John Fleming, Lion Walk centre manager, said: “Lion Walk was lucky enough to host one of the hugely popular Stand Tall For Giraffes statues last year and we didn’t hesitate when the zoo asked if we could find a permanent home for the legacy statue. We’re looking forward to unveiling our new arrival in all her glory next month.”

The legacy statue will be called Zoe and feature a creative design reflecting several animal species supported by Colchester Zoo, including Amur Tigers and Leopards. Visitors will be able to watch local artist Jenny Leonard bringing the design to life at the zoo on Saturday 24 May and Sunday 25 May.

Alex Downing, Development Director at Colchester Zoo, said: “People have told us how much they miss the colourful Stand Tall For Giraffes statues so we’re pleased to be celebrating the campaign’s legacy with a more permanent version. As the sponsor of our lion enclosure and great supporter of the zoo as a whole, Lion Walk seemed the natural choice of location.”

The Stand Tall For Giraffes campaign raised funds and awareness for Colchester Zoo’s charity, Action for the Wild. For more information, visit

Colchester’s Annual Chilli Challenge

Join us for the 4th Annual Colchester Chilli Challenge and first Vegan-friendly How Hot Can You go Competition!

Take on reigning champion Matt Wilson in knock out rounds featuring Trinidadian Moruga Chilli Mash (2.2 million SHU) by Skipper’s Hot Pepper Sauce and the super-loaded Nacho by Mex Appeal All in a brand new location with our partners Lion Walk Shopping Centre in the square near River Island

Competition begins at 11:00, registration opens at 10:00.
Up to 12 Competitors can enter, £10 per entry on the day, FREE exclusive Colchester Chilli Challenge T-Shirt by Cult Zeros and prizes for winners including a celebration chilli hamper!

1) Competitors must be over 18 and take part at their own risk.
2) All foods prepared for the event are Vegan-friendly, and freshly-prepared.
3) It is the competitors responsibility to declare any food allergies such as nut or gluten (there may be small traces of both).

Are you joining us? Click here.

Colchester’s Park & Ride is now open

Colchester’s long-awaited Park & Ride is now open – located just off Junction 28 of the A12.

  • Buses do a loop of the town before heading back
  • Service runs Monday to Saturday
  • Adult return ticket £2, children (aged between 5 and 15 years inclusive) – daily £1, weekly £5, monthly £20
  • Children under 5 years old travel for free at all times
  • Discounted weekly and monthly tickets available
  • Buses depart from Park & Ride from 7am, the last bus to the Park & Ride leaves just before 7pm
  • Buses run every 15 minutes (more often at peak times)

For more information go to: or go to the Essex County Council’s website


White Dirt, a new edgy independent fashion boutique offering the best of fashion and creativity under one roof, is due to open soon in the recently refurbished Red Lion Yard in the heart of Colchester. The shop is currently being fitted out and it is hoped that the doors will open over the weekend (18 – 19 October).

The 305 sq ft store brings a strong line-up of fashion brands, many of which are completely new to Colchester, including Cheap Monday, Illustrated People, Serge DeNîmes and House of Sunny. A truly unique interior to the store fuses weathered wooden floors, exposed brickwork and a bare concrete ceiling with sleek, polished features. The whole vision behind the White Dirt concept, whether it is the brands stocked, the music played in store or the interior, is to merge different styles and materials, to make them work together.

White Dirt was founded by Loïs Mills and Will Randlesome, who met while studying at Nottingham Trent University in 2010. Randlesome, originally from Colchester, comes from a construction background, with a degree in quantity surveying and commercial construction management and Mills has a fashion background, with a degree in fashion, communication and promotion. The pair have years of experience in their specialist fields, but have dreamt of opening their own business since University. This is the couple’s first store but they plan to open more stores in London and the South East within the next five years.

Mills said: “We are extremely excited about opening our first store and pursuing our dream of running our own business. To open in Red Lion Yard was the perfect option for us, as we truly love the boutique feel the Yard offers – quite unlike any other part of Colchester. We feel that White Dirt’s quirky interior and individual offer fits perfectly with the interesting mixture of independent retailers Red Lion Yard has attracted since its recent refurbishment.”

Colchester-based Nicholas Percival is letting agent for the available units at Red Lion Yard.

Elf Workshop

Throughout the Saturdays of December leading up to Christmas (including an extra Sunday on the 23rd), Lion Walk held a special Elf Workshop, allowing children visiting the centre to make their own toys to take home. The Elf Workshop also gave the children an opportunity to meet Santa and had an Elf Yourself area, helping the children to dress up as elves with face paints and hats!

The workshop was exciting for all and a great way to celebrate the festive period, thank you to everyone who visited!


How scary can you be? We would like to find out.

To win some spooktacular prizes from our retailers make sure you enter our scary selfie Halloween competition by following a few easy steps:


1.  Get yourself down to Red Lion Yard

2. Take a selfie, the scarier the better (feel free to dress up), in front of the haunted house Halloween backdrop that you find displayed in one of the shop windows in Red Lion Yard.

3.  Like the Lion Walk Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter

4.  Post your selfie on Lion Walk’s Facebook and/or Twitter page using #LionWalkSpook

5. Best/most scary picture wins (as judged by our resident ghouls)

Competition runs between 25 Oct – 2 Nov

1st prize: £50 GAME gift voucher

10 runners-up: 10 x £10 gift vouchers from Boots, Costa Coffee, New Look, River Island, The Body Shop, The Perfume Shop, TopMan, TopShop, Thorntons, WHSmith top list . check domain worth .


The Enterprise in Education Partnership celebrated the success of its Colchester Into Work Programme yesterday (16 December) by inviting sponsors to attend the Celebration of Achievements Ceremony at Colchester Castle.


The eight-week programme, which sets out to help job seekers to build confidence and necessary skills to move closer to employment, was initially launched in October 2014. On this occasion the initiative aimed to provide support for single mothers. The Enterprise in Education team has worked in close collaboration with local businesses and organisations, including Lion Walk, Culver Square, Colchester Borough Council, Williams & Griffin and Debenhams, which have all contributed to the successful outcome of the initiative. The team behind the Colchester Into Work programme operates from offices in Red Lion Yard next to Lion Walk shopping centre where several of the activities take place.


A total of 18 participants of the Colchester Into Work Programme have successfully completed either a work placement at a retail store in the town or undertaken voluntary work in the community as well as taking part in weekly training to improve IT skills, interview and CV writing techniques and develop team building skills.

Louise Jensen Deputy Centre Manager at Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard, said: “We are very pleased with the opportunity to be involved with the Colchester Into Work Programme and to give young people a chance to develop those essential skills necessary to have when working in a retail environment. The programme has really been mutually beneficial to jobseekers and businesses alike and it’s encouraging to hear that several young people have found a job as a result of the programme.”

Jenny Healy from The Enterprise in Education Partnership said: “This bespoke employability programme has been a huge success due to a combination of positive factors: the willing participants, the motivational guest speakers, and the incredible support from local Business Partners and large Corporates, which have combined to re-energise, re-focus and re-engage these single parents. It has been our privilege to work with such inspiring women who are ready to return to the work force better prepared and with a sense of self-worth and great confidence.”



Essex Wildlife Trust

Would you like to help your local wildlife and improve your sustainability? Join Essex Wildlife Trust on Tuesday 28th May, from 10am – 3pm to find out more about their recycling schemes, and discover fascinating wildlife treasures from all over!

They are also seeking your help by donating various recycling friendly products (see poster) and offering face painting!


The Colchester Town Centre Team, a group of Colchester town centre businesses including Lion Walk, private organisations and public bodies, has organised an exhibition to promote the regeneration and renaissance that is taking place in the town centre and is inviting feedback from the public about the evolution of the town centre now and in the future. 

The Town Centre First exhibition opens to the public at 10am on Saturday, 11July and is open every day from 10am to 4pm until Sunday 26 July.

Well known for being the UK’s oldest recorded town, in 2015 Colchester is also one of the fastest growing areas in the country.  Around £3.5 billion is currently being invested in the borough, of which more than £500 million is being spent in the town centre on projects as diverse as free WiFi and gaining a Purple Flag quality mark for the town as a place to go out in the evening to major development schemes such as the Williams & Griffin redevelopment and the St Botolph’s Quarter.

The exhibition aims to show what an exciting and important time this is for Colchester, looking at what’s happened in the last few years and what’s in the pipeline.

Backed by Williams & Griffin, Colchester’s two shopping centres (Culver Square and Lion Walk) plus independent retailers as well as Colchester Council, the exhibition is being held in the old Job Centre at 138 High Street, Colchester.

Commenting on the exhibition, William & Griffin Managing Director Carl Milton said:

“Colchester town centre is a vibrant, exciting place to be right now. There has been a real renaissance in the town centre over recent years and, with so much private and public money earmarked for regeneration over the next five years, the future looks very positive.  The synergy between Colchester’s culture and heritage and the commercial heart of the town centre continues to be very special and it isvital that this is supported and protected for the long-term benefit of the local community and the local economy.”

Cllr Bill Frame, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “As the borough grows the town centre needs to evolve as a competitive, relevant focal point.  Change can be difficult, but it’s also exciting.  Supporting and protecting the development of the town centre is vital if Colchester is to continue to grow.”

Members of the public that are unable to visit the exhibition will be able to see a summary of the exhibition at where there will also be a online feedback form or they can email with their comments about the regeneration of Colchester town centre or for further information.




The Fashion Editor, a new boutique offering the latest fashion and accessories for women of all ages, has opened in the historic Red Lion Yard in the heart of Colchester. The shop offers an elegant shopping experience, and stocks clothes, bags and jewellery for sophisticated women looking for reasonably priced fashion. Brands include Y.A.S, Jovonna and Ichi, amongst others.


The 336 sq ft boutique’s interior is minimalistic, with a white décor and chrome details throughout, but still offers a luxuriously warm welcoming atmosphere.


Fashion Editor is founded and owned by Jennifer Lock, a former fashion journalist with over 15 years of experience writing for the UK’s biggest fashion magazines. She regularly appeared on GMTV and radio to discuss women’s style issues. With her in-depth understanding of the industry, Lock felt compelled to set up her own business.


Lock choose Red Lion Yard for her first store, but is planning to open an additional five within a ten year period in the South East, North Essex and Cambridgeshire.


Commenting on the store, Lock said: “I’m excited about opening my first store here in Colchester. After having spent my whole career in London, leading a hectic city life, setting up a business in Colchester felt completely right. The town has all the vital ingredients for setting up a business, it’s vibrant and dynamic but idyllic at the same time and Red Lion Yard’s boutique feel made it perfect for the Fashion Editor.”


Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day can be overwhelming… after all, what do you buy a man who has everything? Luckily, Lion Walk is here to help and we’ve created a gift guide filled with presents for every kind of dad.

Clintons – £2.50

Send love and humour this Father’s Day with this fun card, for a dad that doesn’t quite get on with the digital world.

Paul James Hairdressing – £18.00 – £24.00

Treat dad to a fresh trim with Paul James hairdressing, a place where gents can relax and have a little attention to individual style.

Topman – 3 for £8.00

We all know that when you’re stuck for ideas, socks are the easiest option for dads. Topman is here to rescue you, with their 3 for £8.00 deal. Personally, we’re loving these pug socks!

Marks & Spencer – £35.00

For a dad who likes the finer things in life, this whisky and shortbread gift selection from Marks & Spencer savours the taste of Scotland.

Boots – £26.99

We know that growing a beard is no easy task, so make life easier for dad with this Percy Nobleman’s Beard Grooming Kit. Each box contains a 30ml bottle of beard conditioning oil, a 30ml bottle of beard wash, a 20ml tin of beard balm and a moustache comb!

Card Factory – £4.99

This huge, loud balloon is perfect dad’s that love surprises!


Is dad a symbol of the modern man? If fashion is his type on paper, then he will love the new Primark Man X Kem range.

WhSmith – now £6.49

Football fan? Peter Crouch’s award winning book, “How to be a Footballer” is hilarious and sharp, dad is bound to laugh out loud!

Holland & Barrett – now £25.39

Do you have a fitness fanatic for a dad? Treat him to this high protein, low sugar pack of 12 Grenade Carb Killa Biscuits! Perfect for a delicious snack in-between meals and a post workout treat. Available in double chocolate and salted caramel.

River Island – £18.00

This dark brown perforated wallet will keep dad’s money looking fresh for when you might need to borrow that extra tenner!

All of these thoughtful gifts are bound to bring a smile to dad’s face. Did you find something perfect for him? Reach out to us on:





Join us for a fathers and families fun day in association with the Army on Saturday 18 June.

Come to Lion Walk & Red Lion Yard where you can get your hands on with the latest Army kit, gadgets and vehicles!

Face your fears and scale a climbing wall, try your hand at the interactive weapons in the ‘gun pit’ (no live ammo!) and experience life in the field with our virtual reality goggles, plus much more! 

Plus children’s face-painting from 11am – 3pm – donations to Colchester Hospital Children’s Ward and Great Ormond Street.

The Army have designed a bold, new recruitment campaign to encourage young people and those who influence them to notice the Army, and start having conversations with real soldiers and their friends and relatives. The Army should be one of the top career choices for 16-24 year olds wanting to better themselves, make their family proud and do something that matters.

The Army want young people to understand that it is about much more than just combat. Currently UK armed forces are deployed in more than 80 countries across the world, conducting a range of activity and the Army has done some really positive work assisting with humanitarian efforts and UK peacekeeping missions.

Make sure you’re at Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard on Saturday 18 June to find out more about life as an Army soldier and see if a career in the Army could be for you.

Give a Gift for Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals at Lion Walk

Lion Walk has teamed up with Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity this Christmas to bring a gift to those who are unable to make it home over the Christmas period

… But we need your help.

Simply purchase a gift of any size or budget for an elderly person or child who may otherwise go without a gift this year, and take the gift unwrapped with the tag to the Lion Walk office in Lisle House, Red Lion Yard. Help put a smile on the patients of Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals faces this Christmas.

Thank you.


Colchester’s historic Red Lion Yard will be given a new lease of life as a boutique shopping location after planning consent was granted for a £600,000 revitalisation.

Plans to attract new shoppers and retailers through a sympathetic refurbishment were submitted to Colchester Borough Council by asset managers Sovereign Land (Management) Ltd in September. They were approved by the Council’s planners on 4 December 2013 and will see the revitalisation project commence in January.

Red Lion Yard links Colchester’s High Street with Lion Walk Shopping Centre and is home to the Grade 1 listed Red Lion Hotel. Designed by Colchester-based architects Stanley Bragg, the refurbishment will include the installation of attractive new shop fronts, painting and redecoration and improved lighting and signage.

Some of the smaller vacant units may be combined to create larger boutiques and the floor will be repaved with traditional York stone. The listed woodwork on the underside of the Red Lion Hotel entrance to Red Lion Walk will also be refurbished and returned to a brighter and more historically authentic lime-wash finish.

Max La Frenais, Director of Sovereign Land, said: “This is exciting news for Red Lion Yard which has a fascinating history but has become somewhat tired over the years.

“We’ll be investing a significant amount in creating a thriving retail hub with a boutique feel, which is sensitive to the Yard’s traditional heritage and also complements the great shopping experience already on offer at Lion Walk.”

Local surveyors Nicholas Percival are letting agents for the units in Red Lion Yard.

Halloween Competition Terms and Conditions

• One entry per person
• All entries to be submitted via Facebook or Instagram
• No responsibility will be accepted for entries that are illegible, delayed or damaged electronically or online during the promotion.
• There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
• Automated/bulk entries and entries from third parties will be disqualified.
• Any entries submitted from Lion Walk employees are invalid.
• Winner details will be announced on Lion Walk Shopping Centre Facebook or Instagram page.
• Entries from people using multiple email addresses will be disqualified.
• The winning entries will be drawn shortly after the closing time/ date.
• Prizes are as stated, are not transferable and there is no cash alternative.
• Entries to all free prize draws must be received as stated by the closing date specified.
• If you are a winner, you must claim your prize within 28 days of being notified. We will contact you twice using the details you have supplied to us and if you have not responded within 28 days of our first contact, the prize will be forfeited and another winner chosen.
• By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
• Entries that are not submitted in accordance with these terms and conditions will be disqualified.
• Lion Walk Shopping Centre does not take responsibility for any prizes damaged in transit or collection.
• Winner must present valid ID to receive the prize
• Entries submitted after 12pm on Friday 1st November 2019 will not be valid
• Terms and conditions may apply to individual retailers
• Entries must take a selfie at the Halloween Event, entries from any other visit to the centre are invalid.
• There will be 1 winner, receiving a £50.00 gift voucher for a Lion Walk retailer.
• Entries that are masked due to Instagram private profiles are invalid.


For an eggs-tra special and fun Easter bring the kids to Lion Walk Shopping Centre and Red Lion Yard, in the heart of Colchester, to take part in FREE family fun and games on Good Friday and Easter Saturday (3 & 4 April). An Easter egg hunt and Easter themed craft workshops taking place both days as the centre celebrates the holiday weekend.


PLUS the Easter bunny and the centre’s own mascot Larry the Lion will be out & about giving away free chocolate eggs.


On both Friday and Saturday the kids can join Lion Walk & Red Lion Yard’s egg hunt, tracking down different coloured eggs around the centre. Everyone who completes the hunt will get a chocolate egg reward, plus be entered in to a draw for a chance to win a eggs-travagant giant Thorntons milk chocolate Easter egg, approximately 1ft high and weighing nearly 2lbs.


Our FREE Easter themed make and take craft workshops will see kids bring out their creative skills by decorating eggs and making their own Easter gifts to take home including baskets, cards and bunny masks.


The workshops will run in unit 8/9 in Red Lion Yard between 11am and 3pm. Also, the start and finish point for the Easter egg hunt.


Programme Easter family fun, unit 8/9 Red Lion Yard, 11am – 3pm:

Good Friday 3 April:

Easter make & take craft workshop plus Egg hunt

Easter Saturday 4 April:

Easter make & take craft workshop plus Egg hunt