Tag: Colchester


The completion of the painstaking refurbishment of Colchester’s historic Red Lion Yard to create a boutique shopping and café quarter will be celebrated with three days of entertainment and family fun starting on Thursday 24 July.

Work began on the £600,000 revitalisation in January this year (2014) and has included the installation of attractive new shop fronts, improved lighting and signage and complete redecoration throughout.  The floor has also been repaved with a traditional York stone.

The refurbishment also included the restoration of brickwork and wooden beams dating back hundreds of years, in the arch that forms the High Street entrance to Red Lion Yard and is part of the Grade 1 listed Red Lion Hotel.  A special chemical process stripped away layers of modern paint to reveal the original features that have been treated to create a brighter and more historically authentic appearance.

The celebrations will get off to a roaring start on Thursday with a Chinese lion parade through Red Lion Yard at 1pm, performance from Theatretrain stage school at 1.30pm and a children’s treasure hunt.

From Thursday to Saturday, shoppers will be treated to live music and children can enjoy free face painting, see the Lego lion, take part in Lego building challenges or lion craft workshops and meet Larry the Lion as he gives out balloons.

There’s also a chance to find out more about Red Lion Yard’s fascinating history at a special exhibition open to the public from 11am to 3pm on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 July.

John Fleming, centre manager, said:

“Red Lion Yard has been completely transformed over the last few months.  It really does look fantastic and the results are already speaking for themselves with a silver jewellery specialist, nail bar and women’s fashion boutique signed up to open new stores in the near future.

“This is the start of an exciting new era for Red Lion Yard and we’re looking forward to celebrating in style at our special events this week.”

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

Sam Walker and fluffy mascot Eddie the Eagle switches on Lion Walk Christmas Lights with Santa

Colchester United goalkeeper Sam Walker and fluffy mascot Eddie the Eagle will be helping to get the festive season underway in Colchester this Sunday (November 30), as they turn on the lights in Lion Walk Shopping Centre with Santa.

The U’s has recently opened up a Christmas shop in Red Lion Yard , and Sam – who has been ever present for the U’s first team in League One this season – will be on hand to light up Lion Walk ahead of a busy December.

The shot stopper will also be in the town centre shop from 3.30pm until 4pm to sign autographs for any festive shoppers.   Then all eyes will be on Sam at 4.30pm as he turns on the lights with Santa close to the Lion Walk Church.


Colchester’s Lion Walk Shopping Centre and Red Lion Yard welcomed the festive season on Sunday (30 November 2014) with a day of family entertainment, a visit from Santa to switch on its Christmas lights. The annual light switch on event, which attracted 2,500 people, ended with the spectacular traditional firework show.


This year, Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard’s Christmas lights were switched on by Colchester United’s goalkeeper Sam Walker, its fluffy mascot Eddie the Eagle and Santa himself. Colchester United has recently opened a pop-up shop in Red Lion Yard that will stay open until end of January.


While tracking down the perfect gifts among Lion Walk’s big brand stores and Red Lion Yard’s quirky independents, shoppers enjoyed an afternoon of festive entertainment from local groups including the 40s harmony group Fox, Wiggle and Sass, The Valentine School of Dance, The Military Wives, Colchester Operatic Society and Theatricool.


Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard were buzzing with people from noon to the light switch on at 4.30pm and retailers across the centre have reported a successful day of trading. Costa Coffee doubled its sales compared to a normal Sunday. BHS with its three-day Black Friday event reported strong sales on the day along with Body Shop and New Look.


The Bavarian Christmas market, which is in Lion Walk until 30 December, also proved to be a huge success among shoppers wanting something warm to eat and drink on the day while temperatures were dropping.


Louise Jensen Deputy Centre Manager said: “We are very pleased with the light switch on, the Centre couldn’t have been busier. I think the combination of our big brand stores and the independent retailers, makes us such a great place for Christmas shopping. Our annual firework show is always popular and this year we had a great line up of acts to create a fun festive atmosphere.”


THE FUN DOESN’T STOP HERE – to get everyone in the Christmas spirit Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard are also putting on a busy programme of FREE festive family fun and entertainment every Saturday and every Wednesday evening, when the shops stay open to 9pm, in the run up to Christmas.


Award winning choir Funky Voices will put on a show of upbeat, foot tapping, festive songs for Wednesday’s late night shopping on 10 December to support the Rotary Club’s Christmas collection. Colchester District Pipes & Drums will provide further support to the collection on Wednesday night on 17 December.

On Saturday 13 December Colchester Operatic Society and Colchester Theatretrain will be raising the Christmas spirit in the centre.

For the final Saturday of festive entertainment (20 December) Mother Christmas makes a stop at Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard before continuing her journey back to the North Pole. She will make sure that any final Christmas wishes are reported back to Santa. Plus a brass jazz quartet will be playing festive tunes during the day.



Are you brave enough to pay us a visit?

From 24 October, the historic Red Lion Yard in the heart of Colchester, gets an amazing spooktacular Halloween makeover with witches that cackle and glow; giant spiders spinning their webs, just waiting to pounce on the unwary visitor; and scary creatures crawling out of the sewers. And, watch out for the ghostly apparitions and spooky sounds.   Are you brave enough to pay us a visit?

It’s all alongside {Colchester Presents} Light & Shade – the Halloween event taking place across Colchester town Centre.

AND, on Halloween itself (Saturday 31 October), Red Lion Yard will host scary storytelling, making even the most courageous kids shiver; frightening face painting and trick or treating for the kids – all FREE. PLUS, the ghostly monk – who tradition has it haunts the Red Lion Hotel – will be a little less elusive than usual, roaming Red Lion Yard and Lion Walk posing for photos with those who dare!

The scary storytelling is organised by Boots Optician in partnership with the National Literacy Trust. The programme encourages children to read for enjoyment but also sets out to raise awareness of the link between eye health and literacy. The storytelling will take place in unit 8/9 Red Lion Yard – which will be decked out with ghostly fog and scary music to set the mood. Reading sessions are held around 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

For even more Halloween fun on 31 of October in the same unit (or outside it if the weather allows), kids can get a new scary Halloween look with our FREE face painting, getting them ready for trick or treating around Lion Walk Shopping Centre & Red Lion Yard. To take part in the Trick or Treating, all they have to do is to pick up a Trick or Treat bag from Unit 8/9 Red Lion Yard and visit participating retailers (those with a trick or treat poster in the window) to pick up a treat (or maybe get a trick played on them).

Peter Scopes Centre Manager at Lion Walk Shopping Centre & Red Lion Yard said: “This year we are going all out to create an amazing Halloween experience for families to enjoy. Red Lion Yard will be completely transformed beyond anyone’s imagination and is definitely worth a visit – if you dare! So for a spooktacular Halloween and scarily good shopping come down to the centre and take part in everything we have going on. ”


Programme of Halloween fun:

24 Oct – 31 Oct: Red Lion Yard gets a spooky Halloween makeover

31 Oct:  Spooky storytelling in Red Lion Yard unit 8/9 around 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

31 Oct: FREE face painting also in unit 8/9 Red Lion Yard from 12noon to 4pm.

31 Oct: Trick or treat from 12noon, pick up your trick & treat bag from unit 8/9 Red Lion Yard and visit participating retailers to collect a treat.


For more details about {Colchester Presents} Light & Shade see: www.visitcolchester.com/SpookyFun.aspx

You will find more details about National Literacy Trust and Boots Opticians partnership here: www.literacytrust.org.uk/news/6645_we_launch_an_exciting_new_partnership_with_boots_opticians




For a spooktacular Halloween bring the kids to Lion Walk Shopping Centre and Red Lion Yard, in the heart of Colchester, to take part in FREE spooky, spine chilling, frightening family fun and games. From 30 October to 1 November we have ghostly story telling and supernatural themed craft workshops. A giant pumpkin will also be wandering around the centre on Friday 31 October.

For all three days kids can visit the “Land of Darkness” nestled in Red Lion Yard to listen to hair-raising ghost stories, making even the most courageous shiver. As well as scary stories children visiting Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard during Halloween will get the chance to bring out their witchcraft skills by joining the Halloween make and take craft workshops designing snakes, bats and other Halloween creatures.

Also, between 25 October and 2 November the centre is running a scary selfie Halloween competition, where shoppers can win fantastic prizes from the centre’s retailers. The best entry will get a £50 gift voucher from GAME plus there are more prizes up for grabs. To enter the competition simply take a selfie, the scarier the better, in front of the haunted house Halloween backdrop in Red Lion Yard and post it on the Lion Walk Facebook and/or Twitter page using #LionWalkSpook.


Programme of Halloween activities, Red Lion Yard unit 8/9:

25 Oct – 2 Nov: Scary Selfie Halloween Competition

30 Oct: Halloween make & take craft workshop – all day.  Ghost stories 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm

31 Oct: Halloween make & take craft workshop – all day.  Ghost stories 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm.  Giant Pumpkin walkabout, Lion Walk & Red Lion Yard

1 Nov: Halloween make & take craft workshop – all day.  Ghost stories 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm


In the grand finale of ‘Style Destination’, Colchester’s first ever fashion week (24 April – 2 May), seven lucky ‘Dress Like a Star’ competition winners showed off their new celebrity looks at the catwalk style shows held at Lion Walk Shopping Centre on Saturday 2 May. Plus on the same day in The King’s New Clothes craft workshops, kids were busy designing a new outfit for Larry the Lion, the centre’s mascot.


The ‘Dress like a Star’ winners were treated to a complete makeover, before taking to the catwalk, including celebrity look-alike fashion from Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard retailers plus hair and makeup to achieve the looks of celebrities such as Amanda Holden, Caroline Flack, Melissa McCarthy, Nicole Kidman, Beyonce and Jennifer Aniston.


Heading up the makeovers was stylist Suzy Makin, who has over 35 years of experience in the fashion industry. Suzy worked closely with Lion Walk fashion retailers BHS, River Island, New Look, TopShop as well as Boots, Boots Opticians and Vision Express to carefully select the celebrity inspired outfits and accessories for each contestant.


The ‘Dress Like a Star’ event set out to showcase fashion and accessories for all ages, personal styles and shapes from the centre’s tenants. The participants had either entered the competition themselves or been nominated by a friend or family.


On the same day, in Red Lion Yard, kids had fun designing a new outfit for the centre’s mascot in the King’s New Clothes workshops. Outfits in all imaginable colours and shapes were created but one design in particular by Millie aged 9 stood out to the judges, making her the winner of the fantastic Colchester Zoo Lion adoption box.


Spending two hours in the workshop perfecting Larry’s outfit, Millie’s fun and creative design consisted of red trousers, stripy orange and purple shorts and a puff shoulder jacket. All the designs are currently being displayed within the centre and on the Lion Walk Facebook page.


The first ‘Style Destination’ event at Lion Walk took place on Friday 24 April – the fashion week’s launch day. Fashion went pink at Lion Walk & Red Lion Yard to help raise awareness of and support Cancer Research’s ‘Race for Life’ event later in the year (Sunday 19 July). Six live mannequins appeared across the centre and in places you might not have expected such as iStore, Costa and Vision Express – dressed in fabulous pink fashions from retailers’ including TopShop TopMan, New Look, BHS and River Island.


Cancer Research’s ‘Race for Life’ team had a successful day at the centre encouraging 100s of people to sign up for the race.


For more details about ‘Style Destination’ and the events that took place during the fashion week see www.facebook.com/colchesterstyledestination




Lion Walk Shopping Centre and Red Lion Yard kick off their Colchester Style Destination activity today (Wednesday, 22 April) with the launch of their “Dress Like A Star” competition to find 8 lucky people to enjoy a fabulous makeover to look like a celebrity and take part in a catwalk-style show at Lion Walk on Saturday 2 May. The two centres want people of all shapes and sizes, ages and sexes to get involved – nominating a friend, relative or even themselves by completing the entry form and submitting a photo at https://www.lionwalkshopping.com/dress-like-a-star-competition/ (competition closes at 5pm on Tuesday 28 April 2015).


Style Destination, Colchester’s first ever fashion week, will see a host of fantastic events and promotions taking place across the town centre from Friday 24 April to Saturday 2 May. Backed by Lion Walk and Culver Square with support from Colchester Council, the event is a celebration of everything that’s stylish about shopping in Colchester from big brand High Street retailers to the wonderful line-up of independents. Details about all Style Destination events and promotions can be found at www.facebook.com/colchesterstyledestination


Lion Walk & Red Lion Yard is hosting three fabulous, fun events as part of Style Destination:



First up, on Friday 24 April – the fashion week’s launch day – fashion goes pink at Lion Walk & Red Lion Yard to help Cancer Research UK raise money and awareness for its ‘Race for Life’ later in the year (Sunday 19 July). Live mannequins will be sponsored to appear “IN THE PINK” – dressed in fabulous pink fashions from retailers’ including TopShop TopMan, New Look, BHS and River Island. Look out for them around the centres from 11am to 3pm – some of them will be in places you might not expect such as iStore, Costa and Vision Express. Come and give them your support.


Cancer Research UK will also be on site encouraging shoppers to support and sign up to ‘Race for Life’ with the help of Heart FM Angels.


Shoppers are encouraged to wear pink on Friday to show their support for Cancer Research UK and to be in with a chance of winning an amazing, very on trend pink prize, Beats by Dr. Dre Solo2 On-Ear Headphones from iStore at Lion Walk (other colours are available) in our special prize draw. Shoppers can just pick up an entry form from the promo team, fill it in and hand it back to them to be entered into the draw.



The main event in Lion Walk’s Style Destination activity is the “Dress Like Star” shows in the Style Tent on Saturday 2 May – which will see 8 lucky competition winners take to the catwalk to show off their new celebrity-style looks.


Will it be Kim or Kayne, Olly or Ellie, Rita or Zane? The complete celebrity makeovers include celebrity look-alike fashion from Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard retailers, hair and make up and the winners’ new star-struck style being revealed on stage in the Style Tent (near River Island) with shows at 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.


People are invited to nominate a friend, relative or even themselves by completing the entry form and submitting a photo at https://www.lionwalkshopping.com/dress-like-a-star-competition/. The competition to win a “Dress Like A Star” makeover opens today (Wednesday 22 April and closes at 5pm on Tuesday 28 April).   Winners will be advised on 29 April and must be able to come to Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard on 2 May.



Style Destination at Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard also offers loads of fun for kids, who are invited to design a new stylish outfit for Larry the Lion, Lion Walk’s mascot, in the FREE kids craft workshops running on Saturday 2 May between 11am and 3pm in Red Lion Yard.

He may be king of the jungle, but in his period style costume, he doesn’t make much of a (claw)mark on the (big)cat walk, so Red Lion Yard wants the kids of Colchester to design a new outfit for him. All the designs will be displayed within the centre and on Facebook.


And, thanks to Colchester Zoo (www.colchester-zoo.com), the best one (as decided by the judges) will win a fantastic Lion Adoption Box with an adoption certificate to confirm their adoption of the lions at the zoo. The box also includes photographs & information about lions, a cuddly toy, Colchester Zoo mug and keyring. PLUS, the first 30 kids to take part in the workshops will each receive a Colchester Zoo goodie bag complete with a postcard, notebook, pencil, ruler and some leaflets.


PLUS Larry himself will be out and about on 2 May giving out balloons – he may even try to sneak up on stage to take part in the “Dress Like A Star” event.


For more details about Style Destination and the competitions see www.lionwalkshopping.com and www.facebook.com/colchesterstyledestination






Bosses at Lion Walk Shopping Centre and Red Lion Yard in Colchester town centre are setting up a special Chill Out Zone for dads & their kids on Saturday (20 June 2015).

With comfy seating, magazines and newspapers to read, nibbles and samples supplied by some of the businesses in the two centres and great music, it promises to be the perfect antidote to a hectic shopping trip and provide a little bit of pre-Father’s Day down time.

And, for those who like their relaxation a little more active, enter our Dad’s Day Challenges with table football plus giant Jenga and Connect 4 – and great “on the spot” prizes. And, enter the prize draw to win £100-worth of vouchers to spend at Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard.

Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard are the perfect places to pick up a great gift for Dad – from great men’s fashion and accessories to cool gadgets, tech and games plus travel, men’s health and grooming, great eats, cards and much more all in one place – there’s sure to be something for every Dad.


Vicky Pattison, ITV Loose Women panelist and winner of last year’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, is coming to Lion Walk & Red Lion Yard in Colchester on Wednesday 27 July. Lion Walk’s WHSmith has arranged for Vicky to be in Colchester as part of her book tour, promoting her new book “The Real Me: Fashion, Fitness and Food Tips For Real Women – From Me to You”.

Fans of the Geordie celebrity have the opportunity to get a signed copy of the book and meet their idol by purchasing a wristband, in advance, from the WHSmith store. The £8.49 wristband covers the cost of your copy of “The Real Me”, which Vicky will sign on the day, and will guarantee your place in the queue.

It is expected that the event will sell out so people wishing to meet Vicky are advised to buy the wristband as soon as possible.

Vicky Pattison is said to know how to play hard but also understands the importance of working hard – in her own words “grafting hard, training right, eating well… and having a good time.” The Real Me” – Vicky’s 4th book – is a guide to living life to the full and is packed with her favourite recipes, fashion and beauty tips, training programmes and straight-talking advice on dealing with everything from job interviews to first dates. It is the ultimate guide to living life to the full, the Vicky Pattison way.

Vicky Pattison will be signing copies of her new book from 4pm in Unit 8/9 Red Lion Yard (next to Mane Creations) on Wednesday 27 July and queuing will start from 3pm. Wristbands are currently on sale in WHSmith. You will receive your book on the day. No entry to the queue without a wristband.