Winter Wonderland ice rink in Colchester hopes to bring tourists to town for more than a day

Visitors to the Winter Wonderland ice rink in Castle Park can get cheaper tickets to Colchester Cast

Visitors to the Winter Wonderland ice rink in Castle Park can get cheaper tickets to Colchester Castle. - Credit: Su Anderson

The organisers of a Winter Wonderland ice rink in Colchester’s Castle Park is working with local businesses and the borough council in a bid to attract – and keep for longer – more tourists to the town.

Colchester Borough Council’s tourism strategy has had a long-held aim of retaining visitors for overnight and longer stays, instead of tourists just dropping into the town for a day.

The Winter Wonderland opens on November 27 and will run until January 3.

Now it has teamed up with Colchester Museums with an exclusive offer where skaters who pre-book a session on the rink can get almost half price on the cost of admission to Colchester Castle.

The wonderland has also joined with the Wivenhoe House hotel, part of the Edge Hotel School at the University of Essex, as official partners.

Hotel guests will get offers on the rink, while the hotel will advertise at the Winter Wonderland, in a partnership designed to use the wonderland to support local businesses and again encourage visitors to spend more time in Colchester.

Tim Young, borough councillor for culture, said: “We are pleased to support this exciting Christmas attraction with a special offer to Colchester Castle – I’m sure it’ll be a huge success.

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“Visitors can enjoy a whole day out in Colchester enjoying the ice rink, visiting the Castle and there might just be time for some Christmas shopping and something to eat in the town centre.”

The rink has also teamed up with local good causes to run a charity night.

Ben Payne, managing director of Reflective Ice Ltd, the company running the Winter Wonderland, said: “We’re delighted to be able to work with the castle on the provision of this offer.

“With the castle being the main back drop of the ice rink we feel it’s massively important people can enjoy what it has to offer as much as they hopefully will enjoy the ice rink.

“The opportunity to work with the team from the hotel is a fantastic compliment to the work that we’re trying to do with making the whole event something that Colchester can be proud of and want to support.

“We at Reflective Ice care passionately about making the Winter Wonderland and Ice Rink a ‘Colchester event’ and including as many different organisations in this, and with the castle being part of that we are delighted.”

Oliver Brown, general manager of the hotel, added: “Colchester already had a lot to offer and we are very happy to support this exciting venture.”

The reduced-price castle tickets are for selected days only.

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