A COLCHESTER businessman has installed a picturesque riverside ice rink at a plush restaurant in order to “make Christmas special” for his customers.

Ross Parrock, 43, has been running The Anchor Inn, located in Nayland, for two and a half years, in which time the site has endured several Covid-induced lockdowns.

Following a testing festive season for families and businesses in 2020, Ross is determined to ensure this Christmas is bigger and better than ever.

He has therefore unveiled an eco-friendly ice rink, positioned stunningly next to the River Stour, which boasts bright lights and plays music while guests skate around.


“Last year’s Christmas was all but cancelled so we wanted to make it special this year and the idea was to create a really fun, festive experience for our customers,” he said.

“It has already been received really well and the online bookings have gone crazy – it is unique because we have opted for a larger rink than most.

“We also have the pub and restaurant as well, so customers can make a whole evening of it without having to go somewhere else for food and drink.”

Despite 2020 being an unprecedented and damaging time for the hospitality industry, Ross says the sector is currently struggling even more from the coronavirus fallout.

Although venues are now permitted to open and serve guests like they would have done previously, a multitude of other factors are proving a major problem.


Ross, who also runs another business in Suffolk which is yet to reopen, added: “This year has been an extremely challenging year.

“It has actually been much harder than 2020, especially because of the ‘ping-demic’, massive staff shortages and increasing food and drink costs.

“So, we have had to look at alternative streams of revenue to get through the difficult winter months and we are having to adapt our business constantly.”

Tickets for The Anchor Inn’s ice skating rink, which cost £9 for adults and £6 for children, can be purchased by visiting anchornayland.co.uk/skating.