any idea what colourful plants that I can buy for over the winter period for a dry and shaded area?
Are you thinking about pots or in the ground Nick?
In the ground
Only things i can think of need sun to keep flowering in winter (pansies etc) - if you were using pots you could rotate them from sun to shade to keep them going.
something with berries might be your best bet. Some of the cotoneasters self seed in our patio/paving, so i assume they don't need much moisture.
It also depends what sort of space you have Nick. Euphorbias will grow in that kind of situation and can be quite bright over winter followed by colourful bracts in spring. If you added something like a Phormium for contrasting shape, that would give you a backdrop for other things. Phormiums prefer sun but will cope with quite a bit of shade if the soil's light. You can get some good bright or variegated ones, although you may lose a bit of the variegation in the shade.
Snowdrops, Bowles golden grass, Stipa arundicea, snowy woodrush
Welsh onion had suggested Cyclamen , have a go Nick. Another member had these on the lawn and was trying to get rid of them.
Can't remember who , but
You could always be cheeky and ask for them be got rid of by sending them............
" YOUR WAY "
I'm sure you wouldn't mind paying the postage !!!!!!
Try anything once