North Devon’s first ever real ice rink opens this week

Josh and Lorna Weller, creators of Christmas Village North Devon

Josh and Lorna Weller, creators of Christmas Village North Devon - Credit: Seth Conway Media

It’s time to get your skates on as North Devon’s first ever real ice rink opens this week in Barnstaple. 

The 30-metre rink opens on Friday (November 19) at Tarka Tennis, Barnstaple as part of a Christmas village experience. Alongside the rink is a festive Christmas market with local food and craft stalls and the chance to meet the man in red himself with the addition of Santa’s grotto and a North Pole activity trail.

The Christmas Village has been by created by husband-and-wife Josh and Lorna Weller together with their friend Kyle Winter and they are thrilled to see their ideas finally coming to life. Josh said: “North Devon and Christmas seemed like the perfect recipe for the South West’s largest real ice rink. Then the ideas kept flowing of how we could make it a brilliant Christmas experience for all the family. As an extension of the town centre, we can’t wait to welcome the community to our Christmas village and help make Barnstaple the go to destination for Christmas shopping and a festive family day out.”

North Devon’s Christmas Village will feature a real ice rink

North Devon’s Christmas Village will feature a real ice rink - Credit: NDH

The Mayor of Barnstaple councillor Alan Rennles officially opens the rink at 11am with choirs from local schools performing a selection of festive songs as visitors from North Devon Hospice take to the ice. The rink then opens to the public from 12pm. 

“North Devon Hospice is a charity very close to our hearts,’ says Lorna. “5% of the profits we make will be donated to the hospice and as an additional treat we have invited them to join us for the official opening for their chance to enjoy a skate on the ice and be immersed in our Christmas experience.” 

Snow machines and evening sessions with DJ BunnynotBonnie are just a taster of the surprises in store for visitors to the Christmas Village. 

The ice rink is open from 10am – 10pm from Friday, November 19, through to Sunday, January 2.

Complimentary skating sessions are also being offered to patients, families and staff of North Devon Hospice

Complimentary skating sessions are also being offered to patients, families and staff of North Devon Hospice - Credit: NDH

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There is something for everyone with midweek toddler sessions, family skates and evening sessions. Entry to the Christmas village is free. 

Booking in advance for ice skating or to meet Santa is strongly advised as tickets are selling fast. Book now at www.christmasvillagenorthdevon.co.uk 

Tickets to see Santa include a trip through the North Pole where children can make reindeer food and write their Christmas letters before meeting the man himself to collect a special gift.

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