Santa Claus and festive fun in Shipston

Santa Claus and festive fun in Shipston

The familiar jingle of festive bells will be returning to Shipston’s streets next month thanks to friendly local Rotarians.

Members of The Rotary Club of Shipston will be joined by volunteers when they take their sleigh out and about as children gear up for some pre-Christmas excitement – all in the name of festive cheer, goodwill and fundraising.

It will mark a return to the area for the traditional charity sleigh, after the pandemic put the brakes on Santa’s visit last year.

Santa sleigh, Shipston Rotary Club, ice rink

The festive fun will officially get under way on Friday, December 3rd with the arrival of the town’s Victorian Evening, Christmas lights switch-on the Rotary’s first ever synthetic ice skating rink.

Skating sessions are available at Shipston Enterprise Centre between 2-6pm on December 3rd; 11am-7pm on December 4th and 10am-6pm on December 5th. They can be booked in advance at: https://www.trybooking.com/uk/events/landing/17832

The local Santa sleigh routes are as follows. . .

Wednesday, 8th December 5 30-7 30pm: Berry Avenue, Queens Avenue, Pittway Avenue, Sadlers Avenue, Oldbutt Road, Shipston Gardens, Bailey Close, Burnell Close, Herdwick Fold, Webb Road, Clifford Place.

Thursday, 9th December 5 30 -7 30pm: Foxgloves, Norgren Crescent,.Carr Close, Atcheston Close, Symons Way, Herdwick Field, Bradley Drive, Barrett Place, Coe Ave, Nichols Court, Nason Way.

Friday, 10th December 5 30-7 30pm: Station Road, The Driftway, Manor Lane, Greenway Road, Darlingscote Road, Brickhill Close, Haymeadow, Worcester Place, Warwick Place, Oxway Close, Glenn Close, Green Lane, Gerrards Road, West Street.

Sunday, 12th December 4 30-7 30pm: Tilemans Lane, Brickway Close, Beecham Road, The Sidings, Railway Crescent, Signal Road, Mayo Road, Donnington Road, Badgers Crescent, Hornsby Close, Cauldiwell Drive, Riverway, Watery Lane.

Monday, 13th December 5 30-7 30pm: Chapel View, Brewer Hill, Angela’s Meadow, Holly Road, Elm Road, Hawthorne Way, Ashgrove, Furzehill Road, Bosley Close.

Wednesday, 15th December 5 30-7 30pm: Callaways Road, Greenfields Close, Parsons Close, Simpson Road, Hanson Avenue, Costard Ave, Marshall Avenue, Clark Close.

Santa sleigh, Shipston Rotary Club, ice rink

There’s a good chance Santa will also be spotted around the town centre on Saturday, December 18th between 9am and 1pm!

The Rotary Club of Shipston hopes to help a host of local causes by contributing towards the projected £100,000 raised across the Heart of England Rotary region by the traditional sleigh run initiative.

And this year – in line with continuing Covid precautions – more ways to donate have been introduced, including contactless payments, mobile phone texts and VR codes, as a form of donation.

Heart of England Rotary spokesperson, Colin Winstone, said: “Our Rotary Clubs have been helping Father Christmas raise funds to support those less fortunate by means of his sleigh runs for over 25 years all across the West Midlands. Now a firm favourite with local residents, the sound of the sleigh arriving excites children and adults alike.

“The proceeds benefit the Rotary Club’s chosen local community charities and good causes, including foodbanks, toy boxes, children’s parties, supporting the elderly, winter warmth projects and many more. There are nine Rotary-organised Santa sleighs throughout the Heart of England and everyone’s support is much appreciated.”

Anyone who is not able to see Father Christmas on the day but who would like to donate, can also do so by visiting: paypal.me/anthonyjoint1

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. . . at Warwick Castle

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. . . at Warwick Castle

THE frosts of winter are often a sure sign that Christmas is around the corner – and never more so than in the form of an ice rink.

Set against the spectacular backdrop of Warwick Castle, visitors are being invited to soak up the seasonal fun by donning some skates and taking to the ice.

Warwick Castle, ice rink

We were among the first to be let loose on the rink which can also be enjoyed after the castle closes. Skating by night in one of the country’s most historic settings is truly a magical family experience.

And all ages and abilities are welcomed – and supervised from a distance, as nervous parents (including this one) cheer on from the sidelines with cautious encouragement. Novices soon find help is at hand should they need it and, despite the inevitable slips and spills, there were beaming smiles all round.

Warwick Castle, ice rink

Plus there’s some supportive plastic penguins to help the littlest skaters stay safe and confident on their blades.

To keep warm, seasonal snacks and drinks are available from a selection of festive vendors and the atmosphere in the bedecked castle grounds is wonderfully festive. It’s certainly jolted me into the Christmas spirit.

Warwick Castle, ice rink

During the winter period, guests to the 64-acre Castle grounds can also enjoy a Winter Birds of Prey show, Horrible Histories® Scavenger Hunt, Winter Wedding Princess Tower experience and more.

Nothing heralds Christmas more than the wide eyes and smiles of the children on a traditional ice rink in the historic night time setting such as this.

Skating is available until Sunday, January 5th. Ice rink and Castle tickets cost from £25 per person. Tickets for the ice rink only are from £13 per person with the option of special late-night skating experiences as the rink stays open into the evening on selected dates.

Further details at: www.warwick-castle.com/explore/christmas-at-the-castle.aspx