Charlotte Pearson finds out about a fabulous new winter ice rink in Horsham.
During the summer months Camping World’s outside space is home to an array of tents which bring in would-be Bear Grylls from far and wide.
But when winter comes the tents are packed away, which left owners Suzanne and David Fearn with an acre of space not doing anything.
“Having an ice rink is something my husband David and I have always wanted to do so we had the space and thought why not,” explains Suzanne, company director of Horsham Outdoor Events.
With the idea established and the space to accommodate it the couple set up their company Horsham Outdoor Events with business partners Suzanne Lane and her partner Richard Bradley, who own Worthing Ice Rink.
The company bid for grant funding from West Sussex County Council’s Coast to Capital business growth funding to help with initial capital expenditure and was successful, allowing them to buy the rink and building outright.
The real ice rink measures 30 by 20 metres and opened its doors in October at Hornbrook Park, off Brighton Road.
“Horsham hasn’t really had anything like this before so it is a great opportunity for us to bring something like this here,” says Suzanne.
Fully enclosed inside a weatherproof building and with a separate warm break-out area, skaters can enjoy the fun whatever the weather.
Also on hand from November 26 will be a Christmas Fantasia event.
“We wanted to host something that was family friendly,” explains Suzanne. “We have a Narnia set up, it is going to be great.”
Wooden houses will be selling handmade gifts, with the ice rink as the centrepiece attraction alongside traditional fairground rides, hot cider and gluvine (mulled wine), hot food and Father Christmas in his grotto until Christmas eve.
Another fun activity sure to get the kids excited is the pony rides but they aren’t what you expect.
“They are great – kids and adults can go on them,” says Suzanne.
“You move up and down and it rolls along. I had a go myself and I thought I looked a little ridiculous but it was a lot of fun.
“We have a video on our Facebook page, children just love riding the ponies and the zebras.”
With the rink open until January in the run up to Christmas it will be the perfect place to enjoy a skate and a glass of mulled wine – but not at the same time.
Tickets are available from horshamicerink.com The ice rink can also hold birthday parties and corporate events. Kids and adults can take part in learn-to-skate lessons and parents can enjoy hot and cold drinks from the fully-licensed bar on site. You can also ‘like’ it on Facebook www.facebook.com/HorshamIceRink
The Christmas Fantasia is a free entry event, with visitors paying for attractions through a tokens system.
Father Christmas will be able to be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.