With fairy lights twinkling overhead and the smell of mulled wine in the air, Christmas activities in Helston stepped up a gear on Monday as the town’s first outdoor skating rink opened.

The garden of the Epworth Hall in Coinagehall Street has been transformed into a winter wonderland until Sunday, open for blade skating by all ages.

Between 35 and 40 people took to the rink for the launch night on Monday, with 120 booked in for yesterday’s 40-minute sessions. More than 500 people have already signed up to skate this week, with booking still open; it is also possible to just turn up at the rink to skate.

Each day the rink will be open from 10am, with last booking at 7.15pm each day. Thursday will see a disco night from 6.15pm until 8.30pm.

The rink has been brought to the town by the Helston Business Improvement Partnership in partnership with the Epworth Hall, which has given the land for free.

Emma Wooderson, a member of both organisations, said: “It’s gone extremely well. We have had some really good feedback and lots of people saying it’s a really great little find in Helston. It’s really exciting.”

At the launch Jonathan Waddoups from the Bell Inn was serving burgers at the side of the rink and a market trader was selling soups and coffee, while the Epworth Hall is providing mulled wine.

Over the course of the week a photography exhibition is taking place in the hall, showing the work of Helston photographer Bob Sharples.

This year is the first of what is planned to be three years of skating in the town. The aim is for the rink to fund itself by the third year.

To book a skating slot visit the website visithelston.co.uk and find the “what’s on” section, or just turn up.

Falmouth Packet:

Falmouth Packet:

Falmouth Packet: