CHILDREN enjoying the artificial ice rink at Hestercombe at the weekend have already sparked a debate about whether girls or boys are better at skating.

The synthetic rink at the gardens was officially opened by Megan Bessell, 17, who won our Face of Somerset competition and the first visitors took to the ‘ice’ over the weekend.

Megan was joined by Father Christmas, elves and children from year three at Trull Primary School, who scooped a VIP invitation for the opening.

The pupils told the County Gazette they enjoyed the event but boys and girls each claimed they were better at skating.

The rink is open for public skating every weekend in December as well as every day between December 17 and January 6.

It is set inside a fairy-tale marquee, complete with woodland creatures and a sprinkling of snow.

Stewart Biddles, acting head teacher at Trull Primary School, said: “The children had a fantastic time. Many of the parents said it kickstarted Christmas for the children.”

On the night, Megan, who was nifty on her skates due to roller skating when she was younger, added: “It’s lovely to part of an event like this. I think it’s a wonderful attraction, especially as it’s indoors. It should be really good for families, I’d recommend it to anyone.

“I would like to thank everyone who supported me and voted for me to win Face of Somerset competition.”

Father Christmas will be in his grotto in the 18th Century garden where he’ll be meeting children from December 15 to 23 from 3pm each day.

For times and prices, click on or call 01823-413923. Booking is advised for skating and Father Christmas.