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West Devon - a special place to live and shop

As Christmas approaches, it's time to celebrate all that is unique about the Borough's high streets.

A cartoon sheep, with a snowy background and Christmas lights on his horns

Whether it's the welcoming smile from hospitality and retail staff; the huge array of shops on offer; the festive atmosphere or Christmas lights. Whatever the appeal, there is always something truly wonderful to experience at Christmas in West Devon. #MyPlace

Working in partnership with the Borough's Town Councils and Tavistock's Business Improvement District, West Devon Borough Council is encouraging residents to celebrate all that is special about the Borough's high streets in a Christmas campaign. Part-funded by the Government's Welcome Back Fund, the campaign aims to help businesses bounce back from the Covid pandemic by encouraging residents and visitors to shop on the local high streets.

With many festivities planned, there is so much to enjoy with friends and family. There's the ever-popular Dickensian and Edwardian evenings, Christmas light switch-ons, Christmas markets, Santa's Grottos, sleighs, concerts and late night shopping. The tricky part will be fitting it all in!

Not forgetting the numerous fantastic shops decorated ready for the festive season within your local towns and villages. Customers will find a range of gifts and festive items available to meet your every seasonal need and perfect for all budgets.

After shopping in your own town, why not venture further afield to delight in what nearby towns have to offer. Stroll the festive streets and soak up the Christmas ambience as you tick off items on your Christmas shopping list.

Shopkeepers in West Devon provide great customer service, and have first-rate product knowledge; something you simply can't find when shopping online! So why not shop local and support your local economy? As an added benefit, you're also doing your bit for Climate Change by cutting down on cardboard packaging too! 

Don't forget to drift in for delicious food and drinks to keep you revived while shopping from the yummy caf├ęs, restaurants and bars available.

Don't feel you have to rush back for parking either as you can grab even more shopping with free festive parking after 3pm on Thursdays and Fridays throughout December in the following West Devon Borough Council-owned car parks

  • Tavistock - Abbey, Bedford, Riverside, Brook Street, Chapel Street, Wharf, Russell Street, Bank Square
  • Okehampton - Mill Road
  • Chagford
  • Hatherleigh

Okehampton Town Council is also offering free parking at Simmons Park car park after 3pm on week days and all day on Saturdays throughout December. The two main car parks in North Tawton will also be free throughout December.

Cllr Peter Crozier, Lead Member for Economy for West Devon Borough Council, said: "As anyone who lives here knows, West Devon is a very special place to live and it is especially magical at Christmas-time. So, it's wonderful to see the businesses gearing up for the Christmas season and residents out and about supporting the local economy. Our retailers and businesses across the sectors need our ongoing support, so I'd like to encourage residents and visitors to continue to buy local.

"There is free parking on offer at our car parks, so you don't need to worry about rushing back to your cars. So relax, enjoy the lights, music, food and shopping. And if you're one of those enviable people who already have their gifts all sorted, then still go and support the wonderful festivities.

"To keep everyone safe, please remember to get regular Covid lateral flow tests, wash your hands or use hand sanitiser. Ideally, wear a face covering because cases are on the rise and nobody wants restrictions again.

"Most of all though, have a great time." 

As the pandemic continues to take its toll and with cases again rising, shoppers may be uneasy about busy shops.  Many shops still have measures in place with hand sanitisers, some one-way systems continue and social distancing to ensure your safety. West Devon Borough Council continues to work closely with businesses. To keep yourself, and others, safe by wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed settings; get tested, and self-isolate if you test positive or feel unwell and wash your hands regularly to help avoid spreading the virus. 

You can also just pop along to the towns and have a wonderful Christmas experience, but don't forget to tell your friends and family too.

Issued 23 November 2021  

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