You better watch out! Santa Claus will be flying over the West Country in a former RAF helicopter

Santa will be taking to the skies in Devon in a less traditional way before Christmas. Credit: PA Images

Santa Claus is coming to town!

It seems the children of Somerset and Devon must have been particularly nice this year as Santa has decided to bring some extra cheer before Christmas.

His reindeer will be taking a day off to rest before their big night, whilst Santa will take to the skies above the two counties in a bright yellow helicopter.

Little ones will have a glimpse of the usually secretive man a few days before Christmas as he'll be waving from the skies.

Santa has had the assistance of Historic Helicopters, based near Chard in Somerset and its owner, Andrew Whitehouse, who is footing the bill.

Over the recent lockdown, team members restored a former RAF Sea King helicopter, which will be carrying Santa and some of his elves on their mission.

They will lift off with Father Christmas at midday on Tuesday 22 December and head towards North Devon District Hospital.

A yellow RAF Sea King helicopter.

Historic Helicopters' Chief Engineer, Dave Wells said: "We were meant to be doing lots of airshows and we've done virtually nothing.

"I said, why don't we do a fly-by over North Devon as it's been a rubbish year and it might put a bit of a smile on peoples faces and we also get to use the helicopter?

"As this year has been particularly difficult for most people, we have decided to try and spread a little cheer and resurrect the Christmas Santa Fly-by that we used to do when I was stationed at RAF Chivenor on the Search and Rescue flight."

The fly-by will start and end in Somerset, taking in towns and villages across North Devon, including Barnstaple, Braunton, Woolacombe and Ilfracombe.

The festive crew will also stop at North Devon District Hospital and Musgrove Park in Taunton to deliver presents to the children's wards.

Don't miss it! This is Santa's route on Tuesday 22 December:

  • Chard - take off at 12pm

  • Dunkeswell

  • Tiverton

  • Lapford

  • Bishops Tawton

  • North Devon District Hospital

  • Chivenor

  • Braunton

  • Crow Point

  • Saunton

  • Croyde

  • Woolacombe

  • Mortehoe

  • Ilfracombe

  • Combe Martin

  • Parracombe

  • Lynton/Lynmouth

  • Porlock

  • Minehead

  • Watchet

  • Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital

  • Bridgwater

  • Woolavington

  • Glastonbury

  • Somerton

  • Yeovilton

  • Yeovil

  • South Petherton

  • Crewkerne