Ice Skating in England: our selection of 11 ice rinks for Christmas
As the cold weather kicks in and Christmas approaches, some of England's most attractive settings are converted into ice rinks for the open-air skating season.
Published 15 October 2012 in Travel Articles
1/ Bath on Ice
WHY: One of England's UNESCO World Heritage Cities, Bath has a new ice-rink for visitors this Christmas. The rink is in the heart of the city set against the stunning backdrop of the Georgian Royal Crescent and within walking distance of the city's Christmas markets.
COST: £7 per person.
2/ York's Ice Factor
WHY: The Ice Factor, York's real ice rink, will be back this Christmas season at York Designer Outlet. The Ice Factor becomes the centrepiece for Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland's transformation. A giant 30ft Christmas tree will be in the centre of the ice rink as well as an illuminated reindeer forest. On offer is an authentic British fun fair offering a variety of traditional fair rides, such as a chairoplane, a helter skelter and festive food and drink stalls, as well as the opportunity for children to visit Father Christmas in his grotto.
COST: £9.50 for adults and £8.50 for children.
3/ Winchester Cathedral
WHY: Shop and skate at this open-air ice rink is conveniently situated in the middle of Winchester's Christmas market, next to Winchester Cathedral. Glide and weave at leisure while the crowds mill about you and the Christmas lights sparkle overhead. To mark the opening of the ice rink, a spectacular lantern procession is led from Winchester's Great Hall to the Cathedral on 22 November. The colourful paper lanterns, made from willow and coloured tissue paper, are made by families in workshops.
COST: £9.50 for adults, £5 for children and £30 for families.
4/ Lakeside Ice Rink at Trentham Estate
WHY: Set in a beautiful lakeside location, Trentham's ice rink runs beside the mile-long capability Brown designed Trentham Lake. The ice rink complements the Winter Gardens, Italian Gardens and sweeping parkland of this 725-acre estate. Test your skills on the ice, take a bracing walk through the beautiful wintery scenery and then relax with a hot drink and snacks at the rink side café.
5/ Somerset House, London
WHY: Celebrate the festive season in style at London's most glamorous ice rink. Skate to a live soundtrack at one of the open-air Club Nights, back this year with an exclusive line-up of the hottest DJs around. Find your feet on the ice with Skate School and give your children their first glide on the ice with Penguin Club. Or simply soak up the atmosphere rink-side at Tom's Skate Lounge and pick up the perfect present at new pop-up shop, The Christmas Arcade.
6/ Broadgate Ice Rink, London (nr Liverpool Street station)
WHY: It is small and round and located in the heart of the city just behind behind Liverpool Street station. Turn up and go.
7/ Hampton Court Palace, Richmond-upon-Thames
WHY: Make it a right roya event. At Hampton Court Palace you can skate against a picture perfect backdrop and marvel at the famous maze and gardens all silvered with frost. The rink is just outside the West Front of the palace, so you can enjoy stunning panoramic views and an enchanting Christmas atmosphere.
COST: £12.50 for adults, £9 for children and £36 for families.
8/ Royal Pavilion, Brighton
WHY: The winter ice rink returns this year to the iconic setting of Brighton's Royal Pavilion. This beautiful rink allows up to 250 skaters per session, with penguin stabilisers for younger skaters and a learners' area for the unsure-footed. This year's pop-up, rink-side restaurant will be Jamie Oliver's 'Fabulous Feasts'.
9/ Tower of London
WHY: Located in the moat and set against the magnificent fortress battlements, the Tower of London ice rink has surely one of the most stunning central London settings. Beautifully illuminated after dark, it makes a spectacular night time destination. Beside the ice rink, the Ice Bar & Cafe provides a welcome place to warm up after your skate, serving a selection of winter drinks and festive snacks.
COST: £13.00 for adults, £9 for children and £36.00 for families.
10/ Skate with a Star @ Life, Newcastle
WHY: Skate with a star this festive season over six one-hour sessions with Susie Lipanova of ITV's Dancing on Ice at Newcastle's Life (Life Science Centre). Susie will teach for 30 minutes leaving you the remaining 30 minutes to practice your moves and perfect your technique – with Susie on hand of course. Skate hire and a free cup of hot chocolate after each session is included in the price of the course. The course is suitable for participants of all levels, from total novices to people who can skate but are feeling a little rusty! A series of 6 skate sessions with Susie Lipanova costs £90.00 per person.
COST: Basic cost is £7.95 for adults and £4.95 for children.
11/ Natural History Museum, London
WHY: Make the move from the museum's dinosaur skeletons to the ice rink quick enough and it'll feel like a mini Ice Age! This 950-metre ice-rink is surrounded by some of London's most iconic museums. Enjoy the Christmas lights above and the lively festive atmosphere of one of city's most popular Christmas attractions.
COST: £14.85 for adults, £9.90 for children and £41.80 for families.
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