With Christmas fast approaching, glittering ice rinks are popping up in cities and at attractions up and down the country. Don your skating boots, grab a mulled wine and try out one of our top picks for the 2019 festivities.
Warwick Castle, Warwickshire
For a picture perfect backdrop to your Christmas skating trip, look no further than Warwick Castle. Brand new for Christmas 2019, skaters can practise their moves in front of the iconic East Front of what is arguably the UK’s most spectacular castle. With warming festive drinks and snacks to feast on, the Castle is also opening specially for late night skating experiences on selected dates. And the magic doesn’t stop there. Other treats at Warwick Castle’s Christmas extravaganza include storytelling, breakfasts and even sleepovers with Santa, Christmas feasts in the Great Hall, carols at the Castle and winter bird of prey displays.
Open 23 November 2019 – 5 January 2020. Tickets from £13 per person.
Skate in style at the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, alongside the stunning backdrop of one of Brighton’s most iconic buildings. There’s also a rink side restaurant where you can watch the skating.
Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Ice Rink is open to the public this season from Nov 2nd, 2019– Jan 19th, 2020. https://royalpavilionicerink.co.uk
Bath on Ice
Bath’s spectacular city centre Christmas market clustered around the towers of the abbey is one of the country’s finest. The city’s spacious seasonal ice rink also doesn’t disappoint. It offers a whopping 1000 metres squared of ice to skate on. So, after perusing the market stalls, burn off all those extra mince pies with a turn around the rink.
Open from November 15th to January 5th; Adult tickets are £11.50, children’s tickets are £10; www.bathonice.com
The Natural History Museum, London
Set against the backdrop of the Waterhouse building, the Ice Rink at the Natural History Museum is one of the most magical places to be this winter. Experience the thrill of skating surrounded by fairy lights nestled in frost-covered trees, with the smell of mulled wine in the air. Whether you can dance on ice like Torvill and Dean, or you skate more like Bambi, this is a chance to skate at one of London’s most picturesque rinks.
Open from 19 October 2019 – 12 January 2020; https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/ice-rink.html
Eden Project, Cornwall
Better known for its tropical biomes, each winter the Eden Project becomes a glittering winter wonderland thanks to its ice rink, housed under the stage canopy in front of the domes. The only place in Cornwall to skate indoors, the ice rink offers ice skating lessons, special sessions for children and toddlers, and is also wheelchair friendly. There’s also a cosy seating area in which to snuggle up with a hot chocolate or a burger.
Open from now until 23 February 2020. Tickets from £7 per person, plus entry to the Eden Project from £26.
Liverpool Ice Festival
Set against the backdrop of the city’s waterfront, the Liverpool Ice Festival is a must for adrenaline junkies. The huge covered ice rink is a great place to start soaking up the atmosphere, before continuing to the UK’s largest ice slide featuring three super speedy 30m runs around six metres above the park! There is also an Ice Jet ride with sound and light show, plenty of rides for visitors, young and old, and a traditional Christmas market.
Open from 13 November 2019 – 5 January 2020. Tickets from £12 per person.
Cardiff Winter Wonderland
This year featuring a brand new Alpine Ice Trail, the ice rink at Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland is set in front of the City Hall and can accommodate 300 skaters at any one time. The new ice trail is an open air skating experience running for 250 metres, and the only one of its kind in the UK. The event will be focused around a Christmas tree decorated by a local primary school, and will also feature an accessible Big Wheel and double-storey “Sur La Piste” bar.
Open from 8 November 2019 – 5 January 2020. Tickets from £11 per person.
Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
Historic Hampton Court Palace, once home to King Henry VIII, is another magical destination to step out on the ice. Located to the front of the Thames-side Tudor palace, the rink offers skaters great views, festive music and an array of seasonal treats whilst they relax post-skate. Both day and evening-time sessions are available, and can be accompanied by a trip to the palace.
Aberdeen Christmas Village
Aberdeen’s Christmas Village is back for another year, with its open air ice rink forming the centrepiece. Skaters can enjoy festive fun against the striking backdrop of Marischal College, before exploring the rides and attractions, festival food and drink, and the Christmas market set within the college quad.
Open from 21 November – 31 December 2019. Tickets from £4 per person.
City Island Ice Rink, East London
London City Island will bring Christmas magic to the recently opened Hopewell Square with its first open-air winter ice-skating rink, running from 12 to 22 December. The open-air, 45-person ice skating rink will host 45-minute sessions and will be open into the evening, offering skating under the glistening lights of City Island. Parents and carers can relax while their little ones take to the ice supported by fun penguin skating aids and with no ice rink at Canary Wharf this year, City Island Ice Rink will provide East London with festive but affordable Christmas skating fun. This is a good option if you want to avoid the central London crowds.
Open from 12th to 22nd December; tickets are £8 for adults, £5.50 for children and under 5s skate free. https://www.londoncityisland.com/icerink