Get your skates on for England’s open-air ice rinks

By | Category: Travel news

As the cold weather kicks in, some of England’s most attractive settings are converted into ice rinks for the open-air skating season. Whether you’re a natural on the ice or admittedly more of a Bambi, there’s plenty of fun to be had by all – so lace up your skates and slide on! Here, VisitEngland picks ten top spots to channel your inner Torvill or Dean

Bath on Ice
23 November 2012 – 6 January 2013

One of England’s UNESCO World Heritage Cities, Bath has something extra to tempt visitors this Christmas… a brand new outdoor ice rink. Set in central Bath against the stunning backdrop of the Georgian Royal Crescent and within walking distance of the city’s Christmas markets, Bath on Ice promises to be a truly magical experience. Tickets cost £7 per person.

Torvill and Dean

York’s Ice Factor
24 November 2012 – 6 January 2013
The Ice Factor, York’s award-winning real ice rink, brings the Christmas magic back this season at York Designer Outlet. The Ice Factor becomes the centrepiece for Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland’s magical transformation. A giant 30ft Christmas tree will be in the centre of the ice rink as well as an illuminated reindeer forest. In addition to this will be 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. Tickets cost £9.50 for adults and £8.50 for children.

Winchester Cathedral
22 November 2012 – 6 January 2013
If you need a break from Christmas shopping, 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 Cathedra on 22 November. The colourful paper lanterns, made from willow and coloured tissue paper, are lovingly made by families in workshops during the preceding weeks. Tickets cost £9.50 for adults, £5 for children and £30 for families.

Lakeside Ice Rink at Trentham Estate
23 November 2012 – 24 February 2013

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. Trentham’s picturesque ice rink is open from 23 November right through until February half term. Tickets cost £8.50 for adults and £6.75 for children.

The ice rink at Somerset House

Somerset House, London
16 November 2012 – 6 January 2013

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. Tickets cost £15.55 for adults and £8.45 for children. Club night tickets cost £17 per person.

Hampton Court Palace, Richmond-upon-Thames
1 December 2012 – 13 January 2013

With open-air ice skating, setting is everything. 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.
Tickets cost £12.50 for adults, £9 for children and £36 for families.

The Toyal Pavilion rink in Brighton

Royal Pavilion, Brighton
10 November 2012 – 20 January 2013
Following the huge success of previous years, 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’. Tickets cost £13 for adults, £8.50 for children and £34 for families.

Tower of London
17 November 2012 – 6 January 2013
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 and is ideal for lunchtime skating, after-work gatherings, romantic dates and weekend afternoons out. 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. Tickets cost £13.00 for adults, £9 for children and £36.00 for families.

Skate with a Star @ Life, Newcastle
10 November 2012 – 24 February 2013
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. Normal skate tickets at Life cost £7.95 for adults and £4.95 for children.

Natural History Museum, London
2 November 2012 – 6 January 2013
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. Tickets cost £14.85 for adults, £9.90 for children and £41.80 for families.

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