Get your skates on!
A slide around the best pop-up ice rinks in Wilts, Glos and beyond. It's gonna be a great Christmas!
We’re talking proper ice here, not the synthetic stuff, in our guide to the best pop-up ice rinks in Wiltshire and beyond. So dust off those tan tights and start lacing up those boots …
Christmas In Salisbury ice rink, to 5 Jan 2020
Scarves and woolly hats at the ready! Glide around the picturesque Guildhall Square, with Salisbury’s all-weather, real ice rink. The ice rink is a wonderful addition to the city at Christmas and is the perfect opportunity for families, friends, colleagues, schools and community groups to come together to experience and enjoy the festive spirit. The ice rink will be protected from the Great British winter weather by a marquee, making it the perfect Christmas activity come rain or shine. christmasinsalisbury.co.uk
Whitehall Ice Skating, Lacock, until 5 Jan 2020
Whitehall’s coolest attraction for the whole family…with an Ice Rink Cafe for afters and plenty of penguins and banana skate aids to turn you into the ultimate Torvill or Dean. whitehallgardencentre.co.uk
Gloucester Quays, Gloucester, Thurs 15 Nov – Sun 24 Nov
Fan of ye olde Crimbo? Gloucester Quays’ Victorian Christmas market is the biggest free entry market in the South West and hosts one of the few open air ice rinks in the area. Last year, 30,000 people got their skates on in just 11 days, so book in advance to avoid disappointment. Sessions are 45 minutes, 11am – 6pm. Adult tickets £9.50, junior tickets £7.50, child tickets £7, family tickets £30
Millennium Square, Bristol, until 5 Jan 2020
A winter wonderland takes over Bristol’s Millennium Square, offering a more eco-friendly alternative to ice skating, in the form of BUMP Roller Disco – an upcycled mobile roller rink, offering visitors the chance to enjoy a more sustainable skating experience this Christmas. On Saturday 30 November 2019, Big Screen Bristol will show a free screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone where fancy dress is encouraged. The film will be shown on a 296-inch screen outside of We The Curious, with the best fancy dress outfit winning a bar tab for the evening.
Bath on Ice, Royal Victoria Park, Bath, until 5 Jan 2020
Outdoor ice skating – and glow in the dark mini golf – in the centre of Bath. Take the weight off your skates in the Moguls Alpine bar and cafe and have a hot choc, hot cider or mulled wine or scoff pizzas and fries (not chips, you notice). bathonice.com
Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, to 5 Jan
‘Skate back in time’ they say and you’ve a seriously stunning backdrop for your triple salchow at Henry VIII’s old gaff in Surrey, floodlit with colours for the evening. Skating sessions are 45 minutes, and booking is recommended. The cafe serves up pies, rum punches and fizz. Make a day of it and tour the palace while you’re there. hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.co.uk
Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink, Winchester Hants, to 5 Jan
This whimsical rink is beside the cathedral but under a clear roof so you can skate whatever the weather. With a giant Christmas tree set up in the middle of the rink, it doesn’t get much more festive that that. winchester-cathedral.org.uk
Millets Farm Centre, near Abingdon Oxon, to 5 Jan
Oxford’s only outdoor, undercover real ice rink has returned to Millets for another year, along with the Ice Café selling festive food and drink. All ages are covered with skates that strap onto shoes with twin blades for smaller children, plus push along seals (I think I might need one of those too). The rink is open seven days a week snow or shine. Opening times vary, 45 minute sessions, adult tickets £11.99, child tickets £9.49
Oxford Ice Rink (all year)
Not an outdoor venue, but worth the mention because its one of the biggest in the area. They also hold toddler and family skates and the odd Throwback Thursday Disco if you’re really in the mood for embarrassing yourself.
Planet Ice, Milton Keynes Bucks (all year)
Another all-year round indoor rink, Planet Ice will also be hosting Sleeping Beauty on Ice on 10 Dec, should you fancy leaving the skating to the professionals (probably for the best).
Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason, Somerset House, until 13 Jan
Skate at Somerset House is tying-up with Fortnum & Mason again to give us a Christmas shopping arcade and foodie treats in an Alpine-themed lodge where you can share cheese or chocolate fondues. Skate Lates music nights include takeovers from Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and hip hop turntablist DJ Yoda. There’s a skate school for children and adults. somersethouse.org.uk
National History Museum, South Kensington, until 12 Jan
Triple salchows first, triceratopses after? Or the other way round? The Natural History Museum’s ice rink surrounds a huge Christmas tree centrepiece and there’s also an alpine style cafe/bar that overlooks the rink. New for this year, the museum has partnered with Viktor & Rolf fragrances to transform the rink (every Fri evening, 7 – 8pm, until 20 Dec) into a scented haven with the brand’s Flowerbomb perfume sprayed in the air, sparkly babbles on the tree and the ice turned pink. There’s also the option scoff afternoon tea with the launch of Scoff & Banter’s Dine & Skate package, which includes contemporary British tea with a wintry twist in Scoff & Banter’s Tea Rooms on Oxford Circus and tickets to skate. Core opening times 10am – 10pm, sessions are 50 minutes. Adult tickets from £12.65, children from £8.80 and families from £39.60.
Ice skating at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, now – 5 Jan
If you’re planning a day in London this Christmas, then Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park is a must. It’s packed with all things Christmasy, including, of course, an ice rink – the largest open-air ice rink in the UK. It’s set around Hyde Park’s Victorian bandstand under a canopy of sparkling lights. There are also circus shows, market stalls and rides and attractions. Tickets for the ice skating varies according to times and tickets sell out so booking is recommended. hydeparkwinterwonderaland.com
Tower of London Ice Rink, Tower Hill, now – 5 Jan
It’s the moat that’s been turned into an ice rink at the Tower. I’m liking the sound of the Eis Haus Ice Experience, where you can sit at an ice bar and sip a cocktail out of a glass also made out of ice – or you could opt for a fondue board and hot choc in the Dip-Dunk Lodge. If you’re getting the impression I’m more into the post and apres skate, you’re goddam right! toweroflondonicerink.co.uk