From London’s best ice rinks, to the best places to go ice skating in the rest of the UK, here’s everything you need to know about where to go ice skating this Christmas.
Pull on your woolliest hat, dig out your warmest coat and prepare to channel your inner Torvill and Dean. Because Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of ice skating and there’s no shortage of places to do it this year.
We’ve picked out some of the best ice rinks to visit in 2016, from outdoor ice rinks to undercover skate schools. Plus, you’ll usually find plenty more Christmassy things to do at each one, including pop-up Christmas markets and chilly ice bars.
Liverpool Ice Festival rink
Liverpool’s 600-metre ice rink is undercover, so you can visit whatever the weather. There’s also a huge 45-metre ice slide to tackle, as well as an ice bar serving up cocktails in sub-zero temperatures. It’s all part of Liverpool Ice Festival and it’s happening on the city’s waterfront.
Pier Head, Liverpool, 12 November to 3 January
London’s Somerset House ice rink
The 18th-century courtyard at Somerset House is probably the most elegant ice skating setting in London. There’s a skate school for kids at the weekends and club nights with big-name DJs. There’s even a pop-up Christmas arcade stocked with goodies from Fortnum & Mason.
Somerset House, London, 17 November to 15 January
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland ice rink
London’s Winter Wonderland has the biggest open-air ice rink in the UK. It winds its way around a Victorian bandstand where there’s live music and the whole thing lights up with fairy lights at night. Christmas ice skating doesn’t get much more festive.
Hyde Park, London, 18 November to 2 January
Nottingham Winter Wonderland ice rink
Skaters aged four and upwards can take to the ice at Nottingham Winter Wonderland this year. The small rink is surrounded by Nottingham’s festive Victorian Christmas Market, so you can do a bit of Christmas shopping before heading for drinks at the ice bar.
Old Market Square, Nottingham, 19 November to 8 January
Cardiff Winter Wonderland ice rink
The ice skating rink at Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland has a clear roof and a canopy of fairy lights to keep skaters dry this year, whatever the weather. There’s also an Alpine village serving up food and drinks, and a funfair with plenty of family-friendly rides.
City Hall Lawn, Cardiff, 10 November to 3 January
Norwich ice rink
The ice skating rink at Norwich is open for a second year for Christmas 2016. A real-ice affair, its 300 square metres, so there’s plenty of space to practise your triple Salchow without elbowing your fellow skaters.
Castle Mall Gardens, Norwich, 16 December to 8 January
Bristol Millennium Square ice rink
Bristol’s city-centre Millennium Square ice rink will be running several special events alongside standard skating. Top of the list are the special ‘skate at the movies’ sessions, where you can watch Cool Runnings or Arthur Christmas as you glide across the ice.
Millennium Square, Bristol, 5 November to 3 January
Newcastle Life ice rink
For something a bit different, try the rink at Newcastle’s Life Science Centre. As well as ice skating, you can visit the planetarium and watch Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in 3D on the centre’s 4D Motion Ride. Yes, that’s 3D viewing with a 4D experience. Hold on to your hats!
Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne, 12 November to 26 February
Manchester ice rink
Winter Gathering is Manchester’s flagship Christmas event and features markets, food stalls, and a programme of live music, as well as a festive ice rink. Everything is in one place – the London Road Fire Station – so it’s easy to get to and even easier to spend a whole day there.
London Road Fire Station courtyard, Manchester, 11 November to 8 January
Book your megabus tickets to any of these destinations.