Britain's best ice-skating rinks

Ice-skating is a great way to get the family out and about over the Christmas holidays, and although these days Britain rarely gets cold enough to provide natural rinks, their artificial cousins are just as stunning.

15th December 2014

 

1. Somerset House, London

11 November 2014 – 11 January 2015, 10am-10.15pm (some days vary)

One of the iconic images of the festive season is skaters enjoying the neo-classical setting of the Fountain courtyard at Somerset House. For all your après-skate needs a range of tasty treats is available from Fortnum’s Lodge. For beginners and young children there are specific sessions to help you find your feet.

From £7.50 (off-peak)

Book online at www.somersethouse.org.uk/ice-rink, or call 0844 847 1520

2. Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton

8 November 2014-18 January 2015, 10am – 10.15

Brighton’s ice rink can be found next to the beautiful Royal Pavilion – try an evening skate session to make the most of the illuminated setting. When your legs get tired you can take a rest in the rinkside bar and restaurant.

Peak hours: Adults £13, Children 8.50

Off-Peak: Adults £10, Children £7

Book online at www.royalpavilionicerink.co.uk, or buy on the door

3. Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

21 November 2014 – 4 January 2015, 10am – 8.45pm

With Edinburgh’s famous skyline as a backdrop, skating in Princes Street Gardens is an experience not to be missed. If you want to make the most of the view, try taking a turn in the

From £5

4. Royal Victoria Park, Bath

21 November 2014 – 4 January 2015, 10am – 9pm

Lying just below the historic Royal Crescent, this ice rink really makes the most of this setting. Rinkside refreshments come from local producers, and this year sees the introduction of a brand new pizza chalet and bar. The ice rink is only a short stroll from Bath’s famous Christmas Market, so if you’re planning a visit before the 12th December why not visit both?

Off Peak: Adults £8.75, Children £7.75

Peak: Adults £9.75, Children £8.75

5. Natural History Museum, London

30 October 2014 – 4 January 2015, Opening hours vary: check website.

Take the opportunity to skate around the NHM’s huge Christmas tree, then take a break for hot chocolate in the Cafe. For beginners and young children there is a smaller rink to help you get into the swing of things.

Prices start at: Adult £12.65, Child £8.80

Book in person, or by phone 44+ (0)844 847 1576.

 

6. Eden Project, Cornwall

18 October 2014 – 22nd February 2015, Session times vary: check website.

The famous bio-domes at the Eden Project are always worth visiting, but during the festive season there is the added draw of a spectacular ice rink.  Eden has a wide range of sessions to suit all abilities, including parent and toddler ice-play sessions for little ones, as well as skating lessons. There are also penguin skating aids available to hire for youngsters.

From £6 (admission to the Eden Project not included)

7. York Designer Outlet, St Nicholas Avenue, Fulford, York

22nd November – 4th January 2015

One for the lover of shopping – after your session o the ice you can take advantage of both the main outlet and some festive log-cabin stalls to finish off your Christmas shopping. Santa will also be making an appearance in his grotto.

Adults £9.95, Children £8.95

8. Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire

20 November 2014 – 31 December 2014, from 10am

For those who want a romantic setting to practice their toe-loops, the gothic spires of Winchester Cathedral fit the bill perfectly. The German Christmas Market at the Cathedral is also there to provide you with last-minute presents, or mince pies and Glühwein to help restore your energy after a session on the ice.

Adults from £9.50, Children from £5.

Book via Cathedral Box Office or by calling 01962 857 275.

9. Cardiff’s Winder Wonderland, Cardiff

13 November 2014 – 1 January 2015, 11am – 10pm

Situated in Cardiff’s Civic Centre and surrounded by Christmas markets, this ice rink is a family favourite. A trained team of ice stewards are on hand to keep you safe.

Adults £9, Children from £6.

10. Hampton Court, London

21 November 2014 – 4 January 2015, 10am – 10pm

Situated on the banks of the river Thames, Hampton Court Ice Rink is as close to skating on the river as you can get.  Book an evening session to see Henry VIII’s stunning red-brick palace all lit up.

Off Peak: Adults £11.50, Children £8.00

Peak: Adults £13, Children £8.50

Most of these ice rinks are closed on Christmas Day – check the websites for details.

By Imogen Tinkler

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