You don’t need to be Torvill or Dean to enjoy ice-skating but you do need a rink in gorgeous surroundings. Here is our pick of England’s best.
1.Royal Pavilion, Brighton
WHEN: 10 November 2019 – 19 January 2020
WHY: The south east’s most beautiful open-air ice rink, the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, has opened this week in it iconic setting at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion for its 10th winter season and is powered exclusively with wind and solar energy. This beautiful rink allows up to 250 skaters per session, with penguin stabilisers for younger skaters and a learners’ area for the unsure-footed.
2.Tower of London
WHEN: Opens on Saturday 16th November 2019 for eight weeks
WHY: 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. Beautifully illuminated after dark, it makes a spectacular night-time destination. Besides 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.
3.Bath on Ice
WHEN: 15 November 2019– 20 January 2020
WHY: One of England’s UNESCO World Heritage Cities, Bath has a new ice-rink for visitors this Christmas. The rink is in the heart of the city set against the stunning backdrop of the Georgian Royal Crescent and within walking distance of the city’s Christmas markets.
4.York’s Ice Factor
WHEN: 16 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
WHY: The Ice Factor, York’s real ice rink, will be back this Christmas season at York Designer Outlet. The Ice Factor becomes the centrepiece for Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland’s transformation. A giant 30ft Christmas tree will be in the centre of the ice rink as well as an illuminated reindeer forest. On offer is an authentic British funfair 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.
5.Somerset House, London
WHEN: 13th November to 12th January 2020
WHY: Celebrate the festive season in style at London’s most glamorous ice rink. Now in its 20th year, you will find it in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain courtyard. And it’s not just the enormous skating rink you have to look forward to, the Fortnum’s Lodge pop-up is back again for 2019.
WHEN: When: 21st November 2019 to 5th January 2020
WHY: The Winter Wonderland experience can be mind-boggling with so much going on, but you can escape the crowds to the very impressive ice rink. It has the accolade of being the largest in England and a live band plays out its tune from the bandstand.
7.Hampton Court Palace, Richmond-upon-Thames
WHEN: 22nd November 2019 – 5th January 2020
WHY: Make it a right royal event. 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.
8.Natural History Museum, London
WHEN: 19th October 2019 – 12th January 2020
WHY: 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.
9.Skate, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
WHEN: 15th November 2019 to 5th January 2020
WHY: Normally bright with colourful flowers, Calverley Grounds becomes the ultimate winter destination with its ice rinks, Christmas lights, lit trees, live music, bars, pop-up restaurants and Santa in his authentic log cabin.
This year the main rink will have a second ice rink for dedicated Parent & Toddler sessions during the day and in the evening the rink will be used for Bavarian Curling which is a traditional German ice game somewhere between curling and bowls.