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Get your skates on

 

It’s that time again folks – whether you’re staying local or heading further afield, there are pop-up festive ice rinks all over the country to try. Not to mention a lot of hot chocolate to keep you warm. Shall we?

NORFOLK

Castle Mall Gardens
Norwich – 15 Dec – 7 Jan

Now in its third year, this successful annual event sees skaters take to an outdoor rink created from real ice in front of Norwich’s beautiful castle. Kids will love Snowy Joey, the rinks 50′-tall bouncy castle snowman.
icerinknorwich.co.uk

SURREY

Ice skating at Hampton Court Palace. Photo courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces

Hampton Court Palace
East Moseley – 4 Nov – 7 Jan

Skate back in time, they say, and you’ve a seriously stunning backdrop for your triple salchow at Henry VIII’ old gaff in Surrey, floodlit with colours for the evening. The cafe serves up pies, rum punches and fizz. Make a day of it in the palace itself before hitting the ice. hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.co.uk

Reigate on Ice
Priory Park, Reigate – 30 Nov – 3 Jan

The pop-up ice rink in Reigate’s Priory Park is in a big top marquee so the weather won’t stop you getting your skates on. There’s a bar, and other rides and attractions, in a sort of mini winter wonderland – including a Santa’s Grotto. Sessions start on the hour and last 45 mins.
reigateonice.co.uk

Ice Skate Camberley
Camberley – 9 Dec to 5 Jan

Camberley will be transformed to a magical winter wonderland with a real open-air ice rink in the heart of the town centre in Park Street.
christmasincamberley.co.uk

The Village: Guildford Ice Rink
Guildford – Nov 16 to Dec 24

Outdoor ice skating comes to central Guildford for the first time as The Village is transformed into a Christmas winter wonderland. Sessions are 45 minutes.
thevillageicerink.co.uk

LONDON

Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason. Photo by James Bryant

Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason
London –  Nov 15 – 14 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 the 90s and Noughties hip hop and R&B night Supa Dupa Fly. There’s a skate school for children and adults, too.
somersethouse.org.uk

National History Museum
London – 26 Oct to 7 Jan

Combine a visit to the dinos or the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition (On till 28 May) with a turn on the ice at this Kensington rink. Work in London? You can have your office Xmas party here.
nhm.ac.uk

Ice skating at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
London – 17 Nov to 3 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, in fact. 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. hydeparkwinterwonderaland.com

FURTHER AFIELD

Professionals show at the opening of Brighton’s ice rink

Royal Pavilion
Brighton – 4 Nov – 14 Jan 

The colourfully-lit onion domes of Brighton Pavilion back the city’s seasonal ice rink. The covered cafe/bar terrace opens 9.30am till late, with mulled wine and full meals including an after-school menu for kids and stone-baked pizzas. Kids can get their balance on a separate rink with a penguin skating aid
royalpavilionicerink.co.uk

Hornbrook Park
Horsham, West Sussex –  20 Oct to 28 Jan

Another covered rink, this one at Horsham Park, has a café serving hot drinks and snacks. Skating is for ages 4+ with younger skaters welcomed off-peak, and penguins skate aids available. Various lessons can be booked, from kids’ beginner and advanced sessions to private 15 minute one-to-ones for all ages.
horshamicerink.co.uk

Windsor on Ice
Alexandra Gardens, Winsdor, Berkshire – 18 Nov – 7 Jan

There are two rinks here: the main one is under cover; there’s also a smaller, open-air rink. After a whirl on the ice, check out the ice bar and grill. Sessions are for 45 mins.
windsoronice.com

Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink
Winchester, Hampshire – 20 Nov – 7 Jan

Enjoy a weather proof skate beside the cathedral before tucking into mince pies and Prosecco rink-side. There’s also a Christmas market here until 22 Dec so plenty to prompt a day-trip.
winchester-cathedral.org.uk

Calverley Grounds
Tunbridge Wells, Kent – 17 Nov – 1 Jan

Plenty going on at this outdoor rink set in an amphitheatre. It’s a nicely inclusive place, with toddler sessions during school hours, seal skating aids that youngsters can be pushed around on and non-motorised wheelchairs permitting on the ice. Various cafes and a BBQ pop-up will be there, while Father Christmas will be taking up residence in a log cabin nearer Christmas.
tunbridgewellsatchristmas.com

Worthing Ice Rink
Steyne Gardens, Worthing – 20 Oct – 27 Feb

Worthing’s Steyne Gardens pop-up is back, much earlier than last year and fully covered in a giant marque so you can skate whatever the weather. Regular sessions are for over-fours, while toddlers can get on the ice in special weekday sessions from 10.00am to 3.00pm,  helped by balance penguins. Warm up with hot drinks and snacks in the cafe.
worthingicerink.com

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