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Reader Treats Just For You!

Get yer skates on!

Ice ice baby! Nothing like a whizz around a rink to make you feel festive (followed by a mulled wine obvs). We've rounded up the best ones for your skating pleasure.

 

BUCKS & OXON 

Millets Farm Centre, near Abingdon, 16 Nov – 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 (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).

 

NEIGHBOURING COUNTIES 

Gloucester Quays, Gloucester, 14 – 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, a whopping 500,000 people visited the festive event so make sure to book in advance if you fancy a whirl on the outdoor rink.

Core opening hours 12.35pm – 7.25pm, 45 minute sessions. Adult tickets £9.80, junior £7.80, child £7.40, family £31.

 

Windsor on Ice, Berks, 16 Nov – 5 Jan 

This one is handily close to Windsor’s main shopping area which means it’s ideal for a skate followed by a last minute panic shop. The main ice rink is fully covered and there’s also a smaller ice rink (you can skate on both with your ticket), plus on Tuesdays there are special sessions just for smaller children. . For more festivities, pop over to Windsor Castle to see its 20ft Nordmann Christmas tree.

Opening times 10am – 9pm. Adult tickets £12.50, child tickets £10.50, family tickets £42.00

 

Bracknell ski slope and ice rink, Berks, all year

Bracknell’s ice rink is open all year round but will be getting in to the festive spirit with a panto performance of Snow White on Ice, 11 – 15 Dec.

 

The North Pole Festival, Parkers Piece, Cambs, Sat 17 Nov – Sun 6 Jan

The North Pole Festivals ice rink returns to Cambs this year with its clear polygon roof proofed for English weather (hurray!) Therell also be a fairground, an alpine style lodge serving festive cocktails for spectators and an authentic German swing grill dishing out bratwursts and burgers.

 

LONDON

Natural History Museum, 19 Oct – 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.

 

Somerset House, London, 13 Nov – 12 Jan

For the venue’s 20th year of skating, Somerset House is again teaming up with Fortnum and Mason. Alongside a whopper of an ice rink in the fountain courtyard (you can also book in for Skate Lates and, new for 2019, a skating overnighter on 7 – 8 Dec) there’ll be a 40ft Christmas tree and the return of the Fortnum and Mason Christmas Arcade with festive pop-ups, food, drink and gifts. The Fortnum Lodge is also making a comeback with chocolate and cheese fondue (not together), Champers, black cherry bellinis, mulled wine, baked camembert, apple and cinnamon bakes and tipsy hot chocolate. All the food groups represented.

Opening times vary, 45 minute sessions. Adult tickets £11, child tickets from £8.50.

 

Tower of London, 15 Nov – 5 Jan

Set in the historical grounds, at dusk the pop-up rink is illuminated by a light display set against the castle walls. Although early morning sessions are best for the little ones with penguin skate aids available on a first come, first serve basis. There’s also an accompanying Ice Rink Café Bar, but go steady on the tipple before you skate, apparently if you knock anyone over you get sent to the Tower (*gulp*).

Core opening times 10am – 9pm, 45 minute sessions. Adult tickets £15, child tickets £10.50, family tickets £45.

 

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Fri 23 Nov – Sun 6 Jan 

Henry VIII’s old gaff in Surrery offers a stunning 16th century Tutor faced as a backdrop, especially when the illuminations kick in at dusk. There’s also a rink-side café.

Core opening times 10am – 9pm, 45 minute sessions. Adult tickets £15, child tickets £10.50, family tickets £45.

 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, 21 Nov – 5 Jan

As if the whopper festive island in the middle of Hyde Park didn’t have enough going on already – we’re talking ice bars, workshops, rides, boozy Bavarian Village and Xmas shows – it also has the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink complete with Victorian bandstand with live music to skate around (or cling to).

Open 10am – 10pm, 50 minute skating sessions. Adult tickets from £9.50, child tickets from £7.50, family tickets from £30.

 

Tiffany & Co. Winter Wonderland, Covent Garden, 29 Nov – 26 Dec 

Tiffany & Co. are glamming up Covent Garden’s East Piazza with decor inspired by Christmas holidays in New York, the home of the iconic jewellery house. There’ll be a bespoke ice rink complete with oversized Tiffany Blue Boxes, sparkly snow and Tiffany Fragrance puffed into the air.

Pre-booked tickets are already sold out, but there will be a limited number of tickets available each day. 

 

 

1 comment on “Get yer skates on!”

  • Cazzie December 1, 2018

    Winchester! Lovely rink by the Cathedral. Choose the early slot to avoid the crowds!

    Reply

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