Skates on! 13 nearby ice rinks to visit this winter
We're heading into the season of slip-sliding, wall-grabbing, and pirouetting. Skate queen or just here for the mulled wine, check out these festive ice rinks within an hour of Bucks and Oxon.
Chiltern View Ice Rink, Stoke Mandeville, Bucks, 25 Nov – 10 Jan
Fancy performing your triple axel (or, erm, flailing around on the ice) to disco beats? Every Friday at this brand new pop-up, covered rink at Chiltern View Nursery is disco night with a resident DJ from 6pm. There are also live music events on select dates and, for the kids, free skate aids. Tickets are from £7.50 for kids, £10 for adults – and if you fancy joining in with your feet firmly on dry ground spectator tickets are from £7.50.
Ice Trak, Silverstone Circuit, Northants, 25 Nov – 3 Jan
Silverstone Circuit‘s spectacular Lap of Lights event returns this year with an illuminated Ice Trak (we’re talking 400,000 individual fire lights and 440 laser beams powerful enough to hit the moon – wowzer!) in the iconic pit lane along with an alpine lodge style food hub for an après-skate warm-up.
Windsor On Ice, Alexandra Gardens, Windsor, 20 Nov – 2 Jan
Windsor On Ice is back for the winter and whether you’re Olympic standard or a ‘cling on’ (guilt), it’s great for a family day out, or a fun slippy-slidey Christmas party. This year they’ll be putting up the big screen for super-cool pop-up cinema, plus fun fair, food and bar. Sessions are for 45 mins. See you in A&E, I mean on the ice.
Winter Wonderland, Hills Meadow, Reading, 13 Nov – 3 Jan
It’s back! After a mini break, Reading’s Winter Wonderland will be popping up in Hills Meadow Car Park. Expect more festive fun than a Mariah Carey video. There’s an ice rink, fun fair, Aprés bar, Santa’s grotto, German sausage and lots and lots of mulled wine. It’s free to enter, but you can buy tickets now for Santa’s Grotto, Ice Skating and an unlimited ride pass.
Christmas Ice Rink, Cheltenham, 18 Nov – 2 Jan
An ice-skating wonderland is coming to the heart of Regency Cheltenham – whoop! The pop up rink will be located in Imperial Gardens, against the pretty backdrop of the Queen’s Hotel. It will also have an all-weather roof and 20 funky penguin skate aids available to hire (£5). Each skate session lasts 45 minutes with family tickets available for £32.
Open Air Ice Rink, Gloucester, 24 Nov – 3 Jan
This popular ice rink returns to Orchard Square in Gloucester Quays for 2021 promising to put some proper festive cheer into the heart of the city. There’s a great alfresco bar with twinkly fairy lights for that all important hot choc after your skate (or stronger!) and it’s set against the backdrop of the historic docks, tickets will be on sale very soon so keep your eyes peeled and your skates primed.
Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, 27 Nov – 3 Jan
Skating around with gorgeous Warwick Castle lit up behind you? Dreamy. There’ll be Christmas hits playing, aids if you aren’t too hot on your skates (hands up!) and more importantly mulled wine and snack stalls.
CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY
Natural History Museum, London, until 16 Jan
If you’re in the big smoke, the ice rink at the Natural History Museum is already open for Christmassy business — and it’s the final ever one! After sixteen years of ice, the Natural History Museum will be converting its garden into a haven for wildlife instead from next year. Noble stuff. Better book fast while you can!
Skylight Ice Rink, London, 5 Nov – 16 Jan
Ice skating on the ground is so basic — we’re all about that rooftop skating, baby! And it’ll have to be this one, because Skylight’s ice rink is the only rooftop rink in Europe. Throw in some heated après-skate bars, cosy igloos, and plenty of (post-skate!) cocktails, and you’ve got a winner of an evening. Ice skating can only be booked on the day.
Somerset House, London, 17 Nov – 16 Jan
There are ice rinks without swanky Moet & Chandon partnerships, and then there are ice rinks with. Head along to some festive fun at the neoclassical Somerset House, this year featuring plenty of bubbles along with the ice.
Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, Hyde Park, 19 Nov – 3 Jan
Get your skate on at the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, built around the iconic Victorian bandstand and open until 10pm daily — did someone say romantic evening skate? All welcome, including wheelchairs. From £10.50 for an adult and £7.50 for a child.
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink, Richmond, 13 Nov – 9 Jan
Frolic in Henry VIII’s front yard in this large outdoor rink. Frankly, a bit of historic splendour is what’s been missing in our previous skate trips! There are plenty of festive refreshments also available. Pre-booking essential.
Alexandra Palace, London, year-round
A mainstay for icy fun, the rink at Alexandra Palace caters for all abilities, from toddling toddlers to acrobatic athletes. Things get especially fun at Christmas, with mulled wine and mince pies aplenty. You can even book into a Christmas “Club de Fromage” disco, and dance and skate the night away to cheesy festive tunes. Are you in or are you in?