If you have a few days off for the New Year and you do not want to just waste them watching old Christmas movies on TV and would rather spend them doing something a little different, then why not try ice skating? And I do not mean in some skanky old council rink, I mean going to a special ice skating rink where there are top of the range facilities, optional extras such as ice skating experts to help you with your technique, or lovely on-site cafes or where it is situated within a beautiful town or city where you can explore the local history as well. We have hand picked some of the best ice skating venues that will make you feel like it’s still Christmas and you are Robin Cousins, who has just won the Olympic Gold! Check these out:
Eden Project Cornwall
A tree lined tunnel leads you into the Eden Project’s lantern and fairy lit main dome. Stalls around the rink sell snacks such as traditional pasties and Cornish choirs serenade you as you spin around the ice. The magical ice rink is back with a new stunning glacial theme. In addition to our general skating sessions, there are special sessions for all ages and abilities, so come on down and get your skates on! There is limited capacity for all our skating sessions, so please pre-book to avoid disappointment. Each person will also need to have a valid admission ticket to the Eden Project. Special ice-play sessions for the under 6s, with plenty of toys to play with. The sessions last an hour and a half, or an hour and 15 minutes, and children must be accompanied by an adult (at least one adult per two children). Please note that on Sundays, when these sessions start at 9am, the Eden gates will open at 8.30am. Book your general skating session online, visit the website www.edenproject.com or call our Box Office on 01726 811972.
Children under the age of 8 can join the Penguin Club which successfully guides children through their first tentative steps on the ice. Our penguins are special skate stabilisers for children, to help them keep their balance. Children over eight years of age can join the grown-ups at Skate Lessons. Tickets are £7.50. At night, experience the unique atmosphere of open-air clubbing, on and off the ice, to a live soundtrack from prominent DJs, iconic clubs and trend-setting festivals including Ministry of Sound, The Loose Cannons, Joey Negro, Lovebox and Snowbombing. Visit after work for a glass of mulled wine and stay on into the night, or make it a meeting place for friends to catch up over a cocktail before hitting the ice. Club Nights bring a new late night soundtrack to Skate at Somerset House. Tickets prices are £17 and are available from www.somersethouse.org.uk
Hampton Court Palace
It’s a beautiful crisp winter’s day – sunshine and bright blue skies! What better way to celebrate the season than by coming down to skate at the beautiful Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink. Located in front of Henry VIII’s stunning Tudor palace, the Hampton Court ice rink is one of the most magical locations for ice skating during the festive winter season. Feel the cold tingle of London’s crisp winter air, listen to the music, and take in the royal surroundings as you glide gracefully (or not so!) around the rink in front of the breathtaking palace. At night time, the place transforms into the most beautifully illuminated setting for winter skating. Following your skate, escape the cold and warm up in the Ice Bar & Café, located alongside the ice rink. Filled with a selection of winter drinks, from hot chocolate to mulled wine and festive snacks, it’s the ideal place for warming up from the cold, or for watching others having fun out on the ice rink. Tickets are from £8.00 for a child upto £34 for a family. Buy from www.hamptoncourticerink.com
Edinburgh’s Ice Rink is one of Europe’s largest and is a spectacular winter attraction in a stunning setting. Set beneath the city’s stunning skyline, Edinburgh’s Ice Rink is one of Europe’s largest. Offering fun for all the family, be sure to head down and have a go on one of the most popular winter attractions in Scotland. This year’s ice rink comes from Scotland’s Theme Park, M&D’s and offers the perfect family day out with a wide range of food and drink including festive mulled wine. Discounts on tickets are available when purchased online. Book online as normal and for those who bring their own skates the £1.00 discount will be activated on presentation of their email confirmation at the Ice Rink ticket office.
Brighton Pavilion Ice Rink
Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Christmas ice rink and restaurant is back by popular demand, opening to the public November 12 – January 22. The rink to visit outside of London, with quirky little independent shops on its doorstep for Christmas shopping heaven without the London crowds, it’s viewed by many as the most romantic and beautiful setting for a Christmas rink in the country. Take a turn on the ice in front of this Royal pleasure palace, sink into our comfy leather chesterfields with mulled wine in hand or book a family feast fit for the Prince Regent in our beautiful rinkside restaurant..would Christmas be Christmas without a visit? Tickets can be bought on the door for skating sessions on the day or in advance. There’s no entry charge to spectate or visit the bar and restaurant. Skaters should aim to arrive 20 minutes before their chosen session. Book online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk