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The Best Seasonal Ice Skating Rinks To Visit Around The UK

Matt Crisp November 1, 2023

The pop-up ice skating rink is now a firmly established favourite of the festive season, loved by children and adults alike. Here are some of the very best of the bunch to bring some of that winter wonderland magic to your outings this year. It’s worth gathering friends and family and hiring a coach to really make it a special event. 

 

The Royal Pavilion Brighton Ice Rink, East Sussex

It is difficult to beat the evocative backdrop of the elaborate Royal Pavilion Pleasure Palace, built in an Indo-Chinese style for the amusement of King George IV. At night time, it is illuminated with sweeps of green, purples, golds and blues that wash and shimmer over the ice rink. It’s eco-friendly too, powered entirely by renewable energy.

There is a rink-side bar and cafe that serves vegan burgers, halloumi fries, and also has a children’s menu. The nearby North Laine district of Brighton offers a good variety of independent shops if you want to get started on Christmas shopping.

 

Bath on Ice

The enchanting ice rink in Bath’s 57-acre Royal Victoria Park is steeped in festive atmosphere with twinkling lights and inspiring music. It’s 1,000sqm so if you have some serious skating chops to show off, this is the rink for you. After you have worked up an appetite, there is a tempting menu on offer at the nearby Moguls Alpine Bar.

 

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a charming city to visit at this time of year, and it has a pop up ice rink to complement the Christmas markets on George Street and Princes Street Gardens from 17 November to 6 January. The nearby Royal Mile is the perfect place to stock up on unique gifts for friends and family.

 

Skate at Somerset House

This year, Skate in central London is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism so you can expect a suitably Alpine theme. It’s a great opportunity to take your skating skills a bit more seriously, with sessions run by the National Ice Skate Association instructors. There are special Kid’s Club and Beginner Sessions too, so everyone is welcome.

 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London

The largest open air ice rink in the UK, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is an unmissable experience if you are visiting the capital this holiday season. Set around the Victorian Bandstand and lit with enchanting twinkling lights, you will feel as though you are skating back in time. 

Nearby, there’s the chance to browse the Christmas Markets and enjoy the delights of the fairground, complete with Zippo’s Christmas Circus. 

 

Eden Project, Cornwall

The Cornish eco-attraction is a wonderful place at any time of the year, but the magic is turned up to 10 with the pop-up ice rink decorated with trees, lights, and lanterns. 

For very small children, there are non-skating ice play sessions with toys and games. For anyone over the age of 18 months, skates are available to hire and there are some coaching sessions that can be pre-booked. 

Afterwards, enjoy a warming drink at the cafe and go and immerse yourself in the fascinating biomes and gardens throughout the rest of the Eden project.

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