Put on your skates: the 10 most beautiful ice rinks in the UK | UK Public Holidays


Set against the backdrop of the extravagant Indochinese Royal Pavilion, Brighton’s pop-up ice rink resembles a scene from a vintage Christmas card. Book a visit after dusk and the pavilion shimmers under an illuminated wash of purples and blues, scarlet and gold that showcases the palace domes and casts glittering reflections on the ice. After an invigorating stroll by the sea, take a stroll on the ice rink. For toddlers under 1.2m there are penguin skate aids. Hunger? The ice rink bar and cafe serves generous vegan burgers, halloumi fries, soups and bratwurst, plus a kids’ menu.
Tickets from £ 15 per person for 45 minutes, admission free for spectators; royalpavilionicerink.co.uk


Helping Hand: Queen’s House Ice Rink, Greenwich. Photography: Piccolino Photo Studio / National Maritime Museum PR

Few ice rinks can claim a setting as chic as this, located within the grounds of the Queen’s House and the Royal Museums of Greenwich, a Unesco World Heritage site. Enjoy the magnificent architecture, the breathtaking views of Greenwich Park and, across the River Thames, the dazzling lights of the City of London. Make it a day with Greenwich’s attractions and grounds, market and shops, and a museum tour. Eat at the on-site food stall or try the Pavilion Café nearby.
Tickets from £ 15 per person for one hour; rmg.co.uk

Somerset House

Rear view of a woman and child skating hand in hand on the Somerset House ice rink in London.
Winter Wonderland: Somerset House Ice Rink in London. Photography: Luke Dyson

One of the UK’s most popular skating venues, the Somerset House Ice Rink transforms the neoclassical courtyard here into a fairytale world of winter-themed decor presided over by a 40-foot Christmas tree. New to skating? Book a Skate Mate to accompany you around the rink. On the after-skate side, choose between gastronomic specialties on the theme of the Alps such as cheese fondue, cold meats and smoked salmon at Chalet Barragiste – or take a bottle of bubbles at the Moët & Chandon lounge on the skate side. With the ice rink’s generous opening hours, you can even book a late-night DJ session for cool tunes to accompany your spins.
Tickets start at £ 11 per person for a 45 minute skate; somersethouse.org.uk

Hampton court

A woman skating on the Hampton Court ice rink
Blade runner: Hampton Court Ice Rink. Photograph: James Linsell-Clark / Historic Royal Palaces

Glide across the ice in the gardens of Henry VIII’s former residence, Hampton Court, and you’ll have spectacular views of Tudor Palace, with illuminated colors illuminating the facade after dark. Spend a day exploring the historic residence, then introduce the kids to the magical cave in the Secret Garden, before putting on your skates for a glide on the ice. can be seated or pushed. Peckish ? Soak up the spirit of the season with mulled wine and tarts at the café and ice rink bar.
Tickets from £ 16 per person for a 45-minute slot; hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.co.uk

Eden Project

Skaters on the rink of the Eden Project.
Biome Magic: The Eden Project Ice Rink in Cornwall. Photography: Steve Tanner

Worth a visit even without the added allure of a sparkling ice rink, Cornwall’s eco-attraction, Project Eden sees the return of its seasonal skating – and this year, marking the site’s 18th rink, promises to be great spectacular. Expect twinkling lights, Narnia-style lanterns, and a tree-lined tunnel leading you into biomes. Allow time to take a peek through the biomes, then head to Eden Bakery, where toddlers can make Christmas cards and edible decorations. Do you feel a little rusty on the ice? For local visitors, the Eden Project runs five-week skating lessons on Wednesday evenings.
Tickets from £ 8 to £ 10 for a 40-minute slot; edenproject.com


Set against the backdrop of the spectacular Norman Dungeon of Cardiff Castle, this Winter Wonderland ice rink is just one of the city’s many seasonal attractions. Spend the whole day here and try the Ice Walk in the Castle Park, then at the nearby Town Hall enjoy the funfair rides, live music, and DJ nights. New this year is an ice bar, set to a cold temperature of -10C. Alternatively, the Alpine Village serves festive cuisine and for lovers of mulled wine or hot chocolate, Sur le Piste ski lodge offers hot drinks in a comfortable Swiss themed setting to relax.
Ice skating tickets from £ 13 per person for 60 minutess, free entry; cardiffswinterwonderland.com


A view from above of the ice rink on George Street in Edinburgh.
Road runner: the ice rink on George Street in Edinburgh. Photograph: Liam Anderstrem / Airborne Lens

With an alternative to the traditional circular ice rink, this winter marks the first time in three years that visitors can slide down elegant George Street on Edinburgh’s magnificent Alpine Ice Rink. The city hosts many seasonal events in conjunction with the ice rink – worthy of a full day outing. Check out the ever popular Christmas market for European gifts and snacks in East Princes Street Gardens, book for Santa’s Cave in West Princes Street, or try family attractions spanning a magical maze of Christmas trees, for stroll around the market stalls filled with seasonal delicacies.
Tickets start at £ 6 for a 45-minute slot; edinburgh.christmas.com


Rowing season may be over, but you can still enjoy thrilling outdoor activities in Cambridge at the ‘North Pole’ at Parker’s Piece. The city’s winter wonderland has a large indoor ice rink – great for skating in any weather – and, new this year, a few more attractions. Try the three-lane ice slide (the UK’s longest) or try your hand at night skating under the stars followed by frozen vodka in the ice bar. Alternatively, get a bird’s-eye view of the city from the Ferris wheel, then treat the kids to a series of traditional funfair rides.
Tickets start at £ 13.50 for a 45 minute slot; thenorthpolecambridge.co.uk

Tobacco Quay, London

Skaters on Europe's only rooftop ice rink at London's Tobacco Dock.
On Top of the World: Europe’s only rooftop ice rink at London’s Tobacco Dock. Photography: Haydon Perrior

Feel on top of the world as you lace up your boots to glide across the ice – and if vertigo isn’t a problem, then Europe’s only rooftop ice rink at London’s Skylight Tobacco Dock will prove wonderfully rewarding . Enjoy offers fabulous views towards the Gherkin and Nokia; drink in those twinkling city lights after dusk falls, then mix and match your stay here with other festive experiences. In addition to the ice rink, Skylight offers heated rooftop igloos for friends to share alpine fare and mulled wine – or warm up in the Skylight Cinema while watching cheesy Christmas movies – with cocktails on tap .
Tickets start at £ 15 per person for a 45-minute slot. Book the igloos and the cinema separately; skylightbars.com/tobacco-dock


Skaters on the 1000m² Bath ice rink near Victoria Park.
Ice dancing: 1000 m² ice rink in Bath near Victoria Park

Planning a day trip to Bath? Factor in an hour of skating on the city’s atmospheric ice rink near Victoria Park. On 1000 m², you can go on stage, dance on ice to the sound of music and show off those arabesques and backflips without fear of hitting other skaters. Skating aids and sleds can be booked for toddlers, and the rink has great deals for families. Fuel up with hot chocolate and churros, or a glass of wine, at the Moguls Alpine Bar, then finish with a dip in the outdoor rooftop pool at the nearby Thermae Bath Spa.
Tickets from £ 12.50 per person; bathonice.com; thermaebathspa.com offers 2 hour spa sessions from £ 37 per person

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