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Get your skates on

Pop-up ice rinks are back, adding a touch of romance to the cold. Here's where you'll find them.

 

SURREY

Ice skating at Hampton Court Palace. Photo courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces

Hampton Court Palace
■ East Moseley ■  24 Nov – 7 Jan

‘Skate back in time’ they say and you’ve a seriously stunning backdrop for your triple salchow at Henry VIII’s old gaff in Surrey, floodlit with colours for the evening. The cafe serves up pies, rum punches and fizz. Make a day of it in the palace itself. hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.co.uk

 

Reigate on Ice
■ Priory Park, Reigate ■ 30 Nov – 3 Jan

The pop-up ice rink in Reigate’s Priory Park is in a big top marquee – so the weather won’t stop you getting your skates on. There’s a bar, and other rides and attractions, in a sort of mini winter wonderland, including a Santa’s Grotto. Sessions start on the hour and last 45 mins. Tickets for skating: £12 adults, £9 child under 16, £35 family of four, including skate hire. The Santa’s Grotto is £7 for a child. Online booking is recommended, but not essential. reigateonice.co.uk

 

Ice Skate Camberley
■ Camberley ■  9 Dec to 5 Jan

Camberley will be transformed to a magical winter wonderland with a real open-air ice rink in the heart of the town centre in Park Street. Tickets are: £9.50 adults, £7.50 children and concessions, £30 family of four; £44 family of six. christmasincamberley.co.uk

 

The Village: Guildford Ice Rink
■ Guildford ■ Nov 16 to Dec 24

Outdoor ice skating comes to central Guildford for the first time as The Village is transformed into a Christmas winter wonderland. Sessions are 45 minutes and tickets are £13 adults, £11 kids. The rink is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. thevillageicerink.co.uk

 

Guildford Spectrum Ice Rink
■ Guildford ■ ongoing

Not just for Christmas, but this permanent Olympic-size rink is well set up for skaters of all abilities all year round. There are IceXtreme and 2Xtreme disco sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Penguins and snowmen are available for hire. Due to Aladdin on Ice there will be changes to the normal schedule from 15-17 Dec. Check skating times here. Tickets vary according to which session you in. Skate hire is extra at £2.10. guildfordspectrum.co.uk

 

LONDON

Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason. Photo by James Bryant

Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason
■ London ■  Nov 15 – 14 Jan 

Skate at Somerset House is tying-up with Fortnum & Mason again to give us a Christmas shopping arcade and foodie treats in an Alpine-themed lodge where you can share cheese or chocolate fondues. Skate Lates music nights include takeovers from the 90s and Noughties hip hop and R&B night Supa Dupa Fly. There’s a skate school for children – and adults. somersethouse.org.uk

 

National History Museum
■ London ■ 26 Oct to 7 Jan 

Combine a visit to the dinos or the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition (On till 28 May) with a turn on the ice at this Kensington rink. Work in London? You can have your office Xmas party here. nhm.ac.uk

 

Ice skating at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
London 17 Nov to 3 Jan

If you’re planning a day in London this Christmas, then Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park is a must. It’s packed with all things Christmasy, including, of course, an ice rink – the largest open-air ice rink in the UK. It’s set around Hyde Park’s Victorian bandstand under a canopy of sparkling lights. There are also circus shows, market stalls and rides and attractions. Tickets for the ice skating varies according to times and tickets sell out so booking is recommended. hydeparkwinterwonderaland.com

 

FURTHER AFIELD

Professionals show how it’s done at the opening of Brighton’s ice rink

Royal Pavilion
■ Brighton ■ 4 Nov to 14 Jan 

The colourfully lit onion domes of Brighton Pavilion back the city’s seasonal ice rink. The large covered cafe/bar terrace opens 9.30 am till late with mulled wine and full meals including an after-school children’s menu and stone-baked pizzas. There’s no charge for spectating from here if you just want the atmosphere. Kids can get their balance on a separate rink with a penguin skating aid – first come first served but you’re expected to share. Check out the video on the website for skating tips. royalpavilionicerink.co.uk

 

Hornbrook Park
■ Horsham, West Sussex ■ 20 Oct to 28 Jan 

Another covered rink, this one at Horsham Park has a café serving hot drinks and snacks. Skating is for ages 4+ with younger skaters welcomed off-peak and penguins skate aids available. Various lessons can be booked, from kids’ beginner and advanced sessions to private 15 minute one-to-ones for all ages. horshamicerink.co.uk

 

Windsor on Ice
■ Alexandra Gardens, Winsdor, Berkshire ■  18 Nov to 7 Jan

There are two rinks here. The main one is under cover and there’s a smaller open-air rink. There’s also food and other attractions including an ice bar and grill. Sessions are for 45 mins. Tickets: £12.50 adults, £10.50 children. Skate hire included. windsoronice.com

 

Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink
■ Winchester, Hampshire ■ 20 Nov to 7 Jan

Beside the cathedral but under a clear roof enjoy a weather proof skate then tuck into mince-pies and Prosecco rink-side.  There’s also a Christmas market here until 22 Dec so plenty to prompt a day-trip. They’ll organise a children’s party for you and you can find out what a ‘skate banana’ is! winchester-cathedral.org.uk

 

Calverley Grounds
■ Tunbridge Wells, Kent ■ 17 Nov to 1 Jan 

Plenty going on at this outdoor rink set in an amphitheatre. It’s a nicely inclusive palce with toddler sessions during school hours, seal skating aids that youngsters can be pushed around on and non-motorised wheelchairs also allowed on the ice. Various cafes and a BBQ pop-up will be there and parties can be catered for. Father Christmas will be taking up residence in a log cabin on certain dates and there’s also a gingerbread house to visit. tunbridgewellsatchristmas.com

 

Worthing Ice Rink
■ Steyne Gardens, Worthing, West Sussex ■  20 Oct – 27 Feb 

Worthing’s Steyne Gardens pop-up is back, much earlier than last year and fully covered in a giant marque so you can skate whatever the weather. Regular sessions are for over-fours, while toddlers can get on the ice too in special weekday sessions 10.00am – 3.00pm helped by penguins for balance. There are even six week children’s skating courses and private lessons by arrangement. You can warm up with hot drinks and snacks in the café and even use the venue to host a children’s party. worthingicerink.com

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