Skates on! 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 Suffolk & Cambs.
The Anchor Inn, Nayland, Suffolk, 16 Nov – 2 Jan
This popular riverside pub has made the genius decision to have a family-friendly eco rink in its garden this winter. Yep, you can skate overlooking the River Stour followed by a Prosecco. Even better is the Skate & Dine menu (including a kid’s option) meaning you can devour a truffle burger and sticky toffee pudding and then work off the calories.
The North Pole Festival, Parker’s Piece, Cambridge, 19 Nov – 3 Jan
The North Pole Festival’s ice rink returns to Cambs this year with its clear roof to protect us from the English weather as we skate (hurray!). Younger kids can join the fun with the help of Penguin skate aids, plus there’s an ice slide, fairground rides, a new ice bar serving festive cocktails and German grill dishing out bratwursts and burgers
Marsh Farm, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, 13 Nov – 30 Jan
Hit the ice at Marsh Farm, which opens alongside a Christmas fun fair and train ride for the kids. The Father Christmas Experience (avec skates) starts from £35, or skating sessions can be bagged for £8.99.
Felixstowe Ice Rink, Suffolk, 18-21 Dec
Whizz around Great Eastern Square for free this Christmas! Yes you read that correctly, this ice rink experience won’t cost you a penny and you don’t even need to book or pay for skate hire, which makes it a contender for the best budget day out this Xmas.
Garon Park, Southend, Essex, 10-24 Dec
New this year and set to be a cracker (not literally, obvs…), this pop-up ice rink also promises fairground rides, street food, bars, a giant wheel, and a Christmas market. Is it December yet?
CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY
If you’re visiting London for a spot of pre-Christmas cheer then a trip to an ice rink should be top of your ‘Xmassy things to do in the capital’ list. These are our pick of the bunch.
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?