The top 10 ice-skating rinks around Britain
Get your skates on for a festive favourite, in some of the country’s most historic spots
I love the run-up, or should I say, skate-up to Christmas, when Britain’s most historic locations freeze over and turn into festive skating rinks. There’s something magical about skating in front of palaces, castles and museums. Here’s my top ten.
Somerset House, London
This is one of the most famous festive skating rinks and the loveliest. Set in the courtyard of this beautiful heritage building on the Thames, it’s flanked by Somerset House’s enormous Christmas tree. Afterwards, visit the Skate Lounge by Moet & Chandon, or have a hot chocolate at the Hotel Chocolat pop-up. For tickets, click here.
Hampton Court Palace, London
Another magical location in London, is Hampton Court Palace, which turns the front of Henry VIII’s Tudor palace into a rink, so you glide along with magnificent views, especially when it lights up after dark. There’s a café and bar on-site, too. For tickets, click here.
Warwick Castle, Warwickshire
One of the best castles in the country – Warwick Castle, which is always a great day out - comes to life over Christmas and turns its east front into a skating rink, so you can glide around under its turrets. The castle also hosts other Christmas events, including Stories with Santa and a light trail. For tickets, click here.
The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
Another magnificent setting for a skate rink, is in Brighton’s The Royal Pavilion, as you skate beside the opulent – and unique - former seaside home of the Prince Regent. There’s also a rink-side bar and kitchen. For tickets, click here.
George St, Edinburgh
This is a simply marvellous ice rink – Lidl on Ice transforms Edinburgh’s famous George Street into an ice rink, between Castle St and Charlotte Square and is extremely popular with locals and visitors. Take in the city’s beautiful Georgian architecture as you skate. For tickets, click here.
Royal Pavilion, Bath
Back for its 10th year, Bath on Ice is another spectacular skate rink in one of Britain’s most beautiful cities. This large rink in Royal Victoria Park also has food and drink and there’s a lovely Christmas market. For tickets, click here.
Cardiff Castle, Cardiff
Lovely Cardiff Castle is turned into a Winter Wonderland, with an ice rink and Ice Walk. There’s also the popular family funfair, located in City Hall Lawn and this year, a new Ice Bar experience, where everything is made of, yes, ice. Book tickets here.
Eden Project, Cornwall
Yes, it’s world-famous for its tropical biomes, but Cornwall’s Eden Project drops the temperature significantly at Christmas, with its indoor ice rink. It makes a fun addition to anyone planning a visit to this popular attraction. Plus, you can head into the biomes to warm up, afterwards. For tickets, click here.
Lapland UK, Ascot
I included this one, because it’s one of the most magical ice-rinks I have visited. Anyone with little children should book for a Lapland UK visit at their base near Ascot. After entering the enchanted forest, mid-way around your experience, you’ll come across its lovely ice-rink. Visit while you can. For tickets, click here.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
Scotland’s biggest ice rink pops up at the magnificent Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. Elfingrove is a spectacular covered rink with Apres Skate Bar, restaurant and new Snow Wheel. For tickets, click here.
The British Travel List is the sister newsletter to The Royal List. It is a weekly guide to my favourite places to visit and stay around the country. I am an experienced travel and lifestyle journalist and am passionate about British travel. For more of my work, visit kerryparnell.com