Illustration of an outdoor ice skating rink

The best outdoor ice rinks across the country for the whole family

Get ready for a spin with these 10 spectacular ice skating spots

By Alexia Dellner, 24 November 2016
The best outdoor ice rinks across the country for the whole family

Grab your hats and scarves because ice skating season is finally here! There's nothing quite like gliding around a beautiful ice skating rink, surrounded by twinkling lights and the sound of holiday cheer - and don't forget about the obligatory hot chocolate afterwards!

There's nothing quite like gliding around a beautiful ice skating rink, surrounded by twinkling lights and the sound of holiday cheer

Get into the festive spirit with our round-up of brilliant outdoor ice skating rinks near you.

Many places combine this fun holiday pastime with Christmas markets and children's rides, making it the perfect activity to enjoy with the entire family. Or, for those who are looking for a bit of romance, there are plenty of picturesque outdoor ice skating rinks surrounded by stunning scenery.

Looking for a fun day out with the whole family? Lace up your skates and get ready to have some fun! Just don't forget to check the individual sites for pricing and booking info.

 

Manchester

Enjoy Manchester’s winter extravaganza in the courtyard of the old London Road Fire Station. Expect food stalls, live music, art and bars - and of course, a few swirls around the buzzing ice rink. Open from November 11 - January 8, visit manchestericerink.co.uk.

Edinburgh

Located in St Andrew Square, this rink has an unusual shape as it circles around the Melville Monument. Don't forget your mittens! Open from November 20 - January 4, visit edinburghschristmas.com.

York

Glide around the Ice Factor in York, conveniently located by the Christmas Market and the city's Winter Wonderland. With a giant 30ft Christmas tree in the centre of the rink, plus an illuminated forest surrounding it, this outdoor ice skating rink definitely has the wow factor.

Those who don't want to skate can watch the action in the heated outdoor terrace. Open Novmber 19 - January 2, visit yorkshireswinterwonderland.com.

London

South Kensington’s Natural History Museum boasts over 1,000 square metres of ice, plus its proximity to the Science Museum and the V&A (with free permanent exhibition spaces) mean that you could make a whole day out of it! Open from October 27 - January 8, visit nhm.ac.uk.

Looking for the full holiday experience in the nation's capital? Check out Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland with its popular ice rink before exploring the surrounding Christmas market and fairground rides. Open from November 18 - January 2, visit hydeparkwinterwonderland.com.

Surrey

About 30 minutes outside of London lies Henry VIII's striking Tudor home, Hampton Court. Set aside some time to walk around the grounds, then enjoy gliding around the palatial garden. Open from November 25 - January 8, visit hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.co.uk.

Winchester

 

Now it feels like Christmas #winchesterchristmasmarket

A photo posted by Will Law (@englishlaw) on

Germany is known for its Christmas markets, but if you can’t make a trip abroad you can still enjoy the mulled wine and bratwurst in Winchester, where the market and a beautiful ice rink surround the cathedral. And with this year's addition of a clear roof, there's no need to worry about the weather spoiling any fun! Open from November 18 - January 2, visit winchester-cathedral.org.uk

Brighton

Step into a Disney fairytale with the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink that’s as romantic as it is breathtaking. Dubbed South East’s most beautiful winter ice rink (they said it, not us!), there are gliding penguins available for little ones who need a helping hand. Open from November 5 – January 15, visit royalpavilionicerink.co.uk.

Cornwall

 

Time to blow off those Christmas cobwebs

A photo posted by @edenprojectcornwall on

Visitors to Cornwall will love The Eden Project (near St Austell) and its twinkling ice skating rink, complete with lanterns and performances by the Cornish Choir. Although not technically outdoors, the brilliant setting will make you feel like you're in a glacial wonderland.

Don’t forget to save room for traditional pastries that can be found in stalls around the rink. Open from 15 October 15 - February 19, visit edenproject.com.

Norwich

Back for its second year, the Norwich Ice Rink at the Castle Mall Gardens is even bigger this time round. Kids will love Snowy Joey, the 50 foot tall snowman bouncy castle! Open from December 16 to January 18, visit icerinknorwich.co.uk.

Cardiff

Explore the Welsh capital's Winter Wonderland with its clear-roofed ice rink (perfect for those inevitable rainy days), ferries wheel, Santa's grotto and live music. Located outside the impressive Edwardian baroque City Hall and university buildings, this is fun for the whole family. Open from November 10 - January 3, visit cardiffswinterwonderland.com.