It’s nearly Christmas – Get your skates on!

It’s that time of year again.  If you’re thinking about strapping on the skates for a graceful pirouette across the ice or a touch of skidding on your rump with the rest of us, there are plenty of decent UK rinks to choose from. We’ve picked just half-a-dozen offering an extra dash of festive spirit.

London Pic Simon and His Camera


Londoners are spoiled for choice, but Somerset House offers the ultimate Victorian-style outdoor Christmas experience in the heart of the capital. Its atmospheric historic buildings enclose a magical winter wonderland complete with huge Christmas tree and horse and carriage. The champagne and chocolate package is an indulgent treat and their club nights feature star DJs, but for yuletide overload, choose a Glad-Tidings Tuesday for traditional seasonal music, food and shopping.

14 November 2013 – 5 January 2014   (Session times)


Is there anything more festive than a turn on the ice in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle? The outdoor ice rink on East Princes Street Gardens Terrace is also overlooked by the city’s Big Wheel and has great views of the evocative Edinburgh skyline. While you’re there visit one of the many theatre shows or parties on offer as part of Edinburgh’s Christmas in conjunction with Underbelly, or work a skate into your day exploring the city’s festive markets, rides and attractions.

14 November 2013 – 5 January 2014  (Session times)


Where else in the UK can you skate in a tropical garden in the microclimate of a bio-dome? This year’s ice skating season at the Eden Project becomes Christmassy between November 30 and January 6, with Nordic winter scenery featuring Christmas trees, fairy lights and a festive choir. This year they’ve added  beginners’ sessions, Friday discos and a menu featuring prime-quality burgers and bangers, sweet potato chips, yummy crepes and delicious warming drinks like organic spiced mandarin hot chocolate.

19 October 2013  – 2 March 2014  (Session times)


Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is a monument the city’s hisotry as an indulgent holiday destination, making it the natural choice for an annual city-centre ice rink. This year the city will reinforce its reputation for eco-consciousness by creating the UK’s first ever ‘green rink’ beside the beautiful oriental-style building. Sourcing the formidable amount of energy to freeze and power up the attraction from renewable sources. Trust Brighton to come up with the ultimate in guilt-free seasonal fun.

9 November 2013 – 19 January, 2014  (Session times)


Glide under the Christmas lights of Glasgow’s George Square on an open air rink in the heart of this bustling party city then visit the marquee next door for a full-on yuletide festival of free live music and entertainment.​ The eclectic family fun includes everything from Santa storytime to premium jazz, with Monday evenings showcasing new local bands, Wednesdays screening Christmas films and Thursday offering a chance to join the Big Big Sing of festive favourites.

23 November 2013 – 5 January 2014  (Booking info)


All the above offer either training supports (usually penguins) or extra-stable twin-blade bob skates for tinies, some only available at separate sessions. Check details at your chosen venue.

If you just fancy giving skating a try, check The National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (NISA) site for an  interactive map of permanent and seasonal UK ice rinks.



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