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Get yer skates on!

Pull out your best Torville and Dean moves and practice that double Axel, the skating rinks are back in town. Whether you're fond of gracing the ice yourself, or prefer to watch from the sidelines these are the best rinks around.

Ice skating hampshire isle of wightWinchester Cathedral, until Sun 5 Jan

Head to the home of Christmas in the UK as Winchester rolls out their annual ice-rink. Not only is it right on the doorstep of their fabulous Christmas market’s, but the whole thing is covered over – so no getting soaked in the rain while you skim along the ice. Fabulous. Sessions are an hour, 10am – 8pm, adults are £11.00 and kids from £6.95.

Portsmouth Guildhall, until Sun 5 Jan

Fast becoming a bit of a foodie culture spot, The Guildhall Square in Portsmouth becomes an alpine resort, complete with a covered over rink this year and gallons of Glühwein. Sessions are an hour, running from 10am – 8pm Sunday through Wednesday and 10am- 9:15pm Thursday through Saturday, sessions are an hour long and adults cost £10.50 and kids are £9.

Southampton Westquay, until Sun 5 Jan

Southampton is one of the best shopping destinations in Hampshire and to add a little bit of Christmas sparkle to the mix, they’re bringing back their annual Christmas rink at Westquay. Before you brave the absolute chaos that is the Christmas shopping rush, have a little exercise on the ice to limber you up. I also have it on good authority there’s the Mogul Alpine Lodge complete with mulled wine to seek out. Sessions are an hour, run from 11.45am – 8:30pm on weekdays and 10.30am – 8:30pm on weekends, adults are £11.50 and kids are £9.50.

Four Seasons Hampshire, Dogmersfield, December until April

four seasonsIf you fancy getting your skates on a little bit later than some of these rinks run, then how about heading to the opulent surroundings of Hampshire’s very own Four Seasons Hotel. The on-site rink will be open until April, is totally child-friendly and totally gives you an excuse to pop into the Wild Carrot restaurant after you’ve worked up an appetite on the ice. For details call the hotel’s concierge on 01252 853204.

FURTHER AFIELD

Somerset House, London, Sun 12 Jan 

For the venue’s 20th year of skating, Somerset House is again teaming up with Fortnum and Mason. Alongside a whopper of an ice rink in the fountain courtyard (you can also book in for Skate Lates and, new for 2019, a skating overnighter on 7 – 8 Dec) there’ll be a 40ft Christmas tree and the return of the Fortnum and Mason Christmas Arcade with festive pop-ups, food, drink and gifts. The Fortnum Lodge is also making a comeback with chocolate and cheese fondue (not together), Champers, black cherry bellinis, mulled wine, baked camembert, apple and cinnamon bakes and tipsy hot chocolate. All the food groups represented.

Opening times vary, 45 minute sessions. Adult tickets £11, child tickets from £8.50.

Ice skating at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London, Sun 5 Jan

As if the whopper festive island in the middle of Hyde Park didn’t have enough going on already – we’re talking ice bars, workshops, rides, boozy Bavarian Village and Xmas shows – it also has the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink complete with Victorian bandstand with live music to skate around (or cling to).

Open 10am – 10pm, 50 minute skating sessions. Adult tickets from £9.50, child tickets from £7.50, family tickets from £30.

Natural History Museum, Sun 12 Jan 

Triple salchows first, triceratopses after? Or the other way round? The Natural History Museum’s ice rink surrounds a huge Christmas tree centrepiece and there’s also an alpine style cafe/bar that overlooks the rink. New for this year, the museum has partnered with Viktor & Rolf fragrances to transform the rink (every Fri evening, 7 – 8pm, until 20 Dec) into a scented haven with the brand’s Flowerbomb perfume sprayed in the air, sparkly babbles on the tree and the ice turned pink.

There’s also the option scoff afternoon tea with the launch of Scoff & Banter’s Dine & Skate package, which includes contemporary British tea with a wintry twist in Scoff & Banter’s Tea Rooms on Oxford Circus and tickets to skate.

Core opening times 10am – 10pm, sessions are 50 minutes. Adult tickets from £12.65, children from £8.80 and families from £39.60.

Tower of London, Sun 5 Jan

Set in the historical grounds, at dusk the pop-up rink is illuminated by a light display set against the castle walls. Although early morning sessions are best for the little ones with penguin skate aids available on a first come, first serve basis. There’s also an accompanying Ice Rink Café Bar, but go steady on the tipple before you skate, apparently if you knock anyone over you get sent to the Tower (*gulp*).

Core opening times 10am – 9pm, 45 minute sessions. Adult tickets £15, child tickets £10.50, family tickets £45.

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey,  Sun 5 Jan

Henry VIII’s old gaff in Surrery offers a stunning 16th century Tutor faced as a backdrop, especially when the illuminations kick in at dusk. There’s also a rink-side café.

Core opening times 10am – 9pm, 45 minute sessions. Adult tickets £15, child tickets £10.50, family tickets £45.

 Royal PavilionBrighton, East Sussex, Sun 19 Jan

Picture by Jim Holden

The colourfully lit domes of Brighton Pavilion back the city’s seasonal ice rink. The large covered cafe/bar terrace opens 9.30am 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 cute penguin skating aid!

Tiffany & Co. Winter Wonderland, Covent Garden, 29 Nov – 26 Dec 

Tiffany & Co. are glamming up Covent Garden’s East Piazza with decor inspired by Christmas holidays in New York, the home of the iconic jewellery house. There’ll be a bespoke ice rink complete with oversized Tiffany Blue Boxes, sparkly snow and Tiffany Fragrance puffed into the air.

Pre-booked tickets are already sold out, but there will be a limited number of tickets available each day. 

Find more ideas here

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