Top open air ice-rinks to get you skating this Christmas

Now that the cold weather is well and truly here to stay some of England's most attractive settings are being converted into ice rinks for the open-air skating season.

Whether you're a natural on the ice or admittedly more of a Bambi, there's plenty of fun to be had (and it's great exercise too) – so lace up your skates and slide on!

We've teamed up with Visit England to pick our ten top spots to channel your inner Torvill or Dean...

Tower of London

17 November 2012 – 6 January 2013

Tower of London


Located in the moat and set against the magnificent fortress battlements, the Tower of London ice rink has surely one of the most stunning central London settings and is ideal for lunchtime skating, after-work gatherings, romantic dates and weekend afternoons out. Beautifully illuminated after dark, it makes a spectacular night time destination.

Tickets cost £13.00 for adults, £9 for children and £36.00 for families.

Bath on Ice

23 November 2012 – 6 January 2013

One of England's UNESCO World Heritage Cities, Bath has something extra to tempt visitors this Christmas… a brand new outdoor ice rink. Set in central Bath against the stunning backdrop of the Georgian Royal Crescent and within walking distance of the city's Christmas markets, Bath on Ice promises to be a truly magical experience.

Tickets cost £7 per person.

York's Ice Factor

24 November 2012 – 6 January 2013

York Ice Factor


The Ice Factor, York's award-winning real ice rink, will help the Scrooges out there feel the Xmas magic. This year a giant 30ft Christmas tree will be in the centre of the ice rink as well as an illuminated reindeer forest. Don't forget to check out the authentic British fun fair (including a mega helter skelter) and the festive food and drink stalls.

Tickets cost £9.50 for adults and £8.50 for children.

Winchester Cathedral

22 November 2012 – 6 January 2013

Winchester cathedral ice rink


If you need a break from Christmas shopping, this open-air ice rink is conveniently situated in the middle of Winchester's Christmas market, next to Winchester Cathedral. To mark the opening of the ice rink, a spectacular lantern procession will be led from Winchester's Great Hall to the Cathedras on 22 November, so plan your night out now!.

Tickets cost £9.50 for adults, £5 for children and £30 for families.

Lakeside Ice Rink at Trentham Estate

23 November 2012 – 24 February 2013

Set in a beautiful lakeside location, Trentham's ice rink runs beside the mile-long Trentham Lake and is surrounded by 725 acres of Italian Gardens and sweeping parkland. Test your skills on the ice, take a bracing walk through the beautiful winter scenery and then relax with a hot drink and snacks at the rink side café.

Tickets cost £8.50 for adults and £6.75 for children.

Somerset House, London

16 November 2012 – 6 January 2013

Somerset House Ice Rink


Celebrate the festive season in style at London's most glamorous ice rink. Skate to a live soundtrack at one of the open-air Club Nights, back this year with an exclusive line-up of the hottest DJs around. Find your feet on the ice with Skate School and give your children their first glide on the ice with Penguin Club. Or simply soak up the atmosphere rink-side at Tom's Skate Lounge and pick up the perfect present at new pop-up shop, The Christmas Arcade.

Tickets cost £15.55 for adults and £8.45 for children. Club night tickets cost £17 per person.

Hampton Court Palace, Richmond-upon-Thames

1 December 2012 – 13 January 2013

Hampton court Palace ice rink


With open-air ice skating, setting is everything. At Hampton Court Palace you can skate against a picture perfect backdrop and marvel at the famous maze and gardens all silvered with frost. The rink is just outside the West Front of the palace, so you can enjoy stunning panoramic views and an enchanting Christmas atmosphere.

Tickets cost £12.50 for adults, £9 for children and £36 for families.

Royal Pavilion, Brighton

10 November 2012 – 20 January 2013

Royal Pavillion

© Robert Leighton



Following the huge success of previous years, the winter ice rink returns this year to the iconic setting of Brighton's Royal Pavilion. This beautiful rink allows up to 250 skaters per session, with penguin stabilisers for younger skaters and a learners' area for the unsure-footed. This year's pop-up, rink-side restaurant will be Jamie Oliver's 'Fabulous Feasts'.

Tickets cost £13 for adults, £8.50 for children and £34 for families.

Skate with a Star @ Life, Newcastle

10 November 2012 – 24 February 2013

Skate with a star this festive season over six one-hour sessions with Susie Lipanova of ITV's Dancing on Ice at Newcastle's Life (Life Science Centre). Susie will teach for 30 minutes leaving you the remaining 30 minutes to practice your moves and perfect your technique – with Susie on hand to help of course. Skate hire and a free cup of hot chocolate after each session is included in the price of the course.

A series of 6 skate sessions with Susie Lipanova costs £90.00 per person. Normal skate tickets at Life cost £7.95 for adults and £4.95 for children.

Natural History Museum, London

2 November 2012 – 6 January 2013

Natural History Museum ice rink


This 950-metre ice-rink is surrounded by some of London's most iconic museums and is glittering with Christmas lights aand a lively festive atmosphere.

Tickets cost £14.85 for adults, £9.90 for children and £41.80 for families.

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