Get your skates on!
The pop-up rinks are back around Sussex and nearby!
*FIND THE UPDATED 2018 GUIDE HERE*
Pull on your tan tights and dust off your triple salchow – ’tis the season to fall on your bum again. The pop-up ice rinks in Sussex and nearby are back and there’s plenty of fun to be had with or without kids, on or off the ice. Snacks to full meals, booze and even full party catering are available at many.
SUSSEX AND NEARBY:
Royal Pavilion, Brighton, 4 Nov – 14 Jan
The colourfully lit onion domes of Brighton Pavilion back the city’s seasonal ice rink. The large covered cafe/bar terrace opens 9.30 am 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 penguin skating aid – first come first served but you’re expected to share. Check out the video on the website for skating tips.
Worthing Ice Rink , Steyne Gardens, Worthing, 20 Oct – 27 Feb
Worthing’s Steyne Gardens pop-up is back, much earlier than last year and fully covered in a giant marque so you can skate whatever the weather. Regular sessions are for over-fours, while toddlers can get on the ice too in special weekday sessions 10.00am – 3.00pm helped by penguins for balance. There are even six week children’s skating courses and private lessons by arrangement.You can warm up with hot drinks and snacks in the café and even use the venue to host a children’s party.
Hornbrook Park, Horsham, 20 Oct – 28 Jan
Another covered rink, this one at Horsham Park has a café serving hot drinks and snacks. Skating is for ages 4+ with younger skaters welcomed off-peak and penguins skate aids available. Various lessons can be booked, from kids’ beginner and advanced sessions to private 15 minute one-to-ones for all ages.
Priory Meadow, Hastings, 1 Dec – 7 Jan
The rink at Priory Meadow shopping centre is a late launcher among ice rinks in Sussex this year but it’s around till 7 Jan. There are penguins skate aids to help youngters. Midweek BOGOF deals and kids’ loyalty cards get you discounts.
Tunbridge Wells, Calverley Grounds, Kent, 17 Nov – 1 Jan
Plenty going on at this outdoor rink set in an amphitheatre. It’s a nicely inclusive palce with toddler sessions during school hours, seal skating aids that youngsters can be pushed around on and non-motorised wheelchairs also allowed on the ice. Various cafes and a BBQ pop-up will be there and parties can be catered for. Father Christmas will be taking up residence in a log cabin on certain dates and there’s also a gingerbread house to visit.
Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink, Hampshire, 20 Nov – 7 Jan
Beside the cathedral but under a clear roof enjoy a weather proof skate then tuck into mince-pies and Prosecco rink-side. There’s also a Christmas market here until 22 Dec so plenty to prompt a day-trip. They’ll organise a children’s party for you and you can find out what a ‘skate banana’ is!
Hampton Court Palace, Moseley, Surrey 24 Nov – 7 Jan
‘Skate back in time’ they say and you’ve a seriously stunning backdrop for your triple salchow at Henry VIII’s old gaff in Surrey, floodlit with colours for the evening. The cafe serves up pies, rum punches and fizz. Make a day of it in the palace itself.
Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason, London, Nov 15 – 14 Jan
Skate at Somerset House is tying-up with Fortnum & Mason again to give us a Christmas shopping arcade and foodie treats in an Alpine-themed lodge where you can share cheese or chocolate fondues. Skate Lates music nights include takeovers from the 90s and Noughties, hip hop, and R&B night Supa Dupa Fly. There’s a skate school for children – and adults.
National History Museum, London, 26 Oct – 7 Jan
Combine a visit to the dinos or the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition (On till 28 May) with a turn on the ice at this Kensington rink. Work in London? You can have your office Xmas party here.