Get your skates on - best ice rinks in the UK

Caroline Cassidy

Winter doesn't have to be all about snuggling into the sofa with a movie and a TV dinner. Why not embrace the cold and test your balance with an ice-skating day out, whether with friends, family or the other half? Here is our pick of the best venues across the UK.

ice skating in the UK
ice skating in the UK

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London - 23 November to 6 January
A glorious setting around the Victorian bandstand, illuminated with more than 100,000 pea-lights, this year's open-air ice rink has an Ice Age 4 theme and is perfect for a family outing. It does, however, fill up fast so book your tickets early. Adult tickets are priced at £10.50 or £13.50, depending on when you go, and kids £8.50 or £9.00 for an hour's session. A family ticket starts at £34.

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Eden Project, Cornwall - Until 3 March
Amazing venues don't come much better than the Eden Project, and even better, it's open until 3 March 2013. Perfect for families, there are parent and toddler ice-play sessions, fun sessions for juniors and mid-week saver sessions. Each standard session is £6 per person but you will need to pay for entry to the Project itself, which costs £23.50 for adults and £9.50 for children. But there's so much to see, it's absolutely worth it.

National Ice Centre, Nottingham - 10 December to 6 January
If you can't face braving the bracing outdoor weather, the National Ice Centre offers an indoor winter wonderland. The rink is transformed into an enchanted, Christmassy scene, complete with starry night sky, and there are plenty of special events like the Christmas with Capital FM party night, or the Christmas neon & Bubble Foam Party. It's a bargain too, with standard peak-time adult and child prices just £6.50 with skate hire.

The Ice Factor, York Designer Outlet, York - 24 November to 6 January
This award-winning ice rink, set within York's Designer Outlet, is in the midst of a Winter Wonderland that includes an authentic British funfair and Santa's grotto - perfect for getting into the festive spirit. Open every day except Christmas Day, tickets cost £9.75 for adults and £8.75 for children.
Edinburgh's Ice Rink, Edinburgh - 29 November to 6 January
A spectacular venue set in the East Princes Street Gardens an ice-skating trip in the beautiful city of Edinburgh comes complete with festive food and drink, with plenty of mulled wine for chilly folks. Tickets cost £9.95 for adults and £8.95 for under-16s, but under-sevens get in for £6.50.

There are lots of rinks, both outdoor and indoor, throughout the UK, so get your skates on this winter and try your local venue.

What's your favourite ice skating venue and why? Leave your comments below...