Unexpected places to ice skate in Great Britain

To add a touch of magic to any visit, book your clients on a trip to one of Great Britain’s ice rinks. In winter, the grounds and courtyards of some of Britain’s most iconic and unexpected castles, palaces and historic landmarks are transformed into winter wonderlands, resplendent with fairy lights, Christmas trees and, of course, ice rinks.

It is a stunning, and value adding, experience to any visit to Great Britain, and many of the hosting venues are already set up to receive both groups and FIT alike.

In the capital of Wales

a wide shot of the Cardiff winter outdoor ice rink

The Cardiff Winter Wonderland sits in the grounds of Cardiff’s iconic civic centre, and is home the wonderfully festive Admiral Ice Rink. Visitors will be able to skate beneath the stars, as the ice rink is covered by a clear span roof, English-Renaissance style building of the Cardiff City Hall.

From mulled wine, to fairground rides; German Bratwurst to the amusement arcade – the Cardiff Winter Wonderland there is plenty to get skaters in the Christmas spirit

Group tickets come at a discounted rate, and you can liaise directly with the event by calling the group booking line on: 02920 099087. There is also an option to rent out the entire rink for a more exclusive experience.

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and a central hub to the rest of the country – click here for inspirational Welsh itineraries, or to find out more about the region.

Image courtesy of Edinburgh’s Christmas © Eoin Carey

In the Eden Project's bio dome – 13 October 2018 - 24 February 2019

Cornwall is a wonderful place to spend the festive period, and it is home to one of the most unique ice skating experiences in Great Britain: the ice rink at The Eden Project.

The Eden Project is a dramatic global garden that houses tropical plants, and provides wonderful insights into the relationship between humans and the natural world.

Everyone is welcome at the ice rink – from seasoned pros to complete beginners, and for those that prefer to spectate, they can enjoy a mug of hot chocolate in the stalls.

If you wish to book group tours of the Eden Project for clients in addition to ice skating, the attraction caters for groups of up to eight people at a time, and it is best to book ahead at guidedtours@edenproject.com

The Eden Project is just a 10 minute drive from the picturesque old market town of St Austell, which is a 4 hour train journey from London.

Image courtesy of the Eden Project

Somerset house

people ice skating at night outside somerset house, next to a christmas tree

Surely one of the most beautiful ice-skating locations, Somerset House is a neoclassical arts venue that is located between the River Thames and the Strand in the centre of London. The ice rink sits in the impressive courtyard beneath a giant Christmas tree, and visitors can enjoy a selection of festive treats at Fortnum’s Lodge – brought to you by Fortnum and Mason, a quintessentially British brand.

Individual tickets are available to purchase directly from their site – for queries about group bookings, please contact the Somerset House groups booking line on 0333 320 2836. To book group tickets for Somerset House email group.bookings@somersethouse.org.uk

Somerset House is fantastically well connected – less than 10 minutes from the Circle, District, Piccadilly, Bakerloo and Northern lines, as well as the over ground at Charing Cross Station. For a picturesque route, visitors can take the River Bus Service to/from the Embankment Pier – just 600 meters from Somerset House.

Image courtesy of Somerset House Press Office © James Bryant

Below Edinburgh Castle

revellers skate in the elliptical ice rink in Edinburgh at night

Skate on the fantastic open air, elliptical ice rink below Edinburgh’s ancient castle and take in the city’s unique skyline lit up for Christmas. After your spin on the ice, enjoy the huge range of festivities, from the Helter Skelter to the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge, on offer at Edinburgh’s Christmas festival.

Group bookings can be made directly through the website, and there is coach parking available nearby on both Regent Road and Johnston Terrace. Further information can be accessed here.

Edinburgh is a rich hub full of culture, food and excitement – for more ideas on what your clients can do once they’re there, take a look at one of our Scotland itineraries.

Image courtesy of Edinburgh’s Christmas © Eoin Carey

The Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of the most iconic sights in Great Britain, and for a couple of months in winter, visitors can take advantage of the unique opportunity to ice skate in this historic setting.

The Tower of London is part of the Historic Royal Palaces and has a dedicated Sales Team to assist with group bookings, as well as advising coach and tour operators with itinerary and excursion planning. Find out more about their bookable options here.

The Tower of London is well connected from a variety of London public transport, and is a two minute walk from a coach parking lot. For more travel information, click here.

Image courtesy of VisitBritain/ Historic Royal Palaces