WINTER is nearly upon us, which means planning festive outings with the family.
One activity that's a surefire Christmas favourite is ice skating, with temporary rinks popping up all over the country.
For those who aren't sure where their closest rink is, here are 30 of the best ones to visit in London and the South East.
From October 21 until February 24 London's longest-running seasonal rink will be back once again.
Next to it, the Grandstand Bar will serve drinks and light bites to skaters, or those watching their friends and family on the ice.
Tickets are on sale now and start from £13.50.
Read More on Attractions
Top Christmas seaside attraction returns – with 100ft snow slide & free ice rink
Alton Towers reveals new Christmas events with day tickets for the first time
Hampton Court Palace
Henry VIII's historic Tudor palace will once again be welcoming ice skaters to its outdoor rink this winter season.
It will be open daily from November 17 until January 7 between 10am and 8.45pm.
Tickets can be booked via the palace's website, with tickets available from £15.30 per session.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
One of the country's best-loved Christmas attractions is returning on November 17 and will have an ice rink for visitors to skate on, among a number of festive-themed rides and activities.
Most read in Travel
EasyJet flight to Manchester grounded after pilot bitten by insect
Jet2 flight makes emergency landing after ‘drunk’ woman ‘attacks crew’
YULE LOVE IT
How the tiny UK village of Bethlehem suddenly lost all its Christmas tourists
FREE FOR ALL
Three sneaky freebies you can get on a plane – and all you have to do is ask
The rink can be free, when booked for off-peak times, while tickets for Winter Wonderland start from £10.
Glide at Battersea Power Station
The same team who operate the Winter Wonderland rink also have one at Battersea Power Station, known as Glide, which they promise will provide skaters with "unrivalled views of the Thames".
Next to the rink will be the Glass House bar, which will serve refreshments, while also playing host to pub quizzes, themed music nights, DJs and live bands.
The rink will be open from November 10 until January 7 and tickets start from £8.50.
Westfield, Shepherd's Bush
Also running from November 10 until January 7 is the ice rink at Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd's Bush.
Tickets can be booked in advance now, starting from £11.
Switzerland Tourism are providing a "uniquely Swiss vibe" at Somerset House's courtyard, which they will be turning into a "glorious festive destination".
Skating lessons will be available for novices, while other sessions will be accompanied by "trailblazing DJs".
A number of food and drink options will be available too, all enjoyed alongside a 40ft Christmas Tree.
Tickets are on sale now and sessions will run from November 15 until January 14, from £9.
Queen's House Greenwich
From November 23 until January 7, families can head to Greenwich for a "magical open-air ice rink" in the heart of Greenwich's UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Described by Time Out as one of London's "most capitvatingly beautiful" rinks, the skating at Queen's House also has great views of London to offer.
Tickets can be booked via the Queen's House website from £10.
Kingdom of Winter, Excel
A brand new winter-themed attraction is being held this year, with several festive attractions for families to enjoy.
Among them is an ice rink, with 45 minute sessions being held every hour.
Tickets start from £7, although entry to Kingdom of Winter will also need to be paid, with those tickets starting from £5.50.
The attraction will be open from December 8 until January 7.
Kensington Palace boasts the UK's largest rink, the length of a football pitch, set in "the quintessentially British setting" of the Palace grounds.
The rink is covered, meaning it's a good place to skate, come rain or shine.
Skating will be available from November 30 until January 7 and tickets can be booked from £4.
Winterland at Bluewater, Dartford
Winterland is returning to Bluewater from November 11 until January 7 and promises a "festive extravaganza" with rides, games and activities.
An ice rink is also on site and will be available from November 14 until January 1. Tickets start from £12.50.
Royal pavilion, Brighton
From October 28 until January 7 the people of Brighton can go ice skating in the iconic setting of the Royal Pavilion.
A rinkside bar and kitchen will also provide warming snacks, mulled wine and hot chocolate among other festive favourites.
Tickets are on sale now and start from £14.
Chiltern view, Aylesbury
The ice rink at Chiltern View Garden Centre in Aylesbury will be open from November 24 until December 31.
Skate hire is included in the price of entry, which starts from £8.
A launch night party will also be taking place on November 23 with tickets starting from £12.50.
Included in that will be a welcome drink, a visit from Santa's reindeer, while special guests Suzanne Shaw and La Voix will also be in attendance.
Visitors can also go on virtual sleigh rides at the garden centre, which cost extra.
Lightning Fibre, Eastbourne
Eastbourne residents can go skating at Lightning Fibre from December 9 until December 31 this year, with penguins available to help youngsters who aren't used to being on the ice.
Tickets are available on the door and cost £9 for children under 15 and £12 for adults.
Essex Christmas Wonderland
The country's largest rink outside of London will be back again this winter, as part of the Lakeside Christmas Wonderland at Lakeside shopping centre, Grays.
The rink is housed inside a giant igloo, providing an extra wintery atmsophere, and will be open from November 16 until January 3.
Tickets start from £7.50 for children.
Portsmouth on Ice
Portsmouth's Guildhall square will be transformed into an outdoor ice rink from November 25 until January 7.
Prices start from £11 for kids, with sessions available to be booked now. Each skating session lasts an hour.
Skate into Quex, Birchington, Kent
Quex Adventure Farm Park will be opening its 150 square metre rink later this year, housed inside a giant marquee.
Special sessions for toddlers are available, while parties can also be hosted.
Skating will be available from November 24 until December 31, with tickets starting from £10.25,
Winter wonderland, Reading
Berkshire's largest annual Christmas event is back again this year and people can get their skates on an even larger rink than ever before.
Skating begins on November 11 and will remain open until January 7.
Tickets start at £12.50.
Ruxley Manor, Maidstone
From November 10 until January 7, skating will be available in Maidstone at Ruxley Manor after a four year absence.
Traditional Bratwursts and deluxe hot chocolates will be on sale, as will mulled wine.
Tickets start from £5 for kids.
SKATE Tunbridge Wells
An outdoor ice rink and festive stalls will be open to the public at Calverley Grounds this winter, starting from December 1 until January 1.
Guests can book themselves in for a 45 minute session, with tickets starting from £15, or £13 when booked online in advance.
Westquay on Ice, Southampton
The Westquay shopping centre will be transformed into "the ultimate destination for Christmas fun" according to its website, with winter cocktails, frosty beers and mulled wine served in a cosy ski lodge.
Next to that will be the ice rink, which will be open from November 10 until January 7.
Willen on Ice, Milton Keynes
Willen Lake will play host to Willen on Ice this winter, lasting from November 17 until January 7.
More than 400 sq-m of ice will sit under a decorated marquee, with rides and food stalls also part of the festive offerings.
Sessions cost from £6.95.
Windsor on Ice
Windsor's Alexandra Gardens will be hosting Windsor on Ice once again this year and skating will be on offer.
From November 17 until January 7, visitors can strap their skates on and hit the ice in the historic gardens.
Fair rides and stalls will also be on offer throughout the festive period.
Tickets start from £12.50.
Charter Square, Bury st Edmonds
From December 14 until January 3 a family Christmas rink will be up and running for skaters of all abilities.
What's more, it's completely free of charge for people to have a go.
Skate aids will be available for those who aren't so steady on their skates.
Winter wonderland, Norwich
East Anglia's "spectacular Christmas destination" Winter Wonderland will have rides, stalls and of course skating from November 17 until January 3.
Tickets for the rink in Norwich can be booked now from £9, although skaters will also need to pay for entry into Winter Wonderland, which starts from £4.
Read More on The Sun
Celebrity Big Brother WILL return in March, & Phillip Schofield tops wanted list
Expert shares how you could make yourself ill by turning heating on now
Tulleys ice skating, Turner's Hill, West Sussex
Part of Tulley's Christmas Experience in West Sussex is its real ice rink, which will be open to the public on weekends from November 25 until December 24.
Tickets start from £7.
Source: Read Full Article