Gliding on ice is quickly becoming a popular way to usher in Christmas. Each year, more and more outdoor ice-skating rinks are popping up, with skating enthusiasts coming out in large numbers. Whether you’d like to skate next to a historic building, glide past a landmark or pirouette by a pavilion, here are some of the best ice skating spots in the UK.

Ice skate Brighton

With its dramatic Royal Pavilion in the background, Brighton’s iconic ice-skating rink is straight out of a Christmas card. Powered entirely by green energy, the rink is romantic, child-friendly and known to have one of the most beautiful settings in the UK. If you’re planning to visit after dusk, you’ll be treated to floodlit washes of purples and blues, accompanied by sparkly reflections on ice. The main rink offers plenty of space for confident skaters, with a neighbouring section for beginners. For those looking to skip the skates and soak up the atmosphere, you can indulge in some food and drink from the Bar & Kitchen. If you’re thinking of a short stay in Brighton, the Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel is a 20-minute walk away.

Ice skating Greenwich

As one of the more spectacular rinks on the list, skate past the Queen’s House in London. The UNESCO World Heritage site is home to a magnificent skating rink, offering breathtaking views across Greenwich Park, the Thames and the lights of London. Once you’ve had your fill of skating, you can head to Greenwich Market for an afternoon of present-hunting. Not in the mood to shop? warm up with some comforting winter food and mulled wine, available from the rinkside stalls. If you’re thinking of a weekend visit, book the Staycity Aparthotel Greenwich High Road, 16 minutes walking distance from the rink.

Cardiff Ice Skating

For a lively skating session in the heart of the Welsh capital, head to the ice-skating rink just outside Cardiff's City Hall and university buildings. The special event is family-friendly, complete with music performances and a rinkside cafe to rest your weary feet after a long day on the ice. If you’re looking for a side of Christmas shopping, visit the city centre’s Victorian Arcade, a few minutes away from the rink. Once you’ve taken in the views from the ground, head up to the sky, with a ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel. If you’re pressed for time, stay at the Jury’s Inn Cardiff — a 6-minute walk from the rink.

Ice Skating Edinburgh

With an alternative take on the traditional ice rink, this winter marks the first time in three years that visitors can skate up and down George Street. The Scottish capital’s magnificent Alpine rink is worthy of a full day’s outing. In addition to the skating activities, the city also stages a range of seasonal events in conjunction with the rink. Whether you’re in the mood to check out the popular Christmas market for gifts, indulge in some hot chocolate on East Princes Street Gardens or visit Santa’s Grotto, the rink is a treat for people of all ages. If you’re looking for a traditional Scottish stay, book a room at The Scotsman, right next door.

Dublin Ice Skating
dublin, an ice skating spot in the UK

Ice Skating in Dublin returns to Blanchardstown this Christmas. Located behind the Blanchardstown Centre, the rink has become increasingly popular for families wishing to usher in the holiday season. With new additions to the rink this year, the event marquee now offers lockers and viewing areas, more seating possibilities and a ceiling decorated with twinkling lights. If you’re flying in for your visit, consider staying at the Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport, a 20-minute taxi ride from the rink.

Ice skating spots in the UK: Last thoughts

So what are you waiting for? Welcome this holiday season on the ice, and glide to one of these breathtaking spots with a Flightgift. For other Christmas guides, check out our helpful list:

Ice skating rinks around the world

Christmas markets around the world

Gift guides for Christmas