Portsmouth ice rink: Watch as Christmas attraction in Guildhall Square opens with stunning display from figure skater

SKATERS’ months of waiting came to an end tonight as the hugely popular ice rink in Portsmouth city centre opened for 2019.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 6:23 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 9:40 pm

The Guildhall Square attraction was christened in a spectacular display from synchronised Gosport team, Shooting Stars, just before 5pm.

What followed drew a belly laugh from crowds itching to get on the ice, as the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, David Fuller, had a go himself.

Cllr Fuller and the Lady Mayoress, Leza Tremorin, enjoyed a whirl on a two-man sled after cutting a ribbon to declare the event open.

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Portsmouth Ice Rink officially opens in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. Pictured is The Lord Mayor Portsmouth David Fuller as he has a go on the ice. Picture: Sarah Standing (221119-3040)

S3K, a south coast event logistics firm, will operate the attraction this year – which features a roof to enable skating whatever the weather.

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Cllr Fuller said: ‘Come rain or shine people can come down and support this ice rink – and the atmosphere is great.

‘I think it’s better than last year, I’ll be very honest, and it’s fantastic to look out from the parlour windows in the Guildhall to see all this fun below.’

Portsmouth Ice Rink officially opens in Guildhall Square. Pictured is figure skater Ellie Parsley, 19. Picture: Sarah Standing (221119-2040)

Before the rink opened, wannabe skaters enjoyed festive renditions from the Portsmouth-based Fine Voice Academy, tricks from magician El Roberto and a spectacular display from 19-year-old Gosport figure skater, Ellie Parsley.

Lynda Saunders, 71, has been with Fine Voice for almost two years.

On serenading the Portsmouth ice rink’s launch, she said: ‘It’s wonderful what Portsmouth lays on all year round and this really is the icing on the cake.

Portsmouth Ice Rink officially opens in Guildhall Square. Pictured is Fine Voice Academy. Picture: Sarah Standing (221119-2018)

‘Families can come together and enjoy a really traditional Christmas – one I love to think turns back the clock to Christmases of years ago.

‘It’s really heartwarming and Portsmouth City Council have really pulled the stops out on this one, so well done Portsmouth.'

How much are tickets?

Tickets for the rink are now on sale, with hour-long skates available until January 5, 2020.

Portsmouth Ice Rink officially opens in Guildhall Square. Pictured areThe Nutcracker stars from the New Theatre Royal, Neil Jennings, Caitlin Anderson and Shaun Mendum. Picture: Sarah Standing (221119-2054)

Tickets for adults – anyone over the age of 12 – are £10.50, children aged five to 11 get in for £9, while families of four can skate for £8.60 per person.

Concessions, priced at £9, include serving personnel in the armed forces, NHS employees and students.

SEND sessions

Held during term-time weekdays, SEND sessions (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) will keep noise and visitor numbers, low to create a calm, welcoming atmosphere on the rink for visitors with special educational needs and disabilities.

They will be held between 2.30pm and 3.30pm on November 27, December 4, 11 and 18. These run from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

Portsmouth Ice Rink officially opens in Guildhall Square. Pictured is Ed White, owner of S3K. Picture: Sarah Standing (221119-2065)

When is the ice rink open?

It will be open every day until January 5, except Christmas Day.

- Sunday to Wednesday: from 10am, last session at 8pm

- Thursday to Sunday: from 10am, last session at 9.15pm

There will also be dedicated family sessions from 11am to midday every weekday.

How can I book tickets?

To book tickets for the ice rink go to the Ice Skate Portsmouth website, here.

Portsmouth Ice Rink officially opens in Guildhall Square. Pictured is Shooting Stars from Gosport. Picture: Sarah Standing (221119-2085)