GUNWHARF Quays is known for its shops and trendy restaurants.
But the magic of Christmas came to the tourist hot spot in Portsmouth as former England rugby Kyran Bracken officially opened the new attraction.
The 2007 winner of television show Dancing on Ice was joined by year three pupils from Portsmouth Grammar School, based in High Street, Old Portsmouth, and Wave 105’s Rick Jackson, who is also a News columnist.
During the day families had fun skating around the rink and enjoyed mulled wine and chocolate sold from nearby stalls.
Kyran said: ‘The ice rink at Gunwharf Quays looks fantastic and I hope as many visitors as possible experience it for themselves.
‘It wasn’t until taking part in Dancing on Ice that I discovered just how much fun ice skating can be.
‘It really is brilliant entertainment for all the family.
‘It’s become such a passion of mine that I now run my own skating show.’
Skaters from The Isle of Wight Ice Dance and Figure Skating Club also joined in the fun. The club, which is ranked 14th in the world, is also home to the 2009-2011 British synchronised skating team.
The 60ft by 60ft rink will remain at Gunwharf until January 6.
There will also be classes for people to learn how to skate every Thursday from 11am until 1pm.
Sean Sweeney, centre manager at Gunwharf Quays said: ‘This is the first time we’ve ever had a real ice rink.
‘We hope everyone who visits will take the opportunity to enjoy the experience.’
Becky Daley, chairman of the Isle Of Wight Ice Dance and Figure Skating Club, said: ‘The club had a great time and it was fun to see so many shoppers giving it a go and getting in the festive spirit.’