Ice queens – and kings – return to Portsmouth city centre as rink reopens

Skating rink in Guildhall Square.'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (181118-1_skate)
Skating rink in Guildhall Square.'Picture Ian Hargreaves (181118-1_skate)
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HUNDREDS of skaters took to the ice this weekend as Portsmouth’s festive rink opened to the public.

Despite delays to the opening on Saturday morning due to the ice not freezing, groups of families and friends were able to lace up their boots for a session before enjoying hot dogs, mulled wine and hot chocolate at the Moguls Alpine Bar.

Skaters at the ice rink in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth

Skaters at the ice rink in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth

Jodie Bailey from Portsmouth visited with her family.

She said: ‘It is just a really nice place to come to and is something a little different in the centre of the city.

‘It is a great family day out.’

The rink is now open until Sunday January 6, 2019 with weekend sessions from 10.30am until 10pm and 11.45am and 10pm on weekdays. It will be closed Christmas Day.

Staff sweep the water away on Saturday Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Staff sweep the water away on Saturday Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Project manager Laurie Scott said: ‘We love bringing our event to Portsmouth and this was a quick rink to build as we only had a week after Armistice Day to get it ready whereas we usually have two or three.

‘Unfortunately due to the unseasonably warm weather we couldn’t open as early as we wanted on Saturday but when you are stood on the rink in 18C weather wearing a T-shirt it is easy to see why.’

He added: ‘Portsmouth are the happiest and nicest people and we get a range of families, friends and youngsters coming along to get in the Christmas spirit.

‘I think going ice skating has become a bit of a tradition in cities now which is really great.’

Emma McCray visited the rink in Guildhall Square with her mum and brother.

The 19-year-old said: ‘Having an ice rink so central is really good because there are hardly any around this area and I absolutely love skating.

‘It is also in a good place because you can do Christmas shopping and take a break with a skating session and a hot chocolate.’

She added: ‘The hot chocolate is the best I have had so I would definitely recommend a trip to the bar and my mum has praised the mulled wine so something for everyone.’

A hockey match will be played on the ice in December while DJs and live music will set the soundtrack to weekend skating sessions.

Tickets are £10 for adults, £8.50 for under 16s and a family ticket for £32.

For more information and to book tickets visit iceskateportsmouth.co.uk/about