Ice-skating has been popular for centuries and is having something of a resurgence at the moment, as people discover how much fun they can have and what good exercise it is. In Altrincham, Silver Blades Ice Rink is open all year round and other ice rinks pop up just for the Christmas season. So get your skates on (actually you can hire them when you’re there), wrap up warm with gloves on, be prepared for a few bumps and tumbles, and have a go!
Manchester Ice Rink
Until 8 January, Mon – Fri 3pm – 11pm & Sat – Sun 12pm – 11pm
Manchester’s landmark building has been transformed into a winter wonderland with its own ice skating rink in the courtyard. This is part of the Winter Gathering, the time when the city centre buzzes with Christmas markets, lights, food and music.
London Road Fire Station (opposite Piccadilly Station). Tel: (0161) 820 9718
Bolton Winter Festival
Until 8 January (various times between 10am – 8pm
There is a 55-metre artificial Giant Snow Slide at this event, as well as the town’s first ever covered ice rink in Victoria Square. On Oxford Street, there is the traditional log cabin Santa’s grotto, with a snow roof and a giant glittering singing tree. Bolton Town Centre (northwest of Manchester, about a 40-minute drive from Wilmslow without traffic). Tel: 0843 208 1854
Silver Blades Ice Rink
Large ice rink open all year round in Altrincham – check website for details of the Christmas opening hours. Tel: 08700 852929