Called The Great Skate, it is promising families and skate goers-alike, plenty of festive fun this Christmas. Guests can glide across a glistening ice rink under a crystal-clear roof in the spectacular setting of the resort’s Rooftop Garden.
When you first arrive, follow signs to the dedicated car park. Parking is free for the first three hours, which gives you plenty of time to skate and get something to eat/drink. You can either hop on one of the resort’s executive buses, which will ferry you to and from the ice rink, or you can take a short stroll over to the main hotel.
Top tip: Providing it’s dry, ditch the bus and take a stroll (5-10 minutes) over to the hotel. The Celtic Manor Resort has gone all out with their Christmas decorations, so it’s a great way to feel all festive.
You’ll need to pre-book your skating session, but there are plenty of times to choose from. Ice skating ticket prices start from £6.40 for adults and £5.60 for children. For families who would like the chance to meet magical fairytale characters on the rink or those who want to want to enjoy a late-night skating session, there are additional upgrade packages available.
We booked a 3pm skating session on a Sunday afternoon, so we arrived just as the sun was setting, which was beautiful. By the time we left, it was dark, and the ice rink was bathed in twinkling Christmas lighting.
Whether you’re a complete novice or an ice-skating pro, I can’t think of a better place to go. The Great Skate is clearly popular with families and young children, but at no time did it feel too busy or rushed. Instead, it was a smooth process of collecting our skates and making our way onto the ice. We hired a penguin skating aid for our four-year-old daughter, who had a blast. There were also polar bear aids for older children and ride-along seals, which children can sit on and adults can push – I haven’t seen the seals at other ice rinks, so I imagine these are also popular amongst parents, who aren’t confident on the ice either.
After finishing our skating session, we warmed up with delicious hot chocolate and a festive tipple of mulled wine. We also couldn’t help ourselves and picked up a snack from the Bratwurst Hut.
With such an array of winter warming cocktails and drinks available, I felt we couldn’t have made more of the festivities if we can been staying at the hotel. However, this didn’t spoil the fun that we did have and main reason why we were there – ice skating.
Thanks to the The Great Skate at the Celtic Manor Resort for inviting us along.