The ice rink is open from Friday November 18th until Monday January 5th 2023.
Tip: Sessions are open every day within that period but will get very busy in the run up to Christmas. It is advisable to book well in advance if you’d like to skate in the days leading up to the big day! We visited on a Saturday lunch time and it was really quiet!
Calverley Grounds in the heart of Tunbridge Wells.
A short walk from the train station or adjacent to parking at the Great Hall.
It’s best to book tickets in advance through the Assembly Hall theatre website. In the run up to Christmas sessions can get booked up so leaving it until the day can be a gamble. The website is simple to use and easy to navigate. Tickets are graded by a colour code to reflect the popularity of that session. Adult tickets cost between £15 – £21 and a child ticket costs between £8 – £14 for a session. Tickets booked in advance are cheaper.
There’s LOADS going on at the ice rink this year. Here’s a lowdown on some of the key events:
Toddlers can enjoy the safety of learning to skate in their own mini skate area away from the crowds. Please note all children aged 4-7 must be accompanied by an adult on the ice.
It’s become an annual tradition in the Juggling on Rollerskates household to indulge in a festive skating session in the run up to Christmas. It’s an activity the whole family enjoy together to celebrate the start of the Christmas holidays and an event we all look forward to.
Last week we visited the outdoor ice rink in Calverley Grounds in the heart of Tunbridge Wells. We had skated here before a couple of years previously and really enjoyed it so had our fingers crossed this would be just as good.
TIP: The skating experience is a lot more enjoyable in dry weather. If you are planning to skate over the next day or so I would advise you check the weather is favourable around the time of your desired session.
Throughout the festive period Calverley Grounds is set up like a pretty Winter Wonderland. You can hear the Christmas tunes as you approach making it incredibly difficult not to be caught up in the excitement. Along the side of the ice rink is a row of market stalls…one of which is clearly labelled ‘booking office’. Here you can book or collect tickets for your skate…or address any questions you may have to a member of staff.
Skate hire is included in the price of your ticket. Toddlers can wear skates that fit over their own footwear. Everyone else gets to wear the standard skate that fits like a ski boot. On our visit we found the skate hire staff to be incredibly helpful and even though it was a busy session all hands on deck meant that we received our skates within a few minutes. The skates were in good condition and very comfortable. Seal skate aids are also included in any toddler skate ticket. You can book these advance online.
TIP: Consider wearing thick socks if you’re feet are prone to rubbing. I also find tighter fitting trousers fit better with the skate boots rather than boyfriend style jeans. Also, the ice is quite wet so if you fall over you may need a change of trousers.
Food and Drink
The ice rink has it’s very own coffee shop where you can warm up with a hot chocolate and cake. Or there’s The Polar Bar if you’re looking for something a bit stronger. There’s also a large seating area under cover where non-skaters can watch the action in the warm.
A truly enjoyable Christmas experience for the whole family all taking place in a beautiful setting. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but well worth the money for a festive treat and something the children will be raving about until next year. The rink is open for sessions right through until January 2nd 2020. Book it while you can!