This weekend it was my sister’s boyfriend Sam’s birthday and so Sarah and I headed down to Hampton Court Palace from Milton Keynes for a surprise ice skating trip for Sam along with other family and friends. Notably we had pre-booked our tickets online which gave us a 45 minute time slot on the ice.
Having never been to Hampton Court Palace before I wasn’t sure what to expect other than knowing it’s a Historic Royal Palace. On arrival it’s a pretty special place to look at with stunning buildings and vast grounds.
If you’re planning to head to Hampton Court Palace for ice skating, don’t make the mistake I did and park within the Palace itself as it’s £1.60 per hour – ouch. Literally a 2 minute walk over the bridge is the railway station car park which offers significantly cheaper rates and on a Sunday as per our visit – only £2 all day!
Getting your ice skates
Once past the ticket guys you are faced with a lot of lockers to use – what they don’t tell you however is that no bags or cameras are allowed on the ice and the lockers require a non-refundable £2 coin so make sure you remember one if you’re planning a trip!
With all the bags stowed away, it was time to get
booted skated(!?) up!
The boots are of course ridiculously uncomfortable with very little flexibility in them to save your ankles from twists. The compromise with this is horribly tight, moulded skates that aren’t very adjustable so I recommend wearing a good thick pair of socks!
The Ice Rink
With our ice skates sorted the announcement was made that the next skating session could begin allowing us 45 minutes on the ice. The rink itself is excellent quality as 45 minutes of skating is followed by 15 minutes of the team re-polishing the ice so there’s no grooves or dents making it really safe.
If you’re planning a trip with children there are 2 kids accessories available – a sit on banana which you can push them around on or a push along penguin for them to hold on to for stability!
The skating was great fun and although it was quite busy on the ice there was plenty of room to skate around despite the usual show off’s going a bit too fast!
For the birthday boy he was pretty difficult to lose having tied some helium balloons on to him!
The staff at the rink say they don’t allow photos to be taken on the ice however plenty of people were doing so around the edges which they didn’t seem bothered by – I think it’s more to do with no photos on the rink where you could be a danger to other people. With that in mind we took a couple of shots in between hanging off the walls!
So that was it, the ice rink at Hampton Court Palace done!
Having not been ice skating for quite a few years it was a bit like riding a bike – give it a few minutes of wobbling around and suddenly you’re back to the standard where you left off, capable of moving around at pace!
The ice skating was great fun and Sam certainly liked his surprise trip and guests! The ice rink is open from 11am daily until the 8th January 2017 so with only a couple of weeks left, what are you waiting for!? Head over to http://www.hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.co.uk/ and book your tickets today!