Get your skates on, wrap up warm and practice your spins – Canterbury’s first Christmas ice rink is coming to the Dane John Gardens.
Canterbury City Council and local company Noah and the Shed are working in partnership on the project, with the 30 metre by 20 metre ice rink opening to the public on Saturday 2 December and running until New Year’s Day.
It will be located in the bandstand area of the Dane John and be open from 11am to 6pm, Sundays to Fridays, and 11am to 7pm on Saturdays, with shorter hours on Christmas Eve but no sessions on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
To complement the rink, there will be refreshments, a viewing area for those not skating, toilets and a toddlers’ play area for children who are too young to skate.
The council and representatives from Noah and the Shed have been in discussions with residents who live in the Dane John and the St Mildred’s Area Community Society, which supports the project. There will be 24/7 security on the site and steps are being taken to minimise damage to the grass as much as possible.
This is a trial for the first year, so that all involved can see how it works and assess the level of interest. Plans are still being finalised and some details are subject to change. Booking will be online only and information about this will be released soon.
Leader of Canterbury City Council, Cllr Simon Cook, said: “We are very excited to be bringing a Christmas ice rink to Canterbury for the first time. It’s something lots of people have been asking for and will really enhance the festive atmosphere in the city. We expect the demand to be high, so people will need to get in quick when booking opens.”
The ice rink is part of a revamp of the Christmas offer in Canterbury, which also sees a big expansion of the Whitefriars Christmas market into St George’s Street. It will increase the number of bespoke, wooden huts from 43 to more than 70.
Some new traders will be occupying the huts along with some of the regular traders who usually operate from the council’s St George’s Street market. Noah and the Shed, who have run the Whitefriars Christmas market for the last four years, are also managing the expansion into St George’s Street. It opens on Saturday 2 December.
Please note – the ice rink pictured here is for illustrative purposes only. Canterbury’s ice rink is still being constructed and pictures are not available yet.