Ruxley Manor Garden Centre in Sidcup, Kent has opened a 420 square metres ice rink for the holidays. 

As a result of growing popularity, temporary outdoor ice rinks are popping up over the festive period and thousands of people have already taken to the ice at Ruxley since it opened on the 20th October.

The rink – located on Maidstone Road, Orpington – is open to all ages and is particularly enjoyed by families with young children.

The ice rink is open every day (excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day), until Thursday 4th January and workers are expecting it to remain busy throughout.  Each session starts on the hour, allowing 15 minutes for people to change in and out of their ice skates and 45 minutes on the ice.  Mother of two, Elaine Diani, visits the ice rink every year with her youngest daughter who celebrates her birthday there along with friends.  ‘It’s such a unique way to celebrate a Christmas birthday’.

Ruxley’s ice rink also features a weatherproof cover this year to limit the effects of poor weather conditions on the surface of the ice.

The ice rink is covered in snowflake decorations to help create a festive atmosphere, with a professional lighting system under the canopy.  There is also a sound system that plays popular music throughout the skating sessions.

As well as skate hire, there are also frames, penguin skate aids, banana double skate aids and bob-skates that fit over shoes for younger children.

This year, Ruxley also offers the opportunity to skate with a Minion from ‘Despicable Me’, on weekday afternoons at 4pm and 5pm – although with the additional costs of £2.99 per session.

The ice rink at Ruxley Manor features an adjoining Snowdrop Snack Bar, where skaters and spectators can enjoy refreshments, including: fresh pastries, muffins, savoury items and hot and cold drinks.

Tickets for the sessions can be bought in person at Ruxley’s Customer Service desk, or online at

Many other Christmas-themed attractions are also hosted at the garden centre.  For example, there is Santa’s Grotto, the arrival of the Ruxley Reindeer and German-style Christmas Market chalets, selling decorations and festive treats.

By Holly Lawford | Dartford Grammar School for Girls