*This is a collaborative post
Fire and Ice Durham 2017 was a FREE family event. Featuring a trail of 10 ice sculptures based around myths and legends and ending with two spectacular finales. We headed along on Saturday afternoon to take part.
Fire and Ice Durham 2017 | Good Points
I have not taken my children to Durham before and the free trail was a fantastic way for us to get to know the city whilst having fun. The kids loved walking around looking for the fire beacons above their heads and ticking off the 10 sculptures from our trail map (available from one of the many staff). The throne was our favourite sculpture and H & J loved taking a seat and pretending they were the ice King/Queen.
|Jack in the Ice Throne|
I also loved that it was something the whole family could take part in - my mam and her husband work shifts and it is a very rare that we can all go out together - as they both had a day off, it was free and something I thought they'd also enjoy, the came along too and it was nice to spend some time with them.
|Checking out the Fire and Ice Map|
Harry enjoyed trying the sword challenge - if you were able to pull the sword from the stone, you'd win £40 worth of vouchers. He wasn't lucky this time but it's the taking part that counts right?
|Harry removing the Sword from the Stone|
Finally, we watched the 5:15pm finale which was aimed at younger children and we loved it as we danced along to our favourite songs whilst watching the water fountains dance in front of us and jets of fire shooting up from the ground. Check out our Facebook live stream below:
Considering this was all COMPLETELY FREE we think the event was superb and would highly recommend a visit. We loved exploring Durham and I don't think we would have visited the City and explored on foot like this had it not have been for this special event.
Fire and Ice Durham | Disappointments
The kids were looking forward to the chocolate bar melt, this was not available on Saturday as it had been completed on Friday - next year I would suggest they make one for each day. We wasted 20 minutes searching for it before we found out it wasn't available today.
H, H and J were keen to have a go at sculpting themselves and joined the queue. The queue was too long though and we stood in it for 7 minutes and the same girl was still sculpting - there were 20+ children in front of us so if everyone took the same length of time, it would have taken us over 2 hours to get to the front. We did not fancy queuing for this length of time so did not bother waiting. Next year I would love to see more chances to join in or free timed tickets given out so children didn't have to queue.
We started the trail at 2pm - we thought that 3 hours would be the perfect amount of time to view the sculptures and have a nice coffee before the finale at 5:15pm. Unfortunately, most of the sculptures had started to melt quite a bit and certainly weren't as detailed as expected. One of the stewards told us not to bother heading to Durham Cathedral as that sculpture had collapsed. Apparantly, the high winds had caused the sculptures to melt ahead of time which I suppose can't be helped but we were still disappointed.
Here are some photographs from My Boys Club who visited on Friday. Look at the fantastic detail:
|Credit | My Boys Club|
Then compare this to my photographs which clearly show how melted the sculptures were:
Our Top Tips for Visiting Durham
One of the reasons I've always been put off visiting Durham is the whole parking situation. We decided to use Belmont Park and Ride though which was super easy. It is just off to A1 (Southbound) at Junction 62 (turn left at the roundabout and follow the signs for park and ride). It was super efficient and only £2 return for adults and kids were free so it was a real bargain. Buses are every 10 minutes and drop you right by Market Place and collect from outside the Gala theatre. It was so easy to use and I'd recommend.
If you're planning on visiting Durham a few times throughout the year, I would recommend buying an InDurham Loyalty Card. They cost £5 for 12 months worth of discounts including 30% off food at Bella Italia or 20% off food at Bills.
We really fancied Fish and Chips and I would definitely recommend Bells Fish and Chip Restaurant. We managed to score a table right by the window and it's a fab spot for people watching. The fish and chips were beautiful too - the best I've had that haven't been by the sea. Kids were well looked after with Instagram props, word searches and puzzles and the staff were lovely. It was £56 for 3 adult meals, 3 kids meals (inc ice cream) plus drinks and all the trimmings which considering the quality, service and location, I think was very good indeed. They were also running a special Fire and Ice menu which my Step Dad tried and enjoyed.
Fire and Ice has ended now (it was just a 2 day event) but I do hope to see it return in 2018. Fingers crossed!
Let me know if you visited Fire and Ice this year and your thoughts.
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