The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England 2023

This post shares the various options for ice skating across the North East this winter. Please always contact venues direct for up-to-date information before making plans and heading out as the info in this post may have changed.

Prices are based on a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids) booking a standard session including skate hire.

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England

Scroll to the bottom of this post to discover the cheapest (and most expensive) options for ice skating this year plus venues which do not require pre-booking too. 

Ice Skating Essentials 

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Some ice rinks are only open for a limited period and sometimes they have to close in bad weather. Please do make sure you double check opening hours. 

Please contact the venues direct with any questions, I only have information which is publicly available. I have linked to all of the venues websites which will have their contact details and social media handles. 

If you need a map or to know exactly where a venue is, type the postcode into Google Maps. If you need to use public transport, traveline can help with route planning. 

Middlesbrough On Ice 2023 

What they say: 

Get ready to unwrap the magic of the holiday season at Middlesbrough on Ice!

Get 10% Off Early Bird Discount Tickets NOW AVAILABLE!

Use code XMAS10

We’re back with bells on for 2023, we’re ramping up for what is set to be the best Christmas experience Middlesbrough has ever seen.

From December 8th to January 1st, the town centre will be transformed into a frosty oasis that's brimming with excitement and festive cheer. Don't miss the chance to make this holiday season extra special with an extraordinary outing for the whole family!

What you can expect this year:

Ice Skating Extravaganza: Get your skates on!

Whether you're a seasoned skater or taking your first wobbly steps on the ice, it's an experience you won't want to miss.

Meet the Grinch: Get ready for some Grinchy mischief! The notorious Grinch from Dr. Seuss's whimsical world will be on hand, promising fun and giggles for everyone.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town: Yes, you read that right! Santa himself is taking a break from toy-making to meet the good boys and girls of Middlesbrough. Bring your wish lists, snap a cherished photo, and bask in the warmth of Santa's joy.

Delectable Delights: Satisfy your taste buds with a delectable array of hot, savoury dishes and toasty beverages. After all, what's a winter wonderland without scrumptious food and drinks to keep you cozy?

Immerse in the Festive Atmosphere: Twinkling lights, joyful tunes, and picturesque surroundings will whisk you away to a world of Christmas magic.

Fun for the Whole Family: "Middlesbrough on Ice" caters to families of all shapes and sizes.

There's something for the kids, the adults, and everyone in between. It's the perfect opportunity to create cherished memories with your loved ones.

This holiday season, gather your friends and family and head to Middlesbrough Town Centre, where "Middlesbrough on Ice" promises to be the highlight of your holiday.

Whether you're showing off your skating skills, sharing a laugh with the Grinch, or simply soaking up the festive atmosphere, we have something here for everyone.

As we all know, the holiday season flies by in the blink of an eye. So, mark your calendars and get ready for a season filled with heartwarming moments at "Middlesbrough on Ice."

It's where memories are made, and you're invited to be a part of the magic. See you there!

Whitley Bay Ice Rink 2023

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England  - Whitley Bay Ice Rink

What they say: Fun and friendly fitness, whether you're an experienced skater, hockey player or first time novice, the ice rink is open to anyone all year round

  • Cost (family if 4): £40 including skate hire (an increase of £1 on last year's prices and £5 on 2021 prices)
  • Session length: 2 hours 
  • Parking: Free car park on site
  • Public Transport: Buses stop close by and Whitley Bay Metro Station is less than a 20 minute walk away. 
  • What to do nearby: Lots to see and do nearby in Whitley Bay including the beach, festive afternoon tea at Spanish City, fish and chips, amusement arcades, Jam Jar Cinema, swimming/soft play at Waves and lots of bears / coffee shops / restaurants 

  • Our verdict: No pre-booking is required. This option is indoors and you get two hours which is the double the time of most and the ice rink is a lot bigger than most too. You do need to pay to spectate though which isn't the case with most places on this list. 

  • Website / Book: (no booking - check sessions online and just turn up)

Ocean Beach Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, South Shields 2023

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England  - Ocean Beach Ice Rink

What they say: Our fantastic ice skating rink with real ice returns to Ocean Beach from 8 December 2023 – 7 January 2024 providing visitors with an authentic and unforgettable skating experience!

Skaters will be able to take to the ice undercover in a decorated marquee with music and lights; designed to create that magical winter wonderland experience, day and night, whilst also protecting you from the elements.

  • Cost (family of 4): £30 (this price has not increased from last year and is actually £2 cheaper than 2021) 
  • Session length: 1 hour
  • Parking: There is ample paid parking along the seafront. Free parking is available a little further away
  • Public Transport: South Shields is easy to get to via bus, Metro or ferry. 
  • What to do nearby: Lots to enjoy nearby including festive food stalls, quaser laser, the beach, arcades and Dunes Soft Play / Bowling. Please note, the funfair rides will not be open this year. 

  • Our verdict: This seems like a nice option for a festive day out in South Tyneside and there is loads to do nearby. 
  • Website/Book:

Centre for Life Ice Rink, Newcastle 2023

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England  - Centre for Lif

What they say: Come and enjoy a whirl on our open-air ice rink when it returns to Life this November! 
Tickets for timed slots can be purchased online in advance of your visit. Some slots will be kept free for walk-ups - but booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

  • Cost (family if 4): £46 (an increase of £6 on last year's price and  £15.50 on 2021 prices)
  • Session length: 45 minutes
  • Parking: At nearby Times Square Car Park 
  • Public Transport: Central Station (served by buses, trains and Metro) is next door.
  • What to do nearby: Visit Life Science Centre or pop across to the Discovery Museum which is free. This post has more information for ideas for festive things to do in Newcastle. 

  • Our verdict: This ice rink is perfect if you are spending a festive day in Newcastle, seeing Fenwick's window or planning a spot of Christmas shopping. It's easy to get to by train or metro too. 
  • Website / Book:

Rainton Arena Ice Rink 2023

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England  - Rainton Arena Ice Rink

  • Cost (family of 4): £8 midweek or £24 weekends (£14 cheaper than 2021)
  • Session length: 1 hour 
  • Parking: Free parking nearby 
  • Public Transport: Rainton Arena is accessible by bus 
  • What to do nearby: Ice skating is part of a wider winter wonderland at Rainton Arena which includes a grotto, fairground rides, food stalls etc.....
  • Our verdict: This is seems like a good value option with lots to do in the vicinity. 
  • Website/Book:

Bishop Auckland's Christmas Town 2023 (synthetic)

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England - Bishop Auckland ICe Rink

What they say: This event takes place on 24-26 November. 

Get your skates on! Our incredible ice rink is coming to Bishop Auckland's Christmas Town! Enjoy the magic of Winter as you skate across the Market Place in front of the picturesque Town Hall.

This amazing synthetic ice rink is 16x8m, with more than enough space for you and your friends and family to skate gracefully (or not so gracefully) and show off your best moves!

Sessions begin every half hour and last 25-minutes. All sessions must be booked in advance - no walk-ups will be allowed unfortunately.

You must check-in at the rink 20 minutes before your allocated time slot so we can get you fitted up with a pair of skates, ready for your session.

Skate aids are available for younger ones. Under 8s must be accompanied by an adult and under 14s must have a responsible adult within eyesight whilst on the rink.
  • Cost (family if 4): £31 (a reduction of £3.20 on last year's prices)
  • Session length: 25 minutes 
  • Parking: In the town centre 
  • Public Transport: Bishop Auckland is served by buses 
  • What to do nearby: Christmas Town has lots going on including reindeer, full moon street food market, Christmas stage, roaming entertainment, craft workshops, silent discos, live bands, comedy and theatre. Check out their website for info. 

  • Our verdict: There is lots going on here and it looks like a brilliant festive weekend. However the rink is synthetic and you only get 25 minutes. The ice rink is here for one weekend only and tickets are selling fast. 
  • Website / Book:

Billingham Forum Ice Rink 2023

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England  - Billingham Forum Ice Rink

What they say: 

  • Cost (family of 4): £36.95 (£2.50 increase on last year) 
  • Session length: Various lengths, weekend daytime sessions tend to be 90 minutes long 
  • Parking: Free onsite parking including disabled parking and electric car charging points. 
  • Public Transport: Buses stop outside and Billingham Train Station is within walking distance. 
  • What to do nearby: RSPB Saltholme, Preston Park, Jump 360, Teesaurus Park, Teesside Park (love the cinema there) and Fun Shack are all a short drive away. 

  • Our verdict: No pre-booking is needed for this one so great for skating on a whim. This is an indoor permanent ice rink which is larger than the pop-ups available

  • Website/Book:

Metrocentre 2023 (synthetic rink)

Metrocentre Ice rink - The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England

What they say:  Our Ice Rink is back!

We’ve brought the outdoors indoors this year with our magical Arctic Experience, this time located in The Forum, near Next.

Little kids, and big kids too, can skate on our synthetic ice rink, grab a selfie on our enchanted throne

Join us

From Monday 13th November, shoppers can wander into The Forum (Outside of Next) to soak up the atmosphere, take festive photos and capture lots of memories together with family.

For the ice-rink, please note there will be a suggested donation to our Charity of choice this year, Gateshead Food Bank, or you can sign up to our mailing list to ice skate for free!

The ice rink is open from Monday 13th November until Sunday 31st December:

Please note, our Ice Rink will be closed on Monday 25th December

Opening Times:

13th Nov – 17th Dec:

Monday - Friday:

4pm – 7pm


9am – 7pm



18th – 24th Dec:

Monday - Friday

10am – 7pm

Saturday 23rd Dec:

9am - 7pm

Sunday 24th Dec:

11am - 5pm

Tuesday 26th –  Sunday 31st Dec:

10am – 7pm weekdays

  • Cost (family of 4): FREE (they're accepting donations to their food bank) 
  • Session length: No information available 
  • Parking: Plenty of free parking onsite 
  • Public Transport: Trains and buses serve the Metrocentre 
  • What to do nearby: Treetop Golf, Winter Wonderscape, Clip n Climb, Hot Chocolates from Hotel Chocolat, Namco, Angry Birds Golf, Odeon Cinema, Restaurants and shopping. 

  • Our verdict: Well you can't get better than free! This rink is small, synthetic and indoors but worth a trip to the Metrocentre for I reckon, especially if you have younger kids (ages 2-10 must be accompanied). You just need to sign up to their mailing list and join the queue. At busy times there may be a wait. 

  • Website/Book:

New/Back for 2023.........

Matfen Hall 2023

What they say: 

Visit the jewel in Northumberland’s crown for a merry and memorable ice skating experience this December. Le Jardin Hollandaise is the ideal location for fun with your loved ones as our unique parkland provides a beautiful backdrop.

Suitable for the young and young at heart, your time on the ice is accompanied by a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne, while children can enjoy a soft drink or a delicious hot chocolate.

  • Cost (family of 4): £98.62 (includes a complimentary drink) 
  • Session length: 30 minutes 

Barking Dog Wallsend Winter Wonderland 2023 

2 & 3 December Only 

What they say: 

JJM Entertainment & Richardsons amusements presents the North  Tyneside Winter Wonderland experience 🎅 

The full experience Child ticket includes; 

20 minutes on our ice rink❄️

Entry  into the giant inflatable snow globe and Xmas bouncy castle 🎄

Entry into Santas grotto & a present from Santa 🎅

You also have the options to purchase Santas Grotto or 20 minutes on the ice rink individually 🎄🎅

  • Cost (family of 4): £32
  • Session length: 20 minutes + inflatables 

Sunderland Ice Rink (Keel Square) 2023 

What they say: 

Sunderland’s favourite festive event held in Keel Square will be back in 2023

Set in the iconic Keel Square, we promise to deliver the best year yet at Sunderland Ice Rink with our fantastic new all weather ice rink…say goodbye to the rain and wind in 2023…we now have huge marquee covering us from the elements!

Cost (family of 4): Prices have not been released yet 
Session length: Up to 45 minutes 

Website / Book:

The Cheapest Place To Go Ice Skating Is......... 

Prices are based on a family of 4 including skate hire for one session. 

Where are the Cheapest Places to Skate (per session)? 

  • Metrocentre - FREE 
  • Rainton Arena Midweek - £8 (1 hour)
  • Rainton Arena Weekend - £24 (1 hour)
  • Ocean Beach South Shields - £30 (1 hour) 
  • Middlesbrough on Ice - £30 (1 hour) 
  • Christmas Town Bishop Auckland - £31 (25 mins) 
  • Barking Dog - £32 (20 mins skating time - kids  also get access to inflatables) 
  • Billingham Forum - £36.95 (90 mins) 
  • Newcastle Centre for Life - £46 (45 mins) 
  • Whitley Bay Ice Rink - £40 (2 hours)
  • Matfen Hall Ice Rink - £98.62 (30 mins - includes a drink) 
  • Sunderland Ice Rink Prices TBC 

Best Value Ice Rink 

  • Metrocentre = Free 
  • Rainton Arena (midweek) = 13p per minute 
  • Whitley Bay Ice Rink = 33p per minute 
  • Rainton Arena (weekend) = 40p per minute 
  • Billingham Forum = 41p per minute 
  • Ocean Beach South Shields = 50p per minute 
  • Middlesbrough on Ice = 50p per minute
  • Newcastle Centre for Life = £1.02 per minute
  • Christmas Town Bishop Auckland = £1.24 per minute 
  • Barking Dog = £1.60 per minute (for skating - kids also get access to inflatables)
  • Matfen Hall = £3.29 per minute (includes a drink) 
  • Sunderland Ice Rink Prices TBC 


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