The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England

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 one 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 a few options which are suitable for wheelchairs and venues which do not require pre-booking too. 

Some ice rinks are only open for a limited period, 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. 

Manor Walks Ice Rink, Cramlington 

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England  - Manor Walks Ice Rink

What they say:  Join us at Manor Walks Shopping Centre for festive fun with a glide on our first ever real ice rink! Grab your skates and enjoy the 32x 15m open air ice rink and enjoy the perfect day out with friends and family.

Open from 11am - 9pm daily from 2nd December 2021 - 2nd January 2022 (closed only Christmas day) each ice skating session will last for 60 minutes. Please make sure you arrive early to allow time to scan your tickets and collect your ice skates from the boot room, you are also welcome to bring your own skates too!

We have polar bear skating aids to hire and offer a helping paw plus children’s bob skates, with twin blades that fit over a child’s shoe.

Alongside our ice rink you can enjoy a delicious German Bratwurst and a cosy hot chocolate... with marshmallows and whipped cream of course!

  • Cost (family if 4): £30 including skate hire 
  • Session length: 60 minutes 
  • Parking: Free parking at Manor Walks (for up to 4 hours, collect an extension pass from selected leisure outlets if you will be longer than this). Parking can get busy, especially on weekends so leave plenty of time / book an early or late slot. 
  • Public Transport: Buses serve Cramlington Manor Walks and Cramlington Train Station is a short walk away. 
  • What to do nearby: Lots to see and do nearby including shopping at Manor Walks, catch a festive film at Vue Cinema, swimming/softplay/bowling/clip n climb at Concordia, Seven Oaks Park is across the road and there are lots of restaurants close by including Nandos, Mandarin Bay, Lal Q'ila, McDonalds, Costa, Sambucas and Venue. There is also a FREE Santa's Grotto in Manor Walks this year too (book via their website or turn up and queue during selected hours)

  • Our verdict: I like that Manor Walks is easy to get to by bus or train and has lots of restaurants / indoor activities plus a FREE Santa's grotto nearby too. Love that this rink stays open until 9pm. This one is local to us so we'll be visiting regularly I'm sure. 
  • Website / Book:

L.O.L Surprise! Ice Skating Party & Disco at Manor Walks 

On Monday 6 December from 5pm-7pm, Manor Walks Ice Rink is hosting a special L.O.L Surprise! Ice Skating Party and Disco. You can expect: 

  • Music from the upcoming tour providing beats for the night 
  • Spot prizes on the hour for those who take to the ice in an outfit inspired by their favourite doll - there are 100 tickets to the upcoming L.O.L Surprise! tour date in Newcastle to give away (4 x 25 family tickets) across the evening. The L.O.L Surprise! VIP Tour is heading to Newcastle's Utilita Arena in January 2022. 
Book a skating session between 5-7pm on 6 December to take part. 

Whitley Bay Ice Rink 

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): £35 including skate hire
  • 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)

    Special events (click on image to enlarge): 

Ocean Beach Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, South Shields

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

What they say: This winter Ocean Beach is opening from November 26 – January 9 with our very own real ice skating rink, Festive food stalls, and Bar, and of course some of your favourite rides** and arcades are open daily too – except for Christmas Day.

  • Cost (family if 4): £32 
  • 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 Ocean Beach Fairground, the beach, arcades and Dunes Soft Play / Bowling. 

  • 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 

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): £30.50 
  • Session length: 1 hour
  • 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 and their Winter Lights programme 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:

Sunderland Ice Rink 

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England - Sunderland Keel Square
Credit : Sunderland BID 

What they say: 

Sunderland’s favourite festive event held in Keel Square is back in 2021…ready to deliver a magical winter experience for people of all ages.

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 2021…we now have huge marquee covering us from the elements!

  • Cost (family if 4): £28 
  • Session length: 45 minutes 
  • Parking: St Mary's Car Park, the Bridges Car Park or Livingston Road Car Park are all close by. 
  • Public Transport: Sunderland Metro and Train Station are close by and there are regular buses to the city centre. 
  • What to do nearby: There is a lot going on in Sunderland this Christmas including 'Winter Funderland' with live music, tipi bar, street food and more, there is a Santa's grotto where you can just join the queue at the Bridges too (it's £2 which is donated to charity). Oh and there is a Snow White Trail at Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden. 

  • Our verdict: This is the only pop-up ice rink I have found that has a wheelchair policy displayed on their website. Manual wheelchairs are permitted (see their website faqs for more info). There is also lots of low-cost festive activities in the surrounding area, more than enough to make a day/afternoon of it. 
  • Website/Book:

Rainton Arena Ice Rink 

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

What they say: 

Grab Your Skates And Come And Join Us At Our Real Open Air Ice Rink. Kick Off The Winter Season With Some Festive Skating, Open Daily. Stretch Out And Practice Your Skating Moves And Enjoy The Afternoon Sun As It Glistens On The Ice; Soak Up The Romantic Atmosphere At Twilight, Or Skate After Dark Under The Stars.


Ideal For All Ages And Abilities, Skates And Support Polar Bears Available For The Little Ones. It’s A Great Family Activity Which The Kids Will Love.
 Available To Book Out For Private And Corporate Parties.

  • Cost (family of 4): £38
  • 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 one of the more expensive ice rinks available however it looks like it will be nice to visit as part of a wider day at the Winter Wonderland there. 
  • Website/Book:

Newcastle Racecourse Ice Rink (part of Newcastle Winter Wonderland) 

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England  - Newcastle Racecourse Ice Rink

What they say: The Big Wish LTD is proud to present Newcastle’s Biggest Winter Fair, Winter Wonderland! Join us at Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth, for a fun filled family day out!
Running from 19th November through til’ 2nd January, 4pm – 9pm Weekdays, 12pm – 10pm Weekends. 12pm – 10pm Monday to Sunday (Out of term times).
We have something for all the family, from thrilling rides and attractions to Santa Claus himself & his reindeer. This is not one to be missed! We look forward to seeing you there!

  • Cost (family of 4): £29 (+ entry fee which is £3.50/£5 per person)
  • Session length: 1 hour 
  • Parking: Free parking on site 
  • Public Transport: Buses serve Newcastle Racecourse but it is a bit of a walk to the entrance 
  • What to do nearby: Part of Newcastle Winter Wonderland. You can expect a Santa's Grotto, Fairground Rides, Christmas Tree Maze, Stalls and more. 
  • Our verdict: You do need to pay to visit Winter Wonderland (£3.50/£5) on top of ice skating which does bump the price up a bit and make this one of the more expensive options. However, it does look like a nice festive day out (I have actually booked this one myself too). 

  • Website / Book:

Billingham Forum Ice Rink 

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

What they say: 

  • Cost (family of 4): £33 
  • Session length: Various lengths 
  • 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. There are various sessions available including family skating sessions and dedicated sessions for wheelchair users. They are also running a fab Christmas offer which includes a visit with Santa too......
  • Website/Book:

    Christmas offer: 

    Billingham Forum's Grotto is BACK for 2021 and we couldn't be MORE excited‼
    Santa will be at Billingham Forum from 20th November and for only £8 per child or 2 for £14, not only will your children get a visit with the big man himself BUT they will also get a free ice skate! Giving you the perfect festive day out ❄️⛸
    Visit for more information.

Hedworth Hall, South Shields 

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England - Hedworth Hall Ice Rink

What they say:  This is expected to be a popular attraction so don’t delay in getting booked in as there are only limited spaces available each hour – spaces for walk-ins may be available but can not be guaranteed.

Alongside our ice-rink we will also have our very own Santa’s Grotto out on our decking. Visits to see Santa are priced £5 per child and will include a free gift from the main man himself. Tickets to see Santa can also be purchased in advance or on the day.

  • Cost (family of 4): £41
  • Session length: 1 hour 
  • Parking: No info available about on site parking but there is definitely parking nearby. 
  • Public Transport: Chichester Metro Station and buses stop close by
  • What to do nearby: South Shields attractions and Souter Lighthouse. 

  • Our verdict: This option seems fairly expensive and is £9 more than nearby Ocean Beach. 
  • Website/Book:

Lumley Castle Ice Rink 

The Cheapest Place to go Ice Skating in North East England  - Lumley Castle Ice Rink

What they say: Why not get into true festive spirit this Christmas with family fun on the Lumley Ice Rink? Between the 15th and 22nd of December the Lumley Ice Rink will be available between 12 and 4.30pm to children aged 12 or under (under 8 yrs old accompanied), and everyone else 4.30pm onwards.

For just £6 per person for 15 minutes of fun, get your cameras at the ready for magical Christmas memories at the Castle.

Why not make a memorable day of it and book Santa’s Grotto too!

  • Cost (family if 4):  £24 
  • Session length: 15 minutes 
  • Parking: On site parking available 
  • Public Transport: Durham Train Station is 7 miles away and buses stop close by. 
  • What to do nearby: Lumley Castle is hosting lots of Christmas events and markets this year, check out their website for info. Riverside Park, Holmside Park, Adventure Valley, Dalton Park, Beamish, WWT Washington are all a short drive away. 

  • Our verdict: I like that they have reserved the daytime sessions for under 12s and after 4:30pm is for adults. £6 per person is one of the cheaper options however you do only get 15 minutes to skate. 
  • Website / Book:

Bishop Auckland's Christmas Town (Synthetic rink)

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

What they say: This event takes place on 26-28 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):  £20 
  • 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. It is one of the cheaper options though. The ice rink is here for one weekend only and tickets are selling fast. 
  • Website / Book:

Metrocentre (synthetic rink)

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

What they say: We’ve brought the outdoors indoors this year with our magical Arctic Experience. This year, it is located in Exhibition Square outside Primark.

Little kids, and big kids too, can skate on our synthetic ice rink, grab a selfie on our enchanted throne, and watch the magical snow fall indoors.

From Saturday 6th November, shoppers can wander into Exhibition Square to soak up the atmosphere, take festive photos and capture lots of memories together with family. 

The Arctic Experience's photo opportunities are free. However, for the ice-rink, please note there will be nominal charges, or you can sign up to our mailing list to ice skate for free!

The ice rink is open from Tuesday 9th November until Friday 31st December:

  • Monday – Saturday: 9am – 7pm (last entry at 6:30pm)
  • Sundays: 11am – 5pm (last entry at 4:30pm)
  • Cost (family of 4): FREE 
  • Session length: No information available 
  • Parking: Plenty of free parking onsite 
  • Public Transport: Trains and buses serve the Metrocentre 
  • What to do nearby: Arctic Experience, Festive Forest (with Santa), 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:

Please note, there is also a FREE ice rink in Darlington on selected dates this year (which was announced after I published this post) and Woodhorn has confirmed that their ice rink is not going ahead this year. 

It has been mentioned that there will be an ice rink at Beamish but I can't find any info on their website - let me know if you spot anything. 

Verdict - 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? 

  • Metrocentre (synthetic) - FREE or £8  
  • Bishop Auckland (synthetic) - £20 for 25 minutes 
  • Lumley Castle - £24 for 15 minutes 
  • Sunderland - £28 for 45 minutes 
  • Manor Walks - £30 for 1 hour 
  • Centre for Life - £30.50 for 1 hour 

The Most Expensive Places to Skate 
  • Newcastle Winter Wonderland at Newcastle Racecourse - £43/£49 including entrance fee
  • Hedworth Hall -  £41 
  • Rainton Arena - £38 

Best Value Ice Rink 

  • Metrocentre = free 
  • Whitley Bay = 29p per minute 
  • Billingham = 37p per minute (based on a 90 minute session but they do vary) 
  • Manor Walks = 50p per minute
  • Centre for Life = 51p per minute 
  • Ocean Beach = 53p per minute 
  • Keel Square = 62p per minute 
  • Rainton Arena = 62p per minute 
  • Hedworth Hall = 68p per minute 
  • Newcastle Winter Wonderland = 72p - 82p per minute 
  • Bishop Auckland Winter Wonderland = 80p per minute 
  • Lumley Castle Ice Rink = £1.60 per minute 

Best for Wheelchairs 

Billingham Forum Ice Rink has dedicated sessions for wheelchair users and Keel Square Sunderland mention in their FAQs that manual wheelchairs are able to be accommodated during regular sessions (they recommend booking a quieter time if you can). 

I haven't been able to find any other info online (attractions - please do better!) 

Best Ice Rinks With No Booking Required 

You can just 'turn up' to Metrocentre, Whitley Bay and Billingham Forum Ice Rink for all sessions. The others mostly prefer pre-booking but will accommodate walk ins where available (with the exception of Bishop Auckland Christmas Town). 

Phew! Well done for making it to the bottom of this post. If you have any questions, please contact the venues direct. 

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