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17th November 2023

Skate Manchester review: Less dancing, more dragging my feet on ice

Live out your winter wonderland fantasy as Skate Manchester has officially arrived in Cathedral Gardens
Skate Manchester review: Less dancing, more dragging my feet on ice
Credit: Longxiang Qian @Pexels

Skate Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens Ice Rink has officially opened and it’s definitely worth a visit.

My introduction to ice skating consisted of a goose-dropping covered frozen pond hidden away in the Scottish highlands onto which my ever obliging grandfather would brazenly stride, rope secured firmly around his waist while he tested the ice. Following his all-clear, my herd of cousins and I took to the frozen water substituting those cute little penguin skating aids for ancient wooden chairs. While it may not be a skill I’ve kept up with, skating will always have a place in my heart. So, when I was invited to attend the Skate Manchester’s open night I grabbed a plus one and boarded a Stagecoach with glee.

The night certainly didn’t disappoint.

Inspired by a show-stopping performance from the delightful Tippy Packard as well as a healthy number of cocktails and burgers lining our stomachs and boosting our egos, we floated Disney-like onto the ice…
To clarify – the Disney character we most resembled was Bambi, specifically, Bambi on ice.

Photo: Tilda Child @The Mancunion

But please don’t let our woeful want of coordination cloud your judgement. The venue itself is fantastic. Both the main rink and the seating/bar area are covered floor to ceiling by a marquee making it perfectly equipped to shelter you from whatever weather Manchester decides it wants to bless us with this winter. Whilst the vibes inside are great (tunes, strobe lights, a bar, plenty of spare penguins & enough fake snow to fool Father Christmas), the main attraction has to be the outside section. From the rink you can skate out and loop around the centre piece, a who-knows-how-many-feet-high Christmas tree decked head to toe in fairy lights. Not only is it serving Winter Wonderland, but it’s an absolute prime spot for a cheeky story post or that BeReal you’ve been saving all day (guilty).

Photo: Tilda Child @The Mancunion

According to the staff, the best time to head there is any time before the school holidays begin. During the week you can expect about 50 people in and around the rink whereas full capacity is around 270, so it’s definitely worth keeping that in mind if you’d rather not risk bowling over the odd child.

At £12.40* for at least 45 minutes of skating including skate hire, it is definitely worth a visit this Christmas season. Looking for a minimum effort, maximum result date idea – in the bag mate… though maybe save the mulled wine for afterwards if you want to retain a modicum of self-respect.

*Use 20% student discount code (Student2023) when you book – don’t worry, I’ve got you!

To find out more or book, visit the website here.

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