One thing I knew I wanted to do this xmas was to go ice skating, I haven’t been for a couple of years and although the thought terrified me I really wanted to give it another try! The lovely guys at Richmond Rink offered me a couple of free tickets so me and a friend popped down last night to check it out. Its about a ten minute walk from the station, its not signposted though so make sure to have your map on your phone or printed off! It was easy enough to find though and you can’t really miss the bright spotlights if you go during the evening.
We arrived and collected our tickets from the alpine lodge and grabbed a quick hot chocolate and shortbread before heading around to the rink. The alpine lodge also serve mulled wine and a range of coffees and soft drinks for anyone whos feeling a bit thirsty before or after their skating session! We wandered around to the rink which is in the grounds of York House or more specifically on a tennis court! Whilst we were enjoying our shortbread we stood outside so that we could see the skaters in the session before us. No one was falling over which gave me some hope! We headed into get our skates and on taking off our shoes as requested then discovered the floor was SOAKED when walking to the bench to put the skates on, my friend was lucky she had spare socks in her bag, cause shes smart like that, I didn’t! So wet socks it was! We got all wrapped up and waited for the previous session to end. Everything ran to time and before long it was our turn on the ice.
The rink itself isn’t massive, but its big enough, we were told the last session of the day, which was the 7pm we went to was usually quiet. It certainly wasn’t rammed but there was around 20-30 people on the ice I’d say. Now obviously you cant choose who your on the ice with and unfortunately we had some rowdy teenage lads on the ice with us who were friends with some of the staff members. They spent 20 minutes tearing around the ice at speed before being asked by the security man to consider the younger children on the ice, by that stage I’d already had one plough into me and knock me flying with no apology at all. Other than that we had an excellent session. I didn’t venture far from the edge but after maybe four circuits of gripping the side for dear life I moved onto holding my friends had but staying within reach of the edge where possible other than having to overtake people who had stopped to chat. Neither of us fell over which I was THRILLED about as it was my biggest fear however we saw plenty of spectacular falls, usually from the teenage lads which made it rather amusing! We also saw a mum fall and struggle to get up which is exactly what concerns me, the getting up bit! I had tons of wobbles but did find that I kept my balance reasonably well.
45 minutes is certainly long enough for a session and towards the end of the session my legs were feeling a tad jelly like from all the muscles I was working so I hopped off quickly so I could grab a couple of pictures before giving another few laps a go, I even managed a small amount of skating without holding the wall or my friend, albeit maybe 5 metres ;-)
We had an absolutely fantastic time and a good giggle. I loved that its a fairly local rink that meant we didn’t have to travel all the way into London to go and visit nor did we have to try and contend with the xmas shoppers had we visited windsor. Also rather handily although its called Richmond Rink its actually based in Twickenham so again no xmas shoppers around really!
The prices are good for a 45 minute session including skate hire and there are also concessions and family tickets available as well as penguin’s which can be used by small children (or teenagers) to support them whilst they learn to skate. There are no booking fees.
At the end of the day you can’t choose who to skate with so although we’d have had even more fun if rowdy teenagers weren’t speeding around the rink they didn’t detract from a well oiled experience. Staff were helpful and friendly. The rink was easy to find and close to local restaurants. I’d definitely go back myself and If you live in West London I’d throughly recommend it as a place to go instead of the full hit of London in the winter