There’s nothing more magical on the run up to Christmas than the thought of glistening ice crystals, the smell of mulled wine and the sound of a cold, crisp new ten pound note buying all the presents you could possibly want for your family from Poundland (better make the most of that before Brexit makes it Onepoundfiftyland). In recreating the perfect alpine experience we need look no further than Crawley’s Queens Square after its new facelift as, to celebrate, the council have agreed to host a real ice rink! Running from 17th November through until just about the time of the first episode of Dancing on Ice (thankfully brought back after three years of melt water), the rink has long been dreamed about as a valid leisure facility for this area. It never quite got off the ground due to a mixture of inadequate funding, planning objections, parking and a general attitude of cautiousness towards skating. Quite why there was never a ‘Glacier’ built within the K2 walls defeats me, especially when one could have easily fitted into the extensive lobby!

But we are where we are, and now we have finally been given a chance to prove to the council that this area would greatly benefit from having a permanent facility. Recent technological advances in ice rink engineering and effective insulation, means that efficiency is much improved as is demonstrated at the new rink at Streatham, which cleverly offsets some of the heat byproduct to warm up the swimming pool below. Meanwhile, we can be sure to enjoy the best of the Christmas season’s temporary rinks at Reigate, Tulleys Farm and a lovely large one (a third of the size of an Olympic rink) at Horsham Park.

So the cold hard facts are if you like the idea of dancing on ice all year round then make sure you pop along and use them. Not only will you feel very Christmassy but hopefully you too will experience some of the magic of gliding along, wings on your feet over ice crystals – and that’s before the mulled wine!

If you want to look up basic skills beforehand go to http://www.guildfordspectrum.co.uk/ice-skating/ or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC54A9c2dEE. Second hand skates can be bought from the Spectrum – just ask when their next skate sale is on. If you want to see how it’s done don’t miss their panto, Aladdin on Ice, from Friday 15th – Sunday 17th December at the Spectrum. Finally enter our draw to WIN tickets to Horsham Ice Rink on page 25.