When I think of ice-skating, I think back to my early childhood growing up in Sweden. Thick snow would have been falling since late October/November. My cousins, who lived next door and sisters would be counting the days until Christmas and hoping that Father Christmas would come again.
We’d spend hours playing outside in the snow, snowball fights, making snowmen and snow angels and making little igloos to put candles in. Eventually we’d want our parents to join in too. There was a big lake just 100 metres from our house and, as soon as it had frozen enough, we’d be nagging my parents to come ice skating with us.
My mother, my sisters, and I just needed layers of warm clothes, gloves and our skates. For my father, he needed some extra equipment. He would get warmly dressed, pick up his skates and then find two large cushions and some rope.
We’d run and skip down to the lake, throwing snowballs at each other and then, once we arrived, put on our skates. My Swedish mother would confidently dash onto the ice and elegantly skate around, Sarah and I would follow whilst we pulled my baby sister around on a sledge.
However, my father would put on his skates and try not to fall whilst he attached one cushion to his bottom and the other to his front with the rope! My English father, is tall, fit and strong but I wouldn’t call him graceful. He isn’t a natural skater and would often fall over. Fed up from getting lots of bruises, he found strapping the cushions helped him a bit which we found really funny.
Skating in the grounds of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, is a far more elegant affair. It’s a stunning sight with the Royal Pavilion in the background. It is a pop-up ice rink that started coming to Brighton in 2010. Each year it seems to get more popular with locals and visitors to Brighton.
The ice rink is open until 10.15pm each evening and as the sun sets, all the beautiful lights in the trees and buildings around it light up. There is such a Christmasy feeling there and there is a lovely bar and kitchen next to it that serves festive food and drink too.
It’s sparkly, magical and puts you in a good mood! It’s such a beautiful location that there has even been a wedding and reception held at the Brighton ice-rink. In fact, this 880 metre ice rink recently came in the top 9, according the Metro newspaper, of Best Ice Rinks around the UK.
Since it’s been coming for 8 years now, the Brits are getting better and better at ice-skating and the activity seems to be getting more and more popular. However, I still get memories of my childhood as I watch the skaters. Often it is the foreign visitors who are confidently skating around whilst many of the British are gingerly holding on to the rails around the outside on the rink!
Why don’t you give it a go when you come to study at Loxdale? There’s so much to enjoy in Brighton at this time of year.
Image by Anna Lundberg