SKATING has got off to a flying start at Brewery Square.

The town welcomed the return of the synthetic ice rink with a fabulous festive celebration at the weekend.

Hundreds of people packed into the square for an evening of entertainment that also featured the switching on of the square’s Christmas lights.

Tamzin Hyde from Skating in the Square said she was delighted with how the opening night had gone and said there was already plenty of demand for use of the rink.

She said: “It was a fantastic event, really good and really busy.”

Last year more than 5,000 people got their skates on and sampled some high speed fun on the rink.

Tamzin said she had again been ‘overwhelmed’ by the positive feedback this time round from people using the facility in the first couple of days it has been up and running.

She said: “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We are really happy and very pleased.”

This year the skating is being run from a cabin in the square after French restaurant Cote Brasserie moved into the unit it had used last year.

In term time, the rink will be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. During the school holidays it will be open every day apart from Christmas and New Year.

The opening night of the square also saw a range of live musical entertainment and festive goodies on offer from the Anonymous Travelling Market.

After the countdown to the big switch on of the lights, the crowds were also treated to a display of fire dancing on the balcony of Zizzi’s overlooking the square and the skating rink.

Andrew Waterhouse, director of Brewery Square co-developers Waterhouse, said he had been ‘delighted’ with the turnout for the evening’s events and the ‘great atmosphere’ in the square.

For more information see or skatinginthesquare.


OUR reporter Liz Jackson got her skates on to sample the synthetic ice rink for herself.

Here she tells us of her experience: If, like this Echo reporter, you’ve never been ice skating, finally taking on the challenge can be daunting.

Thankfully, the rink at Brewery Square is probably one of the best places to start learning and the festive, colourfully-lit surroundings will soon encourage you to buckle up your boots and get going.

As instructor Lawrence explained, putting your foot at a slight angle helps give you better grip on the synthetic ice.

After teetering around the edges of the rink I finally took the plunge and started to speed up, even though I still held my arms out to balance myself.

The whole experience was unique and special fun and Tamzin Hyde, who runs Skating in the Square, said over 5,000 people visited the rink last year – testament to its popularity amongst a wide range of people during the winter months.

The whole family is guaranteed a fun day out whether they’re new to the ice or the next Torville and/or Dean.

There are plenty of friendly, helpful staff to get you out on the ice and feeling confident, and if you really don’t think you’ll be gliding across the ice like a professional there are always the plastic penguins, or some friends, on hand to assist you.