Pop-up ice rinks are a huge attraction in the winter months. They have a Christmassy feel, but of course they're just a great excuse to dust off your skates. And the good news is, there are at least three lovely ice rinks in Sussex.
If you're self-catering by the sea, head to Steyne Gardens in Worthing where the covered ice rink has sessions for all ages - including children under four - with a colony of penguins specially brought in from the South Pole to help the youngsters. Erm, that's what it says... what do you mean? Of course they're real! Horsham Park has a covered rink too, and while there's no mention of penguins there you can book lessons as well as joining in the public sessions for all abilities. Both are open till 28th January.
I guess the biggest and most spectacular Sussex winter ice rink has to be the one at Brighton Pavilion, in the lively North Laine district - as if the Pavilion needs any other selling-point. What's different about this one, though, apart from its historic setting, is that as well as a huge main rink that's always beautifully lit at night, it has a separate beginners' area where young skaters can build up confidence with the help of penguin skate aids. And go for a pizza afterwards, I'll bet. This one opens from 4th November to 14th January.
If you're staying in one of our East Sussex cottages
you could easily pop over to Tunbridge Wells and combine some Christmas shopping in the Pantiles with a whizz around the neat little outdoor ice-rink at Calverley Grounds (17th November to 1st January); while if you're staying in West Sussex towards the Hampshire border - or heading that way for a day out - where better than Winchester, where you can skate right in the middle of Winchester Cathedral's historic Inner Close from 20th November to 7th January.
For sure the apres-skate is just as important - all these rinks have cafes or other refreshement facilities, and are near plenty of great eating and drinking options. Have fun!