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Skating at Firstsite – Guidelines and Frequently asked questions

During your session, we ask that you please follow a few guidelines to make sure everyone stays safe and has fun.
  • Whilst in the Firstsite building, please wear a face covering unless you are exempt
  • Please keep your wristband on for the duration of your visit.
  • Stay within your group booking and maintain your distance from other skaters.
  • Any children under 14 must be accompanied by a paying adult at all times
  • Skates will be provided, but please bring a pair of comfortable socks.
  • We recommend wearing clothing that will protect you from the cold, such as long sleeves, trousers and a pair of gloves. Keep in mind the rink is outside, so it might be chilly!
  • Before skating make sure that your skates fit well and are correctly tightened
  • Skate in a clockwise direction and try not to be stationary for too long.
  • Once your time slot is up, promptly make your way off the rink
  • Do follow instructions from Firstsite staff
  • Have fun!


  • Don’t sit or climb over the safety barrier
  • Don’t skate at excessive speed
  • Don’t smoke, drink or eat on the rink
  • Don’t consume alcohol before skating
  • Don’t drop litter on the rink
  • Don’t carry babies or young children on the rink
  • Don’t skate in chains of more than two
  • Don’t wear scarves or loose clothing that may become entangled with other skaters.
  • Don’t carry any loose articles or bags on the rink
  • Don’t cut across the middle of the rink
  • Don’t play tag

Please note: our rink is synthetic and so the experience is different to skating on real ice.

Skating is not suitable for:

  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone with a heart condition


Due to COVID-19 regulations we are unable to allow anyone without a wristband into the skating area, this means we cannot allow spectators around the edge of the rink.


Frequently asked questions


Is it real ice?

No, this is an synthetic ice rink, this means we are able to open in all weathers with no chance of it melting! Also our skates are specially adapted for the synthetic rink, which means they have no sharp edges or end blades.


What do I do if I’m not feeling well on the day?

If you have suspected Covid-19 symptoms please do not attend. Call 01206 713700 to exchange your tickets for another day or to receive a refund


What should I bring?

We recommend you wear gloves and thick socks. Please don’t bring lots of bags or unnecessary items as we cannot store these for you.


What time should I arrive?

Please arrive at your allotted time as confirmed with your booking.


Do I have to wear a face covering?

You do not have to wear a face covering on the rink, but you are required to where one when collecting your wristband from our Welcome area in the building


Are skates included in the price?

Yes. Sizes range from child 1 to adult 12.

We can also supply toddler over skaters which are attached to shoes. Any child under 14 should be accompanied by an adult at all times.


Can I bring my own skates?

No, our skates are specially adapted for our synthetic ice rink, and do not have sharp edges or end blades. Therefore we cannot allow anyone to use any skates other than those provided by our team.


Are spectators allowed?

No, due to COVID-19 regulations we are unable to allow anyone without a wristband into the skating area, this means we cannot allow spectators around the edge of the rink.


What do I do when I arrive?

Please enter Firstsite via our main entrance (glass doors) to check in and receive you wristband. Make your way to the rink to exchange your shoes for a set of skates. Follow all instructions given by staff for a safe and enjoyable experience.


Can I take photographs on the rink?

For your safety and the safety of others, please only take photographs within your group.


Is there somewhere to leave my belongings while I skate?

Unfortunately we are unable to store belongings at this time, please do not bring large bags or belongings with you.


Do you have skate aids/penguins for children?

Yes, a limited number of skate aids will be available to hire, please let us know if you require one when you arrive at the rink. Please note these are issued on a first-come-first-served basis.


What if I need a break?

You can come off the rink for a break at any point during your skate.


Can I leave the session before the end?

Yes, as long as you are only accompanied by those within your bubble. You may return to the session before the end but please follow all instructions given by staff.


Are there toilets?

Yes, toilets including accessible toilets are available onsite.


Can I get anything to eat or drink?

You can enjoy light meals, baked treats and hot and cold drinks in our café between 10am – 5pm in the building before your skate. There will be light refreshments available from stands in the Winter Market located opposite the Firstsite entrance on weekends.


What do I do after my session?

Please leave promptly via the marked exit. Follow all instructions given by staff.


What if my session is postponed?

Ticket holders will be contacted and offered the opportunity to book onto another session, or will be offered a refund.


What if the event is cancelled?

If the event is cancelled altogether ticket holders will be contacted and given a refund.


What does it mean if a session is sold out?

No more tickets are available for that time. Please select another time.


Can I change my skate time?

Yes, you can exchange your tickets for a £2 per ticket fee, please call us on 01206 713700.


What happens if it’s raining or windy?

Outdoor skating goes ahead in all weathers – if we need to close the rink for any reason we will let affected ticket holders know. The rink itself is not undercover. 


Can I pay when I arrive?

No, due to current government regulations around Covid-19 all tickets should be booked in advance.


Accessibility info:

We want everyone to enjoy skating in the ruins this festive period. We’re committed to ensuring people with additional support or access needs are catered for, at this and all of our events. Please let us know at booking if you require a wheelchair skate aid.

There will be music playing at a low level during sessions

You are free to leave and re-enter the venue during your session, if you are only accompanied by people in your bubble.

There will be Christmas lighting around the rink and surrounding area, the rink itself will be floodlit

There are accessible toilets within the Firstsite building – please ask a member of staff if you require assistance to find these.

Get in touch with us on 01206 713700 before your visit if you have any questions.

Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

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