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
  • One adult can accompany a maximum of 4 children
  • 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
Frequently asked questions
On the website it says skating is running until 31 Dec, but I can only book a few days in advance? Why is this?

Due to our booking system we can only offer a limited number of time slots online, however you can book further in advance by calling 01206 713700. 

Do I need to print off my ticket, or collect it from the welcome desk?

You can print off your ticket – or show it on your mobile device. You do not need to check in our front desk, instead make your way straight down to our cafe and out onto the Berryfield lawn to check in at our marquee. 


What do I do when I arrive?

Please enter Firstsite via our main entrance (glass doors), make your way to the back of our building and through the doors by our cafe.  Go to the marquee to receive your wristband and exchange your shoes for a set of skates. Follow all instructions given by staff for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Please note: there is a set of steps down from our cafe to the marquee. If you require an alternative route please let our team at our Front desk know when you enter the building. 


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! 


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 wear one when collecting your wristband 


Are skates included in the price?

Yes. Sizes range from children’s 7.5 – adult 11.

Any child under 14 should be accompanied by an adult at all times.


Can I bring my own skates?



Are spectators allowed?

Yes spectators can watch from around the rink or they may wish to watch from our cafe balcony with a drink or snack


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, these are issued on a first-come-first-served basis and can’t be reserved.


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, and 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. Our café will be operating until the last ice rink slot of the day.

It will be open from 10am – 7:30pm from Sundays to Thursday and from 10am – 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Our café will be open 10am – 5pm on 14th December, and Christmas & New Year’s Eve.


What do I do after my session?

Please leave the rink promptly via the marked exit. Follow all instructions given by staff. Feel free to enjoy our free exhibitions from 10am – 5pm. You can enjoy food and drink in our cafe during our opening hours -please see previous question.


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 or Firstsite credit.


What does it mean if a session is sold out?

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


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 under cover. 


Can I pay when I arrive?

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


Accessibility info:

We want everyone to enjoy skating 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. However, unfortunately wheelchairs can not be used on the rink.


Other accessibility info:

There are steps down to the Berryfield lawn where the rink is situated. If you require an alternative route please let our staff know at our Front Desk when you arrive. 

There will be music playing at a low level during sessions

You are free to leave and re-enter the venue during your session.

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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