Published on 23rd September 2022

Photo of a family ice skating at Cheltenham's Christmas ice rink

Gloucestershire’s only all-weather ice rink returns for a second year, as part of a bumper programme of seasonal activities organised by partners around Cheltenham.

The rink will again be situated in Imperial Gardens, reflecting the town’s historic Winter Gardens and ice rink that once occupied a site there.

Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member for economic development, tourism, culture and wellbeing, said: “At a time when we all need a lot more cheer in our lives, this is something that local people can hopefully all look forward to. Last year, 43,000 people enjoyed the winter ice rink and helped our local economy recover from the pandemic lockdowns.  The visitors included families who attended for free as part of the No child Left Behind scheme to support Cheltenham children who need extra help and support.

“What’s more, the operation ran at no cost to taxpayers and this winter, we hope to repeat that success. Of course, there’s more work to do until we get there, including working with local residents and ironing out environmental improvements too.”

The ice rink will open to complement the official Christmas launch on Saturday 19 November, with Christmas market stalls offering everything from specialist food items to traditional hand-made gifts and stocking fillers, and a trail organised by Cheltenham BID, as well as events from The Cheltenham Trust and the annual pantomime at The Everyman Theatre.

Alongside the market, the town’s spectacular new Christmas lights, which proved popular in 2020, will return, making the town sparkle with festive cheer.

In 2021, an additional £3.3m was spent in Cheltenham as a result of the ice rink or market with two-thirds of visitors saying they ate or drank in local venues and/or spent money in local shops. Most visitors had been into town as well as the ice rink or market with 90% visiting the Promenade or Montpellier and 75% visiting the high street.

Final details for the ice rink are being finalised and further information, including details on how to book tickets will be released in early October. For more information about Christmas in Cheltenham visit:

For media enquiries, contact: Marketing Cheltenham, email [email protected].

About Marketing Cheltenham

Marketing Cheltenham is the destination marketing organisation for Cheltenham, operating as a division of Cheltenham Borough Council. 

The organisation is responsible for growing Cheltenham’s visitor economy, encouraging visitors to the town, to get them to stay longer and support the local tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses. This, in turn, will support economic growth – new jobs, business creation – and culture for the continued benefit of local people.

The planning application for the 2022/23 ice rink was approved at the council’s planning committee on 22 September. Find out more information in the reports on the council’s website, agenda item 5b.