Skate – Tunbridge Wells Review


Reviewed by Amanda Hayes

Although ticketed by Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall, Skate, which is in its twelfth year of running, is actually held a few minutes walk away down the High Street in Calverley Grounds. There is plenty of parking nearby as there is a multi storey both near the theatre and next to the station, and a smaller car park in the Calverley Grounds itself. The station is only 5 minutes walk away if you want to let the train take the strain. The rink is open seven days a week from Friday 18 November 2022 to Monday 2 January 2023 (closed Christmas Day), with hourly slots from 10am-8pm on the weekends and midday to 9pm most weekdays.

Calverley Grounds is a beautiful local park with gorgeous gardens halfway up the high street and when we entered it was wonderfully lit with its festive lights making it look particularly welcoming. In the centre of the park was the ice rink, surrounded by log cabins filled with food and drink. We arrived just before opening of the rink by the local mayor, where the figure skating displays, and music had been entertaining the crowd for the previous 90 minutes. At 7pm the rink was declared open and although it was very busy, the staff were super efficient in swapping your shoes for ice skates. We were soon on the ice and trying to remember how to skate! It’s been many, many years since any of us have been ice skating and so we were both excited and a little apprehensive but soon got into the swing of it.  Our son had not skated before so he chose to use a red seal skating aid which you can hire for an additional £4.00. There are also blue penguins for younger children.

The rink had its own professional photographers on site where the photos were ready to view and purchase after your session. They were good value for money compared to other venues we have been starting at just £6.00, so we purchased a couple for Christmas gifts. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink with two bars, hot food and sweet cabins and the parks on site café providing hot drinks and snacks.

Throughout the one hour session, the festive tunes boomed out across the rink bringing the park to life and bringing that festive feeling to everyone around, whether skating or spectating. It was a wonderful feeling skating across the ice with the wind on your face and the music in your ears.

Prices are reasonable with different bands having different prices starting from the green band; Weekdays until Thu 15 Dec 22; Adults £15.00, Children U16 £10.00 to gold; Christmas Eve; Adults £21.00, Children U16 £16.00. Advance Bookings are discounted by £2.00 per person, making an off peak ticket £13.00 per adult.

We had a fabulous time at Skate, its fun, its festive, its fabulous and we will all be aching tomorrow! I highly recommend getting some tickets soon, as some sessions are starting to sell out.

Rating: Highly recommended 5 out of 5

Tickets are available here.

Starting prices £13.50 Adult £7.00 child. Skate is held at Calverley Grounds, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

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