14 reviews of Bristol Ice Rink in English
Im a 54 yr old woman who went to the rink for the 1st time when I was about 11. I used to go to work with my mum (RIP) on a Saturday in Zenas Cafe on Bristol Bridge(no child care allowances then) and I got friendly with a girl who lived in the Newagents next door. We had a great time going to the rink while our mums worked and then we both went home invigorated and happy. It was a new build then and was spotless but I guess as with everything these days, our Local Council has misspent our taxes and it may be in disrepair, as some comments have stated. What they need to do is invest some money and advertising to get this fantastic BRISTOL venue back on the map so that kids today can enjoy it like I did as a girl!!
Let me first describe the general ambience. Steps to the rink reminded me of a late 1970s car park, including the rather lovely graffiti although lacking the usual car park stairs smell I remember from my youth (more on smells later)
The building itself reminds me of a derelict nuclear bunker, I don't even want to guess what the brown goo on the ceiling might be.
My trip to the cafeteria was rather interrupted by the pungent smell from the gents toilets as I walked past. In hindsight this was lucky as my lowered appetite was met by a complete lack of any food or hot drinks due to various pieces of equipment being broken.
Generally overpriced, staff lacking enthusiasm for anything detectable and an environment more suited to a mad max movie (but colder). Horrid.
It's never really a great indictment of a leisure facility when there is a notice outside apologising for the state of the building.
To be fair, the rink itself is fine - it's actually quite big; big enough for premier league hockey if there was a team in Bristol!
The problem is everything else around it - grim doesn't cover it. The place has a 60s soviet feel to it, and the hectares of exposed concrete now sport a lovely mottled layer of mold obscuring the paintwork that was done in the late 70s/early 80s. There's also the small matter of 6 flights of steps to get up to the place, an apalling cafe, a tired bar and a shabby shop. The owners say that because they rent it from Bristol Council, they aren't prepare to invest money in something which they don't own. There is a petition there asking the council to refund either a full refurb or a replacement.
At £7.75/6.95 for hire and use, it's not bad value for money, I suppose.
I used the bristol ice rink all the time as a kid. I really enjoyed the skating and they even used to have a disco night where you could skate to a disco with the lights and everything. I used to to enjoy it so much that I got my own skates rather than using the spakers that everybody used to call the rinks skates. I did hear recently that those skates are still being used 20 years down the line, hopefully they’ve renewed them.
Located above the Carling Academy, the Ice Rink is a reasonable place for a quick ice skate. The ice seems a bit worn though and the hire of the boots and the actual skating isn’t cheap. Ocasionally there are vouchers in the local papers etc which give you free boot hire. There are usally a lot of children on the ice too which can dampen your enthusiasm when they get in your way all the time!
I can’t help but feel the place is looking a little run down now, especially amongst the graffiti filled concrete area that surrounds it. In the evening it seems to turn into a local haunt for all the locals of the chav variety, but thats in no way saying that the demographic who skate there are anything like that. GOOD PEOPLE SKATE IN THERE. And its a great place to take yours kids aswell as good exercise, compensated by all the sweet snacks and nice goodies available at the bar.
It’s a great day out if you love ice skating, but for the less inclined it may lack the facilities for a really great day.
Terrible place! disgusting colour scheme, looks like the place hasn’t been painted, updated or even cleaned since the early 80s. The staff are rude and impersonal, the music is terrible and too loud and ruins the whole point of going out and the sorry excuse for a DJ is out of place and totally unnessesery. the skates are the exact same ones i used when i went there as a child, this place needs to be demolished.
Great for the kids and the big kids too. The ice rink is large enough for the numbers that attend each week. Some like the run down feel of the place, others less so but it is a a good reliable to bring the kids for lots of fun. You can rent the ice skates and your shoes are looked after. Good all round fun on the ice just maybe leave the dog at home for this outing.
This is a great place to have fun for everyone who is up for having a little bit of a laugh. Although the whole setting is a little grim and the whole place needs a paint job the ice rink (which is what everyone goes for) is very large and safe.
With all the needed facilities like a cafe, lockers and toilets the bristol rink is both enjoyable and cheap. In the off-peak times enjoy very few people on the rink and really let your hair down.
The Ice Rink itself is as you would expect - though the inside of the building is a little tired - but doesn't detract from the ice rink itself. However I thought it worth mentioning that there are several different types of sessions and it really does pay to attend the best one for your needs. There are 3 types:
Family Sessions: Not just for families but at this session you can only wear figure skates (none of the racing/ice hockey skates allowed). So no young boys (or girls) going 50 miles an hour past you and stopping with a spray of ice. This means that it is a great session for learning to skate - or taking your kids along to learn. This is also the session that the proficient skaters use. Its nice to watch them even if you do feel completely inadequate!
Public Sessions: Usually very busy and the session you want, if tearing around the rink as fast as you possibly can, is your thing.
Disco Sessions: No restrictions on skates but the music is very loud so its difficult to hear people talk. There are also moving coloured lights for the complete disco feel.
The website gives you a timetable of when the different sessions are. http://www.jnll.co.uk/bristol.php
One final bit of advice: If you are hiring skates wear 3 pairs of socks and get the size up from your usual size to prevent blisters.
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