“ Address: Lower Audley / Waterside / Blackburn / BB2 3DY / Lancashire / England „
Blackburn Ice Arena opened about fifteen years ago. At the time it was a big deal as this was the biggest Ice Arena for miles. At to my knowledge it still is. We used to go often as children and this is where I learned to skate. The arena attracts people from all over the North West simply because its the only one around.
If you are unsure of what an ice arena is, its just a skating rink with a stadium around it. Its not massive, I wold guess capacity is around 3,000. You can go here to skate or you can go and watch the ice hockey.
The facilities are OK at the arena but are starting to look a little dated now. You have a small fast food restaurant which is ok to go in for a drink and some chips or a burger. There is also a bar upstairs which is of a decent size and you can apparently hire this out for functions and things.
There are places to sit and watch if your not upto getting out on the ice itself. You can hire Skates from the Skate shop where they will give you the correct size boots. If you have never been skating you can take lessons just to master the basics or you can just teach yourself!
The prices are quite reasonable really, on peak times its £5.60 to get in and then a further £1.50 for skate hire. This is good because there is no real time limit on you, you can skate for half an hour or you can skate for two hours its up to you. You can go during the week or during the days and this does work out a little cheaper.
If skating is not your thing you can go and watch the mighty Blackburn Hawks! Blackburn's Ice Hockey team. Going back about ten years we used to go and watch every week. If you have never seen ice hockey its a really fast game with lots of entertainment. The crowds were never that big, they used to get about 500 there most days, I'm not sure how many people go now.
To watch the Hawks it cost just £6! I was recently in Canada and to watch a NHL game it cost us £90! So this is quite a bargain I think, although admittedly the standard of hockey is much lower. However there does tend to be a good atmosphere and you can always cheer on as the fights break out on the ice.
The parking for the arena is pretty good, I've never had any problems parking and there is always plenty of space nearby. There are also things like a burger king and other restaurants nearby so if your getting a little hungry after your skate this is a good option.
One thing I don't really like about the arena is that it does tend to be full of kids. Now I don't mind well behaved children who are skating with there family. But I mean the 14 year old hormone machines who skate round looking to hump every girl they see! Sometimes when you go on a Friday or Saturday night this is all there is, lots of teeny boppers getting of with each other, not my idea of fun!
Overall though I think Blackburn ice arena is really good. I've spent many happy hours there skating with friends and watching the hawks and I'm sure I'll be back there soon. If your looking for something to do that's a little different while your in the Blackburn area come and give this place a try. I'm sure you will enjoy it!
Blackburn Ice Arena is one of the only ice skating rinks in the north-west. It used to be a big tourist attraction but doesn't attract that many people now. I used to go quite a lot when I was younger but havn't been in a couple of years now. There is a carpark outside and is next to a new business park that includes Vue cinema/bowling complex, Matalan, Staples, Pizza Hut, Chiqitos, Frankie and Bennys, etc so theres plenty of things to chose from to do afterwards! It is also close to a retail park with Asda, Mothercare, TKMaxx, Boots etc.
The Ice rink is massive so holds a lot of people. When it is busy you may find it harder to skate around especially if you can't skate very well. The sides are quite easy to hold on to ha!!
A couple of years ago, Friday nights were the most popular nights as young teenagers would crowd into the ice arena to skate. Not sure if that happens anymore but watch out for that. The attendents would play games so not really for people over to age of 15 or 16, but the kids were much younger when I used to skate there.
Throughout the days the ice arena is pretty much dead apart from a couple of older people or people who want to practice skating so if you want a relaxing time or to practice skating then day times are the best time.
The ice arena also has lots of seats around the rink because Blackburn's ice hockey team Blackburn Hawks play and practice here, however the seats are generally out of bounds when the arena is open to the public. Ice skating lessons are also offered at the arena, which is open 7 days a week.
The ice arena plays out music, but this is usually dance music as opposed to chart music. The price of a days skating is usually about £5, however I havn't been in a couple of years so they may offer deals now. In my opinion the ice arena has become less popular over the years. There is a small cafe that people go into with their skates on so watch out for people standing on your feet! It sells chips/drinks etc at reasonable prices but because it is only a cheap cafe don't expect a gormet meal or anything!
I would recommend a visit especially those who enjoy ice skating. It is worth a visit since it is one of the only ones in the north-west and since there are lots of eateries, shops and a cinema/bowling complex is close by it is worth a day visit from surrounding towns. The ice arena is one of the only tourist attraction Blackburn has to offer.
Premier ice skating facility.