Skating in a winter wonderland as ice rink comes to Derby city centre
HUNDREDS of people got their skates on this weekend for the opening of Derby's Christmas ice rink.
Wrapped up in scarves, hats and gloves, people flocked to the rink in the Market Place.
And the chilly weather didn't stop people having their turn on the open-air rink. Vicky Walker, of Mickleover, took to the ice with her eight-year-old son, Kian Stafford.
She said: "I came years ago but this is the first time I've had a go with Kian.
"He'd been asking me for years if he could come but I said no because he has spaghetti legs. This year I gave in. It's really good fun and it's got us in the Christmas spirit."
But for Jo Shaw and her friend, Anna Andrukiewicz, ice-skating is something they are particularly familiar with.
The pair have had lessons in the past and travelled to the city especially for the opening, where they spent the session whizzing around the ice.
Jo, who lives in Alfreton, said: "We both used to have skating lessons at the Nottingham Ice Arena.
"We've been to the Derby rink before and it's great fun."
Adam Hague and his seven-year-old daughter, Emily-May, who live in Heanor, were also there.
Mr Hague said: "I work in Derby and I've seen the rink in the Market Place for a few years but never tried it until now. It's a lot of fun and Emily-May has enjoyed it."
The rink, which has been organised by Derby Live, will remain in place until Sunday, January 6, and will open daily from 10am to 9pm.
It is open to all and metal "skate assistant" frames are available for children or those less steady on their feet.
Skate marshals are also on hand with advice and studded shoes are available for those wishing to enjoy the atmosphere but not skate.
Spectators can watch from an area next to the rink.
Charlotte Parkin, manager of the rink, said that more than 85 people had pre-booked for Saturday's first session.
She added: "We had big queues for the following session, as well.
"Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. Pre-sales are up this year as we've had more school groups sign up to come along later on in the month.
"They are big groups of around 100 to 150 so, in some cases, we've booked the whole rink for them."
Tickets for a 50-minute session can be bought on the day but it is recommended they are bought ahead as there is a maximum capacity.
Tickets cost up to £8.50. To buy tickets, call Derby 255800 or visit www.derbyicerink. co.uk.