At last! It’s cold enough for ice rink at Northamptonshire garden centre to open

British ice skating champion Lucy Hancock officially opened the ice rink at Beckworth Emporium

British ice skating champion Lucy Hancock officially opened the ice rink at Beckworth Emporium

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An ice rink at a Northamptonshire garden centre and food hall has been officially opened by a 12-year-old skating champion...a week after it was closed because it was too warm.

Lucy Hancock won gold at the British Solo Dance Championships in June, impressed visitors to Beckworth Emporium in Mears Ashby on Saturday morning with her competition routine, including spins, jumps and even running across the ice.

After cutting the ribbon, hung between two of the Emporium’s push-along penguins, the youngster then spent the next hour guiding some of the other skaters across the slippery surface.

She said: “It was really great to come and try a new rink and to be able to perform on such fantastic real ice in front of such a lovely audience.

“But the best bit was being able to help some of the other children and show them little techniques that could help them improve. Who know, maybe they’ll be national champions one day too.”

The ice rink, which is part of a winter wonderland scene, has returned for its sixth year and will be open into the New Year. It was forced to close after unseasonally warm temperatures made it impossible to keep the rink frozen.

With a total of 520 square metres of real ice across its two rinks, visitors can enjoy free blades, youngsters can use push-along penguins, and the opportunity to try curling.

The rink is open every day until Tuesday, January 5 (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day) with opening times varying.