Deeside Ice Rink
Chester Road West,
Fax: 01244 845441
What's the attraction?
Part of the Deeside Leisure Centre in Queensferry, the rink's the National Centre for Ice Sports in Wales.
It boasts a 60m-long Olympic size ice pad, catering for ice sports and activities from hockey and curling to disco on ice.
And if you want to take it further, the rink's coaches are Olympic skaters Marika Humphreys - who partnered Corrie's Sean Platt in ITV's Dancing on Ice - and Vitaliy Baranov.
More about them at www.icedance.co.uk
What's on offer?
Whether you're an experienced skater or a novice, it's your chance to emulate the stars who fill the television schedules - and increasingly theatres - with their dancing on ice exploits.
Ice skating is the perfect exercise for all ages, as it is one of the few sports in which the whole family can take part in.
How did you get there?
The rink is located in Queensferry, west of Chester just off the A494 Queensferry bypass. From the bypass, take the exit to the B5129 towards Flint.
Go past Asda and through the traffic lights. The rink is a few hundred metres further along on the right hand side.
How long did you stay?
We arrived for the morning session at about 10.30am, we left about 12.30pm. You either book for a morning, afternoon or evening session. Check www.flintshire.gov.uk for details before going.
Did you take a brolly?
It's indoors, and there's no need - but it can be a bit nippy out there so wrap up warm. Gloves are a good idea. I left the Lycra suit at home.
What did you do there?
Apart from the inevitable sprawling slide across the ice in wet jeans?
We first got measured up for boots, which were pretty uncomfortable at first. I should have heeded that initial first wobbly ice skating walk to the rink as a thing of what was to come.
I was not even on the ice when the first stumble happened. The first skate around was mainly hanging on to the side for dear life before the confidence levels slowly arose.
Rachel had no such problems and skated around like a natural even though it was her first time on ice.
How much did it cost you?
Family costs £18.60. Otherwise weekdays its adults £6.40, children £5.40, week nights £6.70 (children £6.10) weekends £6.70 (children £5.70), plus 50p for a locker.
Lessons are available, but as the activity is growing in popularity, thanks Dancing on Ice, there's a waiting list.
Call the centre on 01244 814725 or 812311 for details.
How about food and drink?
There was a small snack shop just by the rink selling soft drinks. We went next door to a Pizza Hut for a buffet meal.
Are there any shops?
No shops at the leisure centre itself, but it's only three miles from Broughton retail park.
Is it ok for kids?
It's ideal all ages, and the centre has its own club for regular skaters, including those who do figure skating competitively. Details on the club at www.skate-disc.co.uk.
Can people with disabilities get around?
Wheelchair users can go on the ice, provided they're with an experienced skater. I noted various ramps inside, and there's disabled-access toilets and facilities.
What were the best bits?
Would you believe me if I said it was landing the triple axle after a beautifully executed figure of eight?
The truth was that the sight of a grown man desperately holding on to dear life by the side of the rink was not an image I was particularly proud of.
Rachel seemed at ease as the ice held no fear for her as she whizzed around at speed while the parents shuffled, slipped and stumbled around the ice.
James says his favourite bit was watching me slip on to all fours, just as I actually thought I was getting good at it. I think I can put on hold my vision and dreams for a late entry into this years Olympics in China.
They can vary so check the website before you set off. It's usually Mon-Sun 10.30am-3.30pm, plus Weds-Sat 7.30pm-10pm.
After school sessions until August 3.45pm-5.15pm. Closed bank holidays. Deeside Leisure Centre, Chester Road West, Queensferry, Flintshire, visit www.flintshire.gov.uk, or call 01244 814725 or 812311