The finishing touches are being put in place for Blists Hill Victorian Town's spectacular outdoor ice rink - a new addition to the festive offering at the award-winning venue.

Firefighters from Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service will pump 22,000 litres of water into a specially prepared arena - measuring 22 metres by 10 metres - outside the Forest Glen pavilion. 

The build will take five days and is part of what the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust describes as 'a Christmas to remember at the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution'.

Justin Tose, visitor engagement director at the Trust, said: “We are incredibly excited to be bringing an outdoor ice rink to Blists Hill Victorian Town for the first time. Our new rink will be a real focal point for two months of Christmas festivities here, which all start on 4 November and will truly serve up a fabulous festive treat.

“The rink will take up to 50 skaters at a time in sessions lasting 30 minutes, and it will be given a Covid-safe deep-clean after each and every session. This will include wiping of the hand rails and spraying all the skates with a special anti-virus spray.

“The opening marks the start of our Christmas season at the Trust, and we promise to deliver a Christmas to remember for everyone.”

Attractions will include two special Christmas weekends at Blists Hill Victorian Town - 5/6 & 12/13 December - featuring brass bands and carol singers, a Victorian Christmas shopping emporium, pantomime and performances, Horse Bus rides, a host of free themed craft activities - and even falling snow!

And, of course, Father Christmas will be in place in the Finding Santa Grotto or the Santa & Elves Workshop Grotto.

Christmas is also coming to the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron each weekend from 28/29 November to 19/20 December with the return of the popular Winter Wonderland Grotto featuring Santa and his elves.

There will be plenty of chances to visit Father Christmas, with the Trust ensuring numbers are controlled and social distancing is followed at all times.

Prices for the ice rink are £7.50 for adults or £5, plus admission to Blists Hill Victorian Town, all bookable in advance through the website.

For more details and tickets, visit ironbridge.org.uk 

Image: Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service filling the ice rink at Blists Hill Victorian Town