GET your skates on and head to Southend to the new ice rink open for the winter.

The rink, dubbed Skating-on-Sea, will be outside the Forum, in Elmer Square, until January 3.

Although wet weather meant the rink was not packed after it opened to the public on Saturday, dozens of skaters still took to the ice.

Garry Lowen, chairman of Southend Carnival, jointly organised the skate rink with Southend’s Mayor Andrew Moring.

He said: “Everyone who has been on the rink so far says it is the best thing to happen in Southend for many a year at Christmas.

“We are hoping that as its reputation grows, it’s going to be well used.

“It is a fantastic attraction for a family day out during the Christmas period.”

Rossi Bear, the mascot of Southend ice cream company Rossi, also took to the rink to show off his skating skills.

It is the first time in six years an ice rink has graced Southend town centre, having previously been situated at Victoria Circus.

The new venue, which has a capacity of 80 people per session, is the biggest open-air rink the town has ever seen.

It will be open from 3pm until 10pm on weekdays, 10am until 10pm on Saturdays and 10am until 6pm on Sundays.

From December 18 onwards, weekday opening will extend to 10am until 10pm.

Each session will last about 50 minutes.

For more information about opening times and prices, and to book your session in advance, visit