As the Winter Olympics kicks off, avid sport lovers will be grabbing their popcorn to witness the heroics of athletes gunning for a medal.

For the adrenaline-seekers among us, you may even want to have a go at mastering the slopes or perfecting your pirouette – and you can do these activities closer to home than Beijing…

Ice hockey

Where? Ozone Ice Rink, Bracknell, Berkshire (

If you prefer playing with a group, you can learn ice hockey at the Ozone Ice Rink in Bracknell. There, you can hone your skating skills, slide a puck around the ice, learn to shoot or even try your hand in goal.

If you’re a complete newbie to the game or want to fine-tune your skills, four adult sessions costs £99.


Where? The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre, Preston, Lancashire (

The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre has an Olympic-sized curling rink – if that doesn’t make you feel like a professional athlete, we’re not sure what will. With beginner and intermediate curling coaching, clubs for children, adults and wheelchair users, there really is something for everyone to get involved in.

Four two-hour sessions for beginners costs £80 per person, whilst four two-hour sessions for intermediate curlers costs £100pp. Joining the curling club or wheelchair club is free of charge.

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Where? Snow Factor, Braehead, Scotland (

Why travel to the Alps when Scotland has a ski centre open all year round? If it’s been a while since you’ve sped down the slopes, you can join the centre’s ski refresher session for £39 – and all equipment is available to hire.

The centre also has a snowboarding refresher session (£39), as well as 30-minute sledging sessions from £12. Why not make a day of it, and try all the activities in one go?


Where? Ski Club of Ireland, Kilternan, County Dublin, Ireland (

Looking for a more exciting after-work activity? Why not try snowboarding? The Ski Club of Ireland offers snowboarding lessons for people of all ages – one adult session will set you back €55, with students and children paying €40.

You can even host children’s birthday parties there, making for a pretty adventurous celebration.

Ice skating

Where? Ice Arena Wales, Cardiff, Wales (

Skating doesn’t just have to be for Christmas – wannabe Torvill and Deans can lace up their boots any time at the Ice Arena Wales.

It has courses for all levels, as well as public sessions costing £10 for adults and £5 for children under five – and you can hire blades there if you don’t have your own.

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