Brought to you by Alpine Skate Trail.
It’s a Christmas movie brought to life down there.
Ireland’s first Alpine Skate Trail is welcoming more excited visitors this weekend, with a winding path opening up among the trees at Fota, offering a dreamy day out to guests of all ages.
Created by the fun folk behind Cool Running Events, the trail is set to be one of the most popular attractions of Christmas 2021 (tickets are selling like hot chestnuts so get in there early to reserve your ideal dates).
The idea of a skating trail rather than a traditional rink is already popular in snowy countries like Canada and Austria and it creates a more engaging – and socially distant – experience, whether you’re on a date, catching up with friends or having fun with the family.
The 450m circuit is set in a figure of eight shape, winding through the trees and creating an enchanted forest, particularly at night when it is fully illuminated.
Each skating session lasts for 50 minutes and the ticket price includes skate rental – all you need to bring is a cosy coat and your fuzziest earmuffs and mittens. Helmets and protective padding are available too – just ask at check-in.
As well as the main trail, which is sheltered from the elements, there will also be a small rink for younger skaters. Penguins (all sanitised between every session) can be booked for €5 per penguin and are yours to use for the entire session.
You’ll need a full tummy to take on the skate trail. Luckily, Cool Running Events have lined up a host of tasty foodies to dish up the goods during your visit.
Here are four spots for that all-important brunch, lunch or snack:
- Barrio Kitchen: Run by Irish/Mexican couple Barry and Pili, Barrio Kitchen serves up tacos, quesadillas, and a host of other traditional Mexican bites. Their handmade corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free and delicious served with their smokey Barbacoa Beef Brisket, Chicken in Salsa Verde, and a range of vegetarian and vegan options.
- Box Pirates: Cork’s newest street food truck will be serving up Mountain Burgers, artisan toasted sandwiches, and brunch favourites so you can make a day of it no matter what time you visit. Grab an Alpine Hot Dog, a Chicken Schnitzel, Smashed Avocado with Gubeen Chorizo & Eggs and plenty of Après Skate treats.
- The Crêpe Man: There’s nothing like a hot crêpe, cooked to order and eaten alfresco. The Crêpe Man will be flipping old favourites like lemon and sugar, cinnamon and butterscotch topped with fresh strawberries, banana and O’Conaills Chocolate. Savory options include Gubbeen cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and free-range eggs.
- Good Fortune Cookies: Ballymaloe graduate Sarah Cremin’s famous handmade cookies are the ultimate Christmas treat. Warm up after your Alpine Adventure by dunking one in a Belgian hot chocolate, a flat white, or a cup of Barry’s Tea.
HOW TO BUY TICKETS: The Alpine Skate Trail runs until Sunday, January 23rd, 2022. Tickets, from €10, are available online at iceskating.ie.
The Alpine Skate Trail Rainy Day Guarantee ensures that if there is a Met Éireann weather warning, customers will be offered a new date to skate.