Issued by: Visit York
Issue Date: Friday 11 February 2019

  • York Ice Trail theme for 2019 – Myths and Legends
  • Largest outdoor ice trail in the UK
  • Celebrating Chinese New Year with Chinese dancers
  • 50 giant ice sculptures across the city
  • New ice carving wall in Parliament Street
  • Saturday 2 February 10am-6pm

Plans for the biggest outdoor Ice Trail in the UK, the York Ice Trail, were revealed today by Visit York.  Now in its fourth year, 35,000 people visited the trail in 2017, demonstrating its popularity with both residents and visitors alike.  Fire and Ice are promised at this year’s event, sponsored by the York BID and organised by Make It York, when it returns to the city Saturday 2 February, ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations. 

In China the phoenix is known as a messenger of happiness and it was once believed to only appear during times of peace and prosperity.  To bring cheer to the dark winter months, a highlight of the trail will be live carving of a phoenix which once complete will be set on fire. As in previous years the live carving session, from 12 noon in St Helen’s Square, will offer the chance to see the incredible skill behind these icy creations. 

The 2019 trail will see fifty sculptures depicting myths and legends, transform historic York. The trail has proved a real hit with visitors and residents alike who can follow it to find the frosty sculptures made from crystal-clear ice sprinkled across York’s historic centre and surrounding streets.  

New this year will be interactive sculptures on Parliament Street including a carving wall, where visitors can get hands on and have a go at sculpting the ice. There will also be a three metre long Shuffleboard, where visitors can push disks along the ice to win points and prizes.  Three of the sculptures will offer a live challenge where visitors can win York Passes, tickets for the Everyman cinema and chocolate bars.   There’ll be a hero camp at Middleton’s Hotel, complete with a fire pit, ice sculptures and Thwaite’s horse and cart will be making an appearance too.  Children dressing up for the event as their favourite hero will get a free mini hot chocolate.
Paul Whiting, Head of Visit York, said: “This is the biggest event of its kind in the UK.  We’re adding lots of new elements to the trail and expect it will draw thousands of visitors locally and from right across the UK.  It’s a fabulous family friendly event and free for everyone to enjoy.”

Mat Foster, Creative Director, Glacial Art, said: “York Ice Trail is the highlight of our year. We’ll be hand carving over eight tonnes of ice to spread the magic all across the city.  We can’t wait to see the reaction to it.”  

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director, York BID, said: “We’re delighted to back the York Ice Trail again.  It’s an event that drives footfall to key businesses around the city and is especially popular with families.  February can be a more challenging time for traders in the city and this move to February will help us work together to increase footfall and retail spend.”    



Griffin sponsored by Make It York
Skipper sponsored by York Theatre Royal
JackJack sponsored by the York BID
Cookie Monster sponsored by Doubletree by Hilton
Ice Train sponsored by National Railway Museum
The Heart of Yorkshire sponsored by York Minster
Roary the Lion sponsored by the York BID
Angel sponsored by Lucia Bar
Squirt surfing the wave sponsored by Turtle Bay
Jordan’s Pegasus sponsored by Kennedys
Wheelbarrow of Flowers sponsored by The Botanist
#Bettys100 sponsored by Bettys
Your Carriage Awaits sponsored by First Group
York Pass Challenge sponsored by York Pass
Pillories sponsored by The York Dungeon
H is for Hungate sponsored by Hungate York Regeneration
Floral Butterfly sponsored by Bloom!
Shakespeare sponsored by Shakespeare Rose Theatre
Shuffleboard sponsored by The York Ice Trail
Carving Wall sponsored by The York Ice Trail
Chocolate Challenge sponsored by The York Ice Trail
Wishing You Well sponsored by York Teaching Hospital Charity
UFO sponsored by York’s UFO from TalkTalk
Niffler sponsored by Shambles Market
Sorting Hat sponsored by Hunters
Cheshire Cat sponsored by Spark York
Unicorn sponsored by the York BID
Dragon's Head sponsored by The York Ice Trail
Mermaid sponsored by the York BID
A secret unmasked sponsored by Fenwick
Dragon Hatchling sponsored by the Coppergate Centre
Migo sponsored by the Coppergate Centre
DoYouThinkTheySaurUs sponsored by Eboracum Security
Groot sponsored by Middletons Hotel
Iron Man sponsored by Middletons Hotel
Everyman Cinema Challenge sponsored by Middletons Hotel
Viking Helmet sponsored by the York BID
Magical Chalice sponsored by The Principal Hotel
The Grand Hotel sponsored by The Grand Hotel & Spa
Millennium Falcon sponsored by the York BID
Ships Wheel sponsored by City Cruises
Pirate Face sponsored by City Cruises
The Judges Gavel sponsored by Judges Lodging
Seahorse sponsored by Stormfront
Azuma Train sponsored by LNER
Zeus sponsored by Shepherd Group
Dionysus sponsored by The Ivy York
Cathay Aircraft sponsored by Cathay Pacific
Year of the Pig sponsored by Manchester Airport
Phoenix - Live Carving sponsored by Visit York

For further information please contact: 
Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Corporate Communications – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852


Make It York 
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand 
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

Key tourism facts:
6.9 million visitors annually, £564 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs
(most up to date data refers to 2016 research)