The biggest outdoor Ice Trail in the UK will be returning for two days on 1st & 2nd Feb 2020 with forty magnificent ice sculptures transforming York’s city centre. This year’s theme will be ‘fantastical fiction and fairy tales’ with sculptures ranging from spectacular unicorns and magic mirrors to famous magical characters from books, films and cartoons.

Organised by Make It York and sponsored by York BID, the free trail will be an enchanting family-friendly experience for residents and visitors – including an interactive carving wall on Parliament Street where visitors can get hands on and try their hand at ice sculpting.  

Highlights for the 2020 trail include York BID’s Star Wars inspired sculptures and the National Railway Museum’s Rocket Train which will be located outside York Minster. Middletons Hotel’s historic grounds will also transform into a world of ‘Witchcraft and Wizardry’, themed around the nation’s favourite wizard and his friends. With three magical ice sculptures for visitors to tick off their lists, Middletons will also be offering the chance to win amazing prizes and meet owls, as well as warm up with hot chocolate and hearty food at ‘The Leaky Teepee’. The Thwaites Shire Horses will also be making an appearance in all their finery. 

The York Ice Trail has proved very popular in previous years and in 2019 was moved from its traditional December date to a one day event in February. Over 17,000 people took part on that single day alone and as a result footfall was up 41% in the city centre – with over 75% of those who got involved based in York or the wider Yorkshire region. This year, to build on this success, the event will be held over two days – with the glistening ice sculptures located in the city centre from 10AM until 5PM each day. 

Paul Whiting, Head of Marketing & Communications at Visit York said: The 2020 event is set to be the best yet – with a fantastical theme and stunning ice sculpture designs, we are expecting to draw thousands of visitors to the event, from both within the city and beyond. It is a fabulous family friendly event which aims to get everyone exploring different areas of the city and experiencing York in a new way. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to explore this Only In York experience and unveiling all of this year’s designs, though we can say that our sculpture proves that magic mirrors are not just for wicked queens!  

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director, The York BID, said: “We’re delighted to support the York Ice Trail again this year. It’s an event that drives footfall all over the city and is always a popular event at a traditionally quiet time of year.” 

Mat Foster, Creative Director, Glacial Art, said: “It will have taken our four man team almost six months to prepare for this year’s York Ice trail. It’s a huge amount of work for us and we have been carving sculptures in our freezers since late August. We cannot wait to finally get them all set up and dotted around York on the 1st and 2nd of Feb. It is going to be fantastic and without doubt our favourite event of the year. What a privilege it is to have the entire city of York as a gallery for our frozen works of art. We promise it will be our finest work to date and you won’t want to miss it. We look forward to seeing you all there!”

York Ice Trail maps will be available for free from the Visitor Information Centre (1 Museum Street) or visit  for more information. You can also follow #YorkIceTrail20 on social media for inspiration and share your ice sculpture pictures. 

For further information please contact: 
Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 55680