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News release - Issued by Visit York

York Ice Trail is back!

For one weekend the Ice Trail, sponsored by TalkTalk Ultra Fibre Optic Broadband, will transform historic York. And this year there are even more icy figures to seek out with 35 sculptures scattered across the city. Back for another glistening celebration during the weekend of 10 and 11 December, visitors and residents can follow the trail to find the frosty sculptures made from crystal-clear ice sprinkled across the centre and surrounding streets; from a glittering Marilyn Monroe at Dog and Bone Vintage to a Nutcracker at Fenwick.

In St Sampson’s Square you can take a selfie as a UFO astronaut and collect a ‘chill to reveal’ card for a chance to win an Apple iPad mini 2 with sponsor TalkTalk. Richard Sinclair, General Manager for TalkTalk’s Ultra Fibre Optic Broadband said, “We’re thrilled to be part of such a wonderful event that’s at the heart of York. The Ice Trail was a huge success last year and a fantastic opportunity for members of our Ultra Fibre Optic Broadband team to meet with the local community. We can’t wait to return this year.”

While you marvel at the icy creations, enjoy festive treats at the street food stalls, stop for an outdoor picnic at the Shambles Food Court and sip mulled wine or a hot chocolate from a souvenir York mug, you can decide which sculpture is your next stop. The Ice Trail hit the streets of York for the first time last December and was so popular with families that Make It York is bringing it back as part of the York Christmas Festival 2016.

Live carving sessions will offer the chance to see the skill behind the icy creations on Saturday and Sunday in St Helen’s Square at 3pm. Kate McMullen, Head of Tourism, Make It York, said “The Ice Trail was a big hit with visitors and residents last year and we’re delighted to bring it back for this year’s Christmas Festival. We couldn’t put this on without the support of our sponsor TalkTalk, the York BID and York’s businesses and retailers, their support has been fantastic. We hope this will now become a firm favourite in York’s festive calendar, offering another fantastic reason to book a Christmas break in the city.”

A highlight on the trail will be the chance to win a precious gemstone outside Bradley’s Jewellers; visitors can guess the value of a stunning platinum and sapphire diamond ring. And for the first time this year Gillygate, Fossgate, Walmgate, Goodramgate and Kings Staith are included on the trail, offering visitors the chance to explore more of the city. The Ice Trail is one of five themed weekends on the run up to Christmas; a brass bands weekend (19 & 20 November), a choir’s weekend (26 & 27 November), a family weekend (3 & 4 December), the Ice Trail weekend (10 & 11 December) and a Shambles Market Christmas Party celebration weekend (17 & 18 December).

An Ice Trail Map is available free of charge from the Visit York Information Centre at 1, Museum Street. This year’s Christmas celebrations will run from 17 November right through to 23 December; all part of the York Christmas Festival. The St Nicholas Fair will run for the full 37 days too, with extended late night shopping opening times: 10am to 6pm Sunday to Wednesday and 10am to 8pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, not to be missed!

Matt Foster, Creative Director, Glacial Art, said, “The York Ice Trail is the highlight of our year. We have hand carved over 8 tonnes of ice to spread the magic all across the city. It is the biggest event of its kind in the UK and the beautiful city of York gives us the perfect background to show off some of our best work. We have been working on the ice sculptures for the last three months and can’t wait to see everyone’s reactions on the 10th and 11th of December. See you there and don’t forget your mittens!”

Richard Mansell, General Manager at Principal York Hotel, formerly The Royal York says "The newly-renovated Principal York Hotel is delighted to take part in the York Ice Trail 2016 alongside other local businesses in the community. We're planning to reveal an Ice Bar at our Chapter House Bar terrace serving warming winter drinks - we hope York residents and guests to the city will pay us a visit to enjoy what we've created!"

The Chocolate Works by David Wilson Homes, who will showcase their ice sculpture of a chocolate orange tree in St Helens Square, will offer a £1,000 interiors voucher on reservations at The Chocolate Works before 31st January 2017 by quoting the reference 'ice’.

First York will be extending Park & Ride services on Thursdays from 17 November for late night shopping with services every 15 minutes. Parliament Street has also seen the return of York’s popular Scandinavian style Thor’s Tipi. York Christmas Festival and York St Nicholas Fair runs for 37 days: 17 November - 23 December with the return of the Ice Trail, Thor’s Scandinavian Tipi and the brand new Living Advent Calendar; a trail of 25 shop windows, each revealing a special festive treat every day till 25 December, as well as a whole host of events at York’s world-class visitor attractions.


Notes to Editors:


1. First York - Snowman - Station Road
2. The Principal York - Ice Bar - Station Road
3. The Grand Hotel & Spa - Ice Chef - Station Rise
4. York Explore Library - Dobby - Museum Street
5. Benenden - Cinderella’s Slipper - York Theatre Royal
6. Gillygate - Penguin - Entrance To Gillygate
7. Judges’ Lodging - Judge’s Head - Lendal
8. York Minster - Mystery Plays - Minster Piazza
9. Make It York - Polar Bear - Blake Street
10. Swarovski - Swan - St Helen’s Square
11. The Chocolate Works By David Wilson Homes - Chocolate Orange Tree -
St Helen’s Square
12. The Botanist - Watering Can - Stonegate
13. Kennedy’s - Ice Luge - Little Stonegate
14. Turtle Bay - Turtle - Little Stonegate
15. Lucia Wine Bar - Pig - Swinegate
16. Azendi - Interactive Elf - Low Petergate
17. Bradley’s Jewellers – Diamond Ring in a Diamond - Low Petergate
18. Goodramgate - Interactive Rudolf - Goodramgate
19. Monkbar Hotel - Cow - Monkbar Hotel
20. - Olaf - Church Street
21. Premier Inn - Moon Face - King’s Square
22. TalkTalk Ultra Fibre Optic - Interactive Spaceman And Spacechild
St Sampson’s Square
23. The Ice Factor - Ice Skates - Parliament Street
24. Hunters - Ice Palace - Shambles Entrance
25. Shambles Market - Market Stall - Shambles Market
26. Stormfront - Elsa - Spurriergate
27. Coppergate Centre - Angel Wings - Coppergate Centre
28. Coppergate Centre - Aladdin Lamp - Coppergate Centre
29. Fenwick - Nutcracker - Fenwick
30. Dog & Bone Vintage - Marilyn Monroe - Castlegate
31. York Civic Trust - Gregory The Mouse - Rear of Fairfax House
32. Fossgate - Troll - Fossgate
33. Walmgate - Father Christmas - Walmgate
34. King’s Staith - Christmas Trees - King’s Staith
35. York Conservation Trust - Stained Glass Window - Micklegate

• Bringing ice back to the city centre, as part of York’s Christmas Festival, businesses from across York were invited to sponsor thirty specially commissioned hand carved ice sculptures, designed by Glacial Art. The Ice Trail weekend will offer live ice carving for a magical experience.

• Thor’s Tipi (17 November – 2 January) will offer a festive experience, where friends and family can sit on cosy furs around a roaring fire, all in a beautiful giant tipi. Designed and delivered by the team behind PapaKåta and Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland (home of The Ice Factor), Thor’s Tipi will be serving a delicious outdoor winter BBQ, homemade sweet treats, festive hot chocolate, mulled wine, draft ales and Christmas cocktails.

• Over one hundred stallholders at the St Nicholas Fair will once again be selling a range of gifts including jewellery, ceramics, homewares, crafts and Yorkshire produce such as locally made wines and cheeses.

• In advance of your stay telephone Visit York to request your free guide to Christmas in York or to find out more about York telephone the Visitor Information Centre on 01904 550099, email or check out

For further information please contact:

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

KEY DATES – York St Nicholas Christmas Festival 2016

St Nicholas Fair – now 37 days – 17 November – 23 December
Thor’s Tipi – 17 November – 2 January
Medieval Christmas Experience at Barley Hall – 17 November – 5 January
York Minster Advent Procession – 27 November
York Minster Christmas Carol Concerts – 15 and 16 December
Ice Trail – 10 & 11 December
Made in Yorkshire Festive Fayre, Guildhall – 26 November – 13 December

Santa Sightings
Father Christmas is making a special appearance at a variety of locations around York this festive season…

• Santa’s Grotto in partnership with York’s Chocolate Story, Shambles
Market, York
• Santa’s Arrival and Sleigh Parade & Breakfast with Santa, Stockeld Park
• Father Christmas’s Grotto, Fountains Abbey
• Santa Specials, North Yorkshire Moors Railway
• An Audience with Father Christmas, Castle Howard
• Santa’s Grotto, The Ice Factor, York Designer Outlet

The popular St Nicholas Fair, a part of the York Christmas Festival, will run for 37 days from Thursday 17 November to Wednesday 23 December, featuring gifts and crafts from across Yorkshire and the UK as well as the very best in local farm produce. The St Nicholas Fair is one of the most popular Christmas markets in the UK, with thousands of visitors coming to York to experience it. The Fair offers crafts and the very best in local farm produce and the city comes alive with bustling stalls, carol singers and buskers. Mulled wine, brandy-laced hot chocolate and chestnuts roasting on the street corner will all add to the festive feel.

Traditional candle-lit carol services take place in majestic York Minster and in York’s smaller churches. Local museums and galleries offer a blend of both traditional and modern exhibitions and York’s theatres come alive with pantomimes and other Christmas plays. For relaxation, visit the city’s stylish café bars, with a ‘cool Yule’ atmosphere that’ll chill out even the most fraught of Christmas shoppers. For regular updates on what’s happening in York over Christmas, or a free guide to Christmas in the City, visit or email

About 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.

About Visit York
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.

York Tourism Facts
£608 million annual tourism spend
6.8 million visitors annually
20,300 jobs supported by tourism