Families have been left furious after visiting what has now been dubbed ‘Britain’s worst ice rink’.
The gloomy square structure has been set up in a shopping centre car park in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and features three model penguins and two large statues of toy soldiers.
But deflated customers have hit out at the small size of the rink, which is as big as the average driveway, with one man quipping that he had ‘slipped on a bigger frozen puddle’ and another saying it was smaller than his mid-terrace house garden.
Parents have complained that the ice had not frozen properly when they visited meaning their children had to skate ‘through slush’.
The ice rink at Three Spires Shopping Centre which has been criticised by customers
The venue has been dubbed ‘Britain’s worst ice rink’ and features three model penguins and two large toy soldiers
Liam Hodgkinson, 13, left, and Billie Harper, 9, on the ice at the rink. Some parents have complained that the rink was ‘slushy’
Parents have complained that the ice has not frozen properly and their children had to skate ‘through slush’
Nine-year-old Isla Dobson skating on the ice rink with one of the model penguins
Father-of-two David Harris, 45, said: ‘It’s like something from Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights. My kids said the rink was slushy and they got bored after two minutes.
‘My eight-year-old daughter came off after her turn and just said ‘it’s rubbish’. I have to say I agree.’
Customers are charged £3 for a 20-minute session at the rink which sits opposite a Sports Direct behind Three Spires Shopping Centre.
The venue runs an ‘Ice Magic’ attraction which is open every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until December 23.
The eagerly anticipated festive event formally opened on Thursday, but has been met by a torrent of criticism on social media.
Writing on Facebook, Suz Neill said: ‘If you’re over 4ft tall you’re not going to do a lot of skating on a postage stamp ice rink.’
David Trivett said: ‘Ice rink? I’ve slipped on a bigger frozen puddle.’
The car park at Three Spires Shopping Centre where the ice rink has been set up opposite a Sports Direct
Customers are charged £3 for a 20-minute session at the rink
Three Spires said the ice rink is aimed primarily at children and that it was free to use for shopping centre customers spending more than £20
Rich Parsons said: ‘Five people at a time due to health and safety, I bet! My mid-terrace house garden’s wider than that!’
Baffled mother Lindsey Marie Fosu said: ‘It’s plastic and lots of puddles on it.
‘Really excited to try it with my daughter, but only lasted five minutes due to excess water and leaves on it. A bit disappointing.’
David Crisp commented: ‘Thought someone had dumped a whiteboard.’
A spokesman for Three Spires Shopping Centre said: ‘The ice rink is effectively a free event in the fact that shoppers are able to redeem receipts for spend of £20 or more with Three Spires Shopping Centre retailers for free skating sessions for two.
‘The event is aimed primarily at children with penguin skating aids available for the younger skater, although all are welcome to skate.
Some customers took to social media to simply brand the ice rink ‘rubbish’
‘So as not to exclude shoppers, skating sessions are also available at £3 per 20 minute session.
‘Three Spires Shopping Centre does not have a dedicated promotional or events area, we are in fact similar to a pedestrianised high street.
‘We have utilised our Centre Management Office car park to bring this event to shoppers to add to the Christmas shopping experience.
‘We feel sure that both adults and children alike will enjoy this addition to what is already a very attractive shopping experience here in Lichfield.’