Fen Speed Skating

Skating at Bury Fen

The Tradition of Fen Ice Skating

Whenever the weather is cold enough for long enough for the Fens to freeze people come out to skate on the ice. Everyone takes part: old, young, beginners and experts alike. Unfortunately the weather in East Anglia is not cold enough for this to be predictable. Some years the ice does not freeze at all, and generally it only remains frozen for a few days to a week.

In the Fens there is a tradition of holding the outdoor speed skating championships whenever possible. This is usually held on Bury Fen, located just a few miles outside of St Ives, between Bluntisham and Earith.

Skaters setting up for hockey


These pictures were taken during the very brief freeze of winter 2000/2001. Apart from the speed skating races, informal games of ice hockey are set up and people come with their picnic baskets and just enjoy the day out. Although it is quite cold, the weather conditions means that it is generally sunny during the height of the freeze.

In 2001/2002 the fens froze again, this time there was a window of 4 or 5 days in early January during which the ice was skatable. Unfortunatley the thaw came just too quickly for the speed skating championships to be held. The last time they were held was in the winter of 1996/1997.

How to get there

Bury Fen is located just off the road between Bluntisham and Earith.

This site is a member of the St Ives Cambridgeshire WebRing.
Copyright 2004 David Bartlett