The York Ice Trail is back!

York Ice Trail Returns_003 © Charlotte Graham

The biggest outdoor Ice Trail in the UK is back! On 1st & 2nd Feb 2020, forty magnificent ice sculptures will transform York’s city centre. This year’s theme is ‘Fantastical Fiction and Fairy Tales’ with sculptures ranging from spectacular unicorns and magic mirrors to famous magical characters from books, films and cartoons.

York BID have sponsored the free event, and have chosen four Star Wars inspired sculptures as part of the trail. Other highlights include the National Railway Museum’s Rocket Train and Middletons Hotel’s world of ‘Witchcraft and Wizardry’, themed around the nation’s favourite wizard and his friends.

This year, to build on previous successes, the event will be held over two days – with the glistening ice sculptures located in the city centre from 10AM until 5PM each day.

York Ice Trail Returns_001 © Charlotte Graham

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.

Photos by Charlotte Graham.

Sign up to our newsletter for updates