Romford Ice Rink (Sapphire Ice & Leisure)

Romford Ice Rink is in the Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre, close to the centre of Romford. It is a new multipurpose facility which opened in 2018.

The rink is one of the nicer arenas in the UK and home to a number of ice hockey teams, including the Raiders IHC of the NIHL National League. It is just one of 41 ice rinks in the UK that are home to competitive ice hockey teams.

Information For Romford Ice Rink

Romford ice rink sapphire ice and leisure england uk hockey skating
Sapphire Ice and Leisure

Romford Ice Rink Parking

Romford Ice Rink doesn’t have its own car park, but there are several in the area. The most convenient is a large car park opposite the rink (The Liberty Car Park) which charges £2.50 for 4 hours. Note that parking here is free on Sunday.

We have also had some luck parking for free on side streets. However, you will probably need to walk for around 15 minutes to get to the rink, and it can take time to find a space.

Raiders IHC Ice Hockey Team

Raiders IHC is an ice hockey team playing in the UK’s NIHL National League.

The NIHL National is a semi-professional league with eleven teams, ten based in England and one in Scotland. This league is the second highest in the UK, with only the EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) playing at a higher level.

NIHL National Teams

Bees Ice Hockey ClubRaiders Ice Hockey Club
Bristol PitbullsSheffield Steeldogs
Hull SeahawksSolway Sharks
Leeds KnightsSwindon Wildcats
Milton Keynes LightningTelford Tigers
Peterborough Phantoms

Usually, the Basingstoke Bison would play in this league, but the team has pulled out of the 2023-2024 season due to rink refurbishments.

The season runs from September to March/April, and the teams will play two (sometimes three) games a week, one home and one away. The most common days for games are Saturday and Sunday, but the team will play some on Fridays or mid-week.

These games include those played in the league and for the Autumn Cup. Most of the cup games are played early in the season.

The league season typically finishes in early April with a playoff weekend where the top 4 teams fight for the league championship.

Raiders IHC Ice Hockey Team Contacts

Raiders Ice Hockey ClubContacts & Social Media
FacebookGold and Blue Army
You TubeRaiders TV

Romford Buccaneers Ice Hockey Team

Romford Buccaneers is an ice hockey team playing in the UK’s NIHL 1 South (Britton) division. The team is based at Romford Ice Rink.

The amateur NIHL 1 league is the third-highest in the UK, behind the EIHL and NIHL National leagues. Eight teams compete in the southern division (see below), and nine teams in the northern division.

NIHL 1 South (Britton) Teams

Chelmsford ChieftainsRomford Buccaneers
Invicta DynamosSlough Jets
Milton Keynes ThunderSolent Devils
Oxford City StarsStreatham IHC

The teams charge for entry to games, generally £5-£10 for a non-concessionary adult and reduced rates for children and OAPs.

NIHL 1 South teams compete for the regular season, playoff and national titles, as well as the Britton Cup. The regular season runs from September to late March, and the season concludes in mid-April with a final between the northern and southern playoff champions.

How Cold Is Romford Ice Rink?

If you haven’t been to a hockey game before, you need to know that ice rinks are cold places (not a surprise!). And the closer you are to the ice, the colder you will be. Also, hockey rinks in the UK aren’t heated, so temperatures in the arena drop in line with outside temperatures.

For those with some experience of UK rinks, we would rank the temperature of the Romford Raiders ice rink as average for the UK.

An infographic indicates that the temperature for spectators is average for romford ice rink
Romford Ice Rink Temperature

Romford Ice Rink Seating & Away Fan Blocks

Raiders IHC seating isn’t allocated unless you have a season ticket, and there isn’t an assigned away fans block.

It is a new arena, bright with good lighting, and you are likely to have a good view wherever you sit. In any event, you are free to sit in any seat that isn’t assigned to a season ticket holder, and in our experience, there usually is plenty of available seating.

5 Best Ice Rink Activities To Do At Romford Ice Rink

Watching an ice hockey game is just one of many things to do at Romford Ice Rink. There is a wide range of ice rink activities on offer, including:

  • Public ice skating sessions
  • Ice skating lessons
  • Ice hockey lessons
  • Join a recreational ice hockey team.
  • Ice skating birthday parties