THE ice rink is proving to be a popular place to cool off in the heatwave.

Planet Ice, which has a rink in Widnes, has seen an unprecedented increase in attendance for this time of year.

Families looking to escape the heat say that ice skating is the perfect way to chill.

As temperatures soared to 30C, the rink on The Hive leisure park on Earle Road has seen more children and adults skating than in previous summers.

Planet Ice chief operations officer Heath Rhodes said: “This unusual weather is driving people to our facilities, eager to enjoy a few hours of fun with friends and family away from the sun.

"These last few weekends our managers are reporting a sharp increase in public ice skating at both our evening and daytime sessions.”

Britain’s longest heatwave in five years is to last for at least another week and then more hot weather is to follow later in the month and looks to continue well into August.

The Met Office said Sunday was the hottest day in England this year when Gosport in Hampshire, reached 32.4C (90.3F).

Whilst temperatures this week will probably continue to rise, the average ice rink temperature is kept at a cool 4.0C.

Dancing On Ice celebrity Stephanie Waring who made her debut in the rebooted ITV reality show trained at Planet Ice..

The 39-year-old Hollyoaks star danced with professional skating partner Sylvain Longchambon, who is married to Coronation Street actress Samia Gamdie.