Great Britain on Ice. Let me guess… The first thing that pops into your head is ice dancing, à la Torvill and Dean, with graceful dancers spinning and gliding over the ice, and executing those elegant jumps and flips.

 

Scrap that right now.

 

Replace the skin-tight leotards and delicate ice shoes with baggy jerseys and bulky shoulder and leg pads. Forget about dancers with poise and agility,and imagine hulking great men with toothless grins and decidedly graceless movements. Finally, take out the couples embracing and dancing while gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes, and picture these hulking great men thundering around the rink, charging each other into the plastic sidings while hundreds of screaming fans cheer them on. They’re chasing a tiny black puck, trying to shoot it into small nets at either end, which are protected by a character who wouldn’t look out of place in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

 

You got it – we’re talking ice hockey.

 

Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation 2013

 

Hosted by the International Ice Hockey Federation, the IIHF World Championship Division 1 games are being held in Budapest, Hungary this year between 14th and 20th April, and Great Britain has a team in the tournament.

 

Ice hockey is a fascinating and exciting game to watch. A game packed with speed, finesse and skill, it’s impossible to walk away from a match without being completely hooked, and just a little over-excited.

 

Great Britain plays the hosts, Hungary, on the opening day of the tournament in what’s sure to be a thrilling encounter. In a division packed with Olympic talent, our players will need every bit of support the travelling British fans can muster if they’re to succeed against teams like Italy and Japan. While it might be a tall order for our team, a trip to Hungary to join the excited audience in cheering on our boys is an experience not to be missed.

 

Exploring Budapest

 

While you’re in Budapest, take some time out from the ice hockey to enjoy this beautiful European city. The Hungarian capital is affectionately referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’, due to its stunning architecture and scenic setting – though thankfully it’s a lot friendlier to the budget traveller!

 

A great way to get your bearings is by taking a trip on the amphibious bus-boat. RiverRide begins as a coach tour of Budapest’s sights, before driving into the water – to the gasps of your fellow tourists – and finishing the tour on the river with fantastic panoramic views of Buda and Pest.

 

If you’ve brought your family with you, a trip to the City Park makes a fantastic day out as it’s home to an amusement arcade, Budapest Zoo, and Budapest Grand Circus. Whereas if you fancy a little culture, the Buda Castle runs sightseeing tours, treasure hunts and other special tasks to keep the kids occupied for hours.

 

Finally, while the hot dogs and chips found in the Ice Hockey stadium may hit the spot, take some time to enjoy the food of Budapest too. Hungarians are especially fond of their meat stews and this culinary capital offers some amazing goulashes.

 

Getting to Hungary

 

A trip to Hungary is easy to arrange. With numerous cheap flights from London Stansted, and excellent car parking facilities, you can drop off your vehicle, catch a shuttle to the airport, and after a short flight you’ll be ready to explore the city.

 

If you fancy a trip to Hungary, why not combine your city break with the ice hockey tournament for an unforgettable experience.