YORK city centre was bustling today with locals and visitors alike following this year’s York Ice Trail.

Ice sculptures, totalling 37 across the weekend of the festival (February 4 and 5), were dotted around the city centre, for the trail’s participants to find by following a free downloadable map.

The sculptures’ designs, said to be particularly enjoyed by “excited children”, depicted designs under this year’s theme, ‘A Journey Through Time’.

York Press: YO1 Radio's A Journey Through Time sculpture in Parliament StreetYO1 Radio's A Journey Through Time sculpture in Parliament Street (Image: Emily Horner)

The trail began in Parliament Street with a sculpture of a stopwatch, sponsored by YO1 Radio, and took the participants on a course throughout the city centre, from the prehistoric ages, through the history of York, and into the future.

The trail finished in St Sampson's square with a live ice carving by Europe's leading ice specialists, Icebox.

York Press: Live ice carving Live ice carving (Image: Emily Horner)

The sculptures were each sponsored and conceived by local businesses, in collaboration with Make It York and their main event sponsors, York Park&Ride.

Their ideas were then designed and created by Icebox.

York Press: Greek Minotaur, provided by The Judge's LodgingGreek Minotaur, provided by The Judge's Lodging (Image: Emily Horner)

Sam Robson, senior supervisor of The Judge’s Lodging hotel, in Lendal, said: “We’ve partnered with Middletons hotel under the Greek mythical creatures theme.

"We have the Greek minotaur to tie in with our building as we have the Greek god of medicine carving on the front above the door.

“It’s exciting to see the children loving it and wanting their photos taken with it!”

York Press: LNER's 100th year ice sculptureLNER's 100th year ice sculpture (Image: LNER)

York-based train operator LNER conceived the 100-year sculpture to mark the centenary year since LNER was established.

A spokesman for LNER said: "You might recognise the images in the ice of the Mallard train which broke the speed-record in 1938, and the Azuma train which launched in 2019."

York Press: Dick Turpin ice sculpture, sponsored by York BIDDick Turpin ice sculpture, sponsored by York BID (Image: Emily Horner)

Zara, from York, who was admiring the Walmgate sculpture, said: “I’ve enjoyed having a look round the sculptures this morning, I've liked this horse riding one and the motorcar one the best.

“It’s cute seeing children get excited and I think they’re really cool too.”

York Press: The Coppergate Viking, by the Coppergate CentreThe Coppergate Viking, by the Coppergate Centre (Image: Emily Horner)

A family visiting the city from Leeds with two young sons, who did not want to be named, told The Press: "They loved the race car one (in High Ousegate) the most, they were really excited to see that. 

"I don’t think we’ve ever seen an ice sculpture before, the people who make them are dead clever!”

York Press: York Chocolate Story's clock towerYork Chocolate Story's clock tower (Image: Emily Horner)

Sarah Loftus, managing director at Make It York, said: "We’re incredibly thankful to all the brilliant local businesses who support the York Ice Trail and to our headline sponsor, York Park&Ride.

"Their support makes it possible for us to keep running these much-loved free events in the city.

York Press: 18th Century diarist Anne Lister, in Goodramgate18th Century diarist Anne Lister, in Goodramgate (Image: Emily Horner)

"Our ice partners at Icebox have done a phenomenal job at bringing the ideas to life."

York Press: 121 years of Making Magic in Spurriergate, York Grand Opera House121 years of Making Magic in Spurriergate, York Grand Opera House (Image: Emily Horner)

The Ice Trail continues tomorrow, and maps can be downloaded here, via the Make It York website, and are also available from the new Visitor Information Centre at 21 Parliament Street.