York Ice Trail is returning in 2020 and this is when

A festival celebrating ice sculptures in York has proved so popular that it's returning for a full weekend next year.

The Griffin sculpture, Blake Street

2019 was the first year the York Ice Trail had been moved from its previous December pre-Christmas slot to February in a bid to boost the city's tourist trade at a traditionally quiet time of year.

The event, which features 50 ice sculptures on display at locations across the city centre, was so well-attended that footfall was up 41 per cent compared to the same day in 2018.

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Now organisers Make It York have announced the trail will take place over a full weekend in 2019, and will be held on Saturday February 1 and Sunday February 2.

Children admire a train sculpture in front of York Minster

Around 17,000 people are thought to have visited the trail.

February has been a busy month for York, as another key event in the city's calendar, the Jorvik Viking Festival, was held over a fortnight for the first time to accommodate the school holiday patterns in different parts of the UK.

Visit York head Paul Whiting said:-

“The creative geniuses at Glacial Arts really excelled this year and pulled out all the stops to make this our best Ice Trail yet. We were overwhelmed with reactions to the trail, people really love it and we’re now busy planning the next one already.”

'Migo' on Coppergate

Parliament Street, St Helen's Square and Middleton's Hotel were the most popular stopping points on the trail. Thirty per cent of visitors completed the full trail.

The Dragon Hatchling, Coppergate Centre