We know winter is approaching when ice rinks draped in twinkling fairy lights start to pop up all over London. There is no denying that we Londoner love a bit of ice skating and no festive season would be complete without it. This year the city is offering not one but two rooftop ice rinks, along with the classic ice skating spots.
Here are some of the best ice skating rinks London has to offer.
Where: Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 5BD
When: 25 October 2018 – 20 January 2019
Ice skating at the Natural History Museum is a London Christmas classic. You will be surrounded by thousands of twinkling fairy lights with the iconic backdrop of the museum. This open-air ice rink in South Kensington is always the first one to open up in London. It will definitely get you into the festive spirit with a 30ft glittering Christmas tree in the centre of the ice rink and the smell of mulled wine and toasted marshmallows in the air.
If you are not that keen on skating but don’t want to miss out on this festive experience, there is also a cafe bar and balcony which overlooks the ice rink. So, grab yourself a hot chocolate or mulled wine and get in the festive mood!
Ice skating at the Natural History Museum is one of the top things to do in London during Christmas so it is always a good idea to book your session in advance. You can book your session here.
Where: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
When: 14 November 2018 – 13 January 2019
Every year around the festive season the 18th-century courtyard at the Somerset House is transformed into a wintry haven with a festive ice rink and a stunning 40ft Christmas tree. Regardless of your skating ability, this enormous 900 square meters outdoor rink is guaranteed to get you feeling festive.
It doesn’t just end at the ice rink there is also a Bailey’s Skate Lounge which offers you the front row view of the ice rink while you enjoy the festive drinks and snacks whilst keeping warm inside. There is also the popular Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade, a rink-side pop-up shop which perfectly captures the magic of a Christmas shopping trip to Fortnum’s Piccadilly. If you are after a warm festive meal after ice skating you will also find the Fortnum’s lodge in the Somerset house. You can book your tickets here.
Where: Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street entrance, St Katharine’s and Wapping, E1W 2SF
When: Open early November
Skylight in Tobacco Dock has changed the whole ice skating game by hosting London’s first ever rooftop ice skating. Whether you are a pro or a beginner enjoy London’s skyline while you take a spin on the ice rink.
If the city’s winter gets too much for you, head to Level 9 which is transformed into a toasty neon-lit haven with full indoor heating to keep you warm. There’s also delicious fondue, seasonal cocktails and mulled wine on offer to get you in the festive spirit.
Where: Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AB.
When: 2nd November – 16th February
London’s financial district, Canary Wharf is transformed into a magical wonderland during the festive months. A 1200 meter long ice rink pops up in Canada Square in the shadow of the city’s skyscrapers and the whole square gets covered in festive lights. Ice skating at Canary Wharf also comes with a dedicated children’s ice rink so if you are looking to get your little ones into ice skating Canary Wharf offers the perfect opportunity.
Stay close to the action at the rink-side bar or head to one of the many restaurants Canary Wharf has to offer. You can book your tickets for ice skating at Canary Wharf here.
Where: 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX
When: 20th October – 6th January
The only thing better than ice skating during the festive season is an ice skating rink on a rooftop. For the first time ever, John Lewis has installed an ice rink on its rooftop. You can also enjoy a meal in their winter cabins. If ice skating isn’t your cup of tea relax and enjoy a drink while you watch others skate. As you would expect there is everything from cocktails, wine and even hot gin! Book your ice skating session here.
Where: Hyde Park
When: 22nd November – 6th January
One of the top things to do during the festive season in London is to visit Winter Wonderland. It offers thrilling rides, Christmas markets, circus along with various shows, however, one of the big attractions at the Winter Wonderland is the London’s largest outdoor ice rink. The ice rink surrounds a canopy, where the Christmas tree stands and is draped in twinkling lights. The only downside to this magical wonderland is how crowded it can get during the peak times.
If you are planning to visit, the best time to visit is during off-peak times. Weekday evenings generally tend to be quieter. The entry to the winter wonderland is free, ice skating tickets for the Winter Wonderland can be purchased here.
Where: The Tower Of London, London, EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom
When: 23rd November – 6th January
Ice Skating at the Tower of London gives you a chance to skate inside London’s most iconic historical landmark with the most dramatic backdrop. The ice rink is set against the castle walls, take in the history and the unique atmosphere it has to offer. It is great destinations for anyone who is a beginner or an expert
You can also take your skating experience up a notch by visiting the Crown Jewels which are protected inside the 1000-year-old castle. Book your ice skating tickets at the Tower of London here.