The ice rink where the Dancing on Ice stars train, Alexandra Palace Ice Rink is an ideal place for a festive skate - not least because it's indoors so you don't have to rely on the weather to ensure a skating session. The biggest (it has a total capacity of 1,250) and best permanent ice rink in London, the grand indoor rink is open all year round and offers a range of other activities, such as ice hockey and figure skating classes (so you can emulate your idols from The Mighty Ducks or, erm, Blades of Glory). There's a soft play area too - ideal for parents and toddlers and open daily for two to five-years-olds - while spectators can make themselves comfortable in the 740-seat stadium or have a drink in the rinkside Phoenix bar. Refurbished in 2010, the ice rink has benefitted from a recent £2 million facelift and, from 14th to 21st December, is transformed into a story book spectacular when 'Cinderella On Ice' is performed by a cast of Ally Pally ice rink and skating club members.
London Ice Skating
The biggest permanent ice rink in London puts on some special events at Christmas.
Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY
Tube: Bounds Green Station
Head to Hampton Court Palace for a festive skate with an unbeatable view.
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, London, KT8 9AU
Tube: Richmond Station
Dates: 20th November - 03rd January 2016
The striking Tudor facade of Hampton Court Palace provides a majestic backdrop to this popular open air ice rink. Located on the west front of Henry VIII's historic home, the 900-square-metre rink affords sweeping views of its breathtaking architecture and is easily accessible by train from central London. Sessions last an hour and weary skaters, axel-ed out, can recharge at the adjacent cafe, serving up a scrummy selection of hot refreshments (think mulled wine and mince pies), or have a go on the old-fashioned carousel. Wheelchairs are welcome on the ice except during the last session of the day. The palace itself is adorned with festive decorations at this time of year and it's worth leaving extra time to take a look inside or explore the maze. It's enchanting stuff that will undoubtedly leave you with that warm festive glow.
The Natural History Museum's massive ice rink comes complete with twinkly lights and hot chocolate.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD
Dates: 29th October - 03rd January 2016
The Natural History Museum's annual icing-over of its gardens kicks off again from 29th October. The 1,000 square metre rink outside Alfred Waterhouse's imposing building is surrounded by 80,000 glowing pea-lights dangling from the overhanging trees. Additional attractions include a smaller 100-square-metre rink for youngsters, a stylish balcony cafe/bar when you can warm your hands and insides on vin chaud or hot chocolate and a classic fairground carousel. The Ice Rink and Cafe Bar are available for private hire too for a minimum of 150 guests. Big-foots amongst you will be pleased to know that skates go up to adult size 15, while penguin skate aids are available on a first come first served basis.
Canary Wharf gets into the Christmas spirit with a massive outdoor skating rink.
Canary Wharf Ice Rink, Canada Square, Tower Hamlets, London, E14 5AG
Tube: Canary Wharf Station
Dates: 31st October - 27th February 2016
One of London's largest ice rinks, the Ice Rink Canary Wharf is back for Christmas 2015, bringing some festive cheer to the testosterone surroundings for seventeen weeks. The rink features London's only skate path, guiding skaters along a glittering trail of fairy-lit trees beneath Canary Wharf's soaring towers. Or, for those who prefer to simply watch on as others do the gliding, there is a large heated outdoor viewing terrace where you can admire the icy action. Plus, vibrant pop-up bar and artisan kitchen, The Tasting Room, will serve up a menu of sharing charcuterie boards, deli style sandwiches and cheese fondue, accompanied by warming cocktails such as hot buttered rum, mulled wine and cider, new and old world wines, and fine draught and craft beers, ale and stout.
The biggest ever ice rink constructed on the London Eye landscape.
London Eye , Jubilee Gardens, South Bank, London, SE1 7PB
Dates: 14th November - 03rd January 2016
With the biggest ever ice rink constructed on the London Eye landscape, the Frostival festival returns for winter 2015. The festive occasion transforms the iconic South Bank attraction into an inviting Christmassy affair, with a range of warming winter cocktails served in the Cocktail Capsule by the cocktail trading company - the perfect refreshment after a whizz on the ice rink. Plus, there will also be a Mistletoe Cupid's Capsule and the return of the popular London Eye Champagne Experience. Add that to the iconic South Bank Christmas market, which returns in late November, and you've got a perfect Christmas day out.
Take a break from your Christmas shopping and take a spin on this centrally located ice rink.
Exchange square, Broadgate, City, London, EC2A 2BQ
Dates: 16th November - 25th February 2016
London's longest-running ice rink returns to its new location of Exchange Square in 2015, only a couple of minutes from Liverpool Street Station so City workers can have a whirl in their lunch breaks. Conveniently close to Spitalfields Market , it's also a great place for Christmas shoppers to take a break with a spin on the ice. This year's special events are yet to be announced but last year welcomed The Tasting Room, a pop-up bar and smokehouse serving freshly smoked dishes and gourmet doughnuts. So, this year's programme is sure to be just as inviting. The Broadgate Ice Rink offers advance booking online but tickets can also be purchased on arrival - just be sure to check availability before turning up.
Skate yourself dizzy against the spectacular backdrop of Somerset House.
Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA
Tube: Temple Station
Dates: 18th November - 10th January 2016
The grand 18th-century courtyard of Somerset House makes for a spectacular backdrop for one of the most popular ice rinks in town. Skating around under the 40-foot Christmas tree with a hot toddy to keep out seasonal chills is one of London's most appealing winter rituals - and a superb way to ease yourself into the festive spirit. If your youngsters need guidance there's the Penguin Club for under 8s. But if you're looking for something altogether more grown up, the Club Nights offer the atmosphere of open-air clubbing, on and off the ice, to a soundtrack curated by prominent DJs. This season's line-up includes Ministry of Sound, Toddla T, Ibiza Rocks and Austrian festival Snowbombing. Get your Christmas shopping done while you're there at The Christmas Arcade, a pop-up version of Fortnum & Mason's occupying 15 rooms in the West Wing of Somerset House filled with hampers, tea caddies, stocking fillers, gifts and games. Now in its 15th year, Skate at Somerset House truly is "one of the great sights of a London winter... a wonderful place to be" (The Times).
The giant West London shopping mall gets a festive addition in the form of an ice rink.
Westfield London - Shepherd's Bush, Ariel Way, Shepherd's Bush, London, W12 7DS
Dates: 19th November - 03rd January 2016
Westfield London is once again home to a 30x15 metre ice rink in its airy atrium bringing a welcome dose of Christmas cheer to Christmas shoppers at the city's largest indoor shopping mall. With capacity for 150 skaters and timed entry, the rink is well run with marshalls on hand to keep an eye on beginners. There are themed sessions including weekday morning for children (who can use a penguin or seal for support), DJ evenings, and 'date' and 'Christmas jumper' nights so there's sure to be something to suit everyone. Pre-booking your tickets online is highly recommended - not only to avoid queuing but also to ensure you get to skate, and to get the discounted rate. Along with the skating rink, Westfield also has a Christmas Grotto and the whole shopping centre is decked out in Christmas lights and decorations.
Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland is home to the biggest outdoor ice rink in the UK.
Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH
Tube: Knightsbridge Station
Dates: 20th November - 03rd January 2016
Don your skates and glide around the glittering ice rink that is set within Hyde Park Winter Wonderland around the Victorian bandstand and illuminated with over 100,000 lights. It claims to be the UK's largest outdoor rink and at 1,600 metre squared it might well be. Live music plays as skaters take to the ice for a spin and those in the giant Observation Wheel next to it get a bird's eye view of the skaters below. Both are part of the annual Hyde Park event which takes place throughout late November and December bringing fairground rides, a giant wheel, Zippos Circus, a Christmas market, food and drink stalls, Santa's grotto and, of course, the ice rink to this corner of Hyde Park for the holidays.
Enjoy an outdoor skate followed by a mulled wine.
London Designer Outlet, Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, HA9 0WS
Tube: Wembley Park Station
Dates: 20th November - 03rd January 2016
Located under the iconic arch of Wembley Stadium next to the London Designer Outlet, Ice Skating at Wembley Park is a great way to combine a shopping trip to the discount designer village - where you can get up to 70 per cent off high street prices - with a skate. The north London ice rink is a sizeable 600 square metres and welcomes skaters of all abilities from late November until early January. After a skate, visitors can warm up with a mulled wine and hot chocolate before taking advantage of the weekend food market, family fairground rides and the Alpine Café.
East London's Winterville in Victoria Park includes an outdoor ice rink.
Victoria Park, Grove Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E3 5SN
Tube: Mile End Station
Dates: 26th November - 23rd December 2015
After taking over Victoria Park for the first time in 2014, Winterville is returning for another festive season this year. East London's answer to Winter Wonderland, the town of Winterville brings together a number of classic Christmas season favourites, including an ice rink, a Santa's Grotto, a fairground and Christmas market, Bizarre Bazaar. Backyard Cinema will be creating an enchanted forest named The Winter Night Garden which, accessed only via a secret tunnel, will showcase classic films such as Love Actually, The Muppet Christmas and Elf. More entertainment can be found in the Spiegeltent, with a Snow White pantomime, Cirque du Cabaret, Shit-Faced Shakespeare and Indeedy Musical Bingo. Plus, Plonk Crazy Golf will bring a brand new nine hole putting project to the site; the Kid's Quarter will keep the little ones entertained with soft play areas, a children's market and a Santa's Grotto designed by interactive events company Bearded Kitten; and Moscow State Circus roll into town with gravity defying aerial acts, wire walkers and clowns galore. Food and drink will also feature heavily with town pub, Bar Humbug, serving real ales, mulled wine, cider and hot chocolate.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Ice Rink Canary Wharf
The London Eye Frostival
Broadgate Ice Rink
Skate At Somerset House
Westfield London Ice Rink
Winter Wonderland Open Air Ice Rink
Ice Skating Wembley Park
Christmas in London 2015
Christmas Lights in London
London Ice Skating
Christmas Events and Attractions in London
London Christmas Markets and Fairs
London Christmas Shows & Pantos
Christmas Shopping in London
London Christmas Carols
Santa's Grottos in London
Christmas Trees in London
Christmas and Boxing Day in London
Christmas Day Dining in London
New Year's Eve in London
- Christmas Lights in London
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