London Ice Skating

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Skate at Somerset House

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Skate at Somerset House
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
London Eyeskate
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Westfield London Ice Rink
Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Winterville, Victoria Park
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink
Broadgate Ice Rink
Ice Skate Vauxhall
JW3 on Ice


Ice Skating in London is a time-honoured tradition that has been drawing in the crowds since the world's first artificial ice rink (known as a Glaciarium) was unveiled in Chelsea in 1876. Nowadays, taking to the ice surrounded by the capital's magnificent historical architecture is a fabulously festive must. In recent years the rink at Somerset House has dominated the skating scene but there are loads of other skating facilities all over the capital, including the Tower of London and the Natural History Museum, as well as Hyde Park's magical Winter Wonderland. Many are centrally located near the city's Christmas shopping hotspots and fabulously festive hotels. So get your skates on.

London Ice Skating Map

Check out the map of London Ice Skating.


Alexandra Palace Ice Rink

The biggest permanent ice rink in London puts on some special events at Christmas.

Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY

Tube: Bounds Green Station


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 15th to 22nd December, is transformed into a story book spectacular when 'The Snow Queen on Ice' is performed by a cast of Ally Pally ice rink and skating club members.


Natural History Museum Ice Rink

The Natural History Museum's massive ice rink comes complete with twinkly lights and hot chocolate.

Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Tube: South Kensington Station, Gloucester Road Station


Dates: 30th October - 04th January 2015


The Natural History Museum's annual icing-over of its gardens kicks off again from 30th 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, which cost 5, are available on a first come first served basis. This year the Ice Rink has an interactive Christmas chalet filled with chocolate goodies by Lindt where you can sample truffles and win prizes.


Ice Rink Canary Wharf

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: 01st November - 28th February 2015


Nestled beneath the world-famous mirrored towers of Canary Wharf, this glittering outdoor London Ice Skating rink, featuring London's first skate path and the fantastic new Q on Ice pop up bar, adds a cheerful dose of Christmas spirit to the area's sedate office life. Hundreds of dainty lights transform Canada Square Park into a fairy-tale Christmas kingdom seven days a week from early November right through to mid January. Suited and booted office workers sampling a little festive fun, now the recession seems to be petering out and their bonuses are no longer frozen, merge happily with local families and children, creating a festive buzz. For those who prefer gawping to gliding, there is the Q on Ice bar and viewing terrace which should keep everyone in good spirits with their famous hot chocolates, mulled wine and burgers. Fitting for the competitive, testosterone-heavy surroundings, brand new high quality skates are on offer this year - so you better be on your toes (so to speak).


Skate At Somerset House

Skate yourself dizzy against the spectacular backdrop of Somerset House.

Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 11th November - 11th January 2015


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).


Ice Skating Wembley Park

Get a free hot chocolate when you skate.

London Designer Outlet, Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, HA9 0WS

Tube: Wembley Park Station


Dates: 14th November - 04th January 2015


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. North West London's only outdoor ice rink is a sizable 600 square metre, welcomes skaters of all abilities and is set up next to a traditional Christmas Market with gifts, arts and crafts and food for sale making this an enjoyable festive day out for the whole family. It's a fun Christmas-y activity and each skater, who must be five years old or over, gets a free hot chocolate.


London Eyeskate

Follow a trip on the London Eye with a skate along the Southbank.

London Eye , Jubilee Gardens, South Bank, London, SE1 7PB

Tube: Embankment Underground Station, Westminster Station, Waterloo Station


Dates: 15th November - 04th January 2015


In its fifth year on the South Bank this winter, the London Eye open air ice rink is now a well-established venue among the capital's best ice skating rinks at Christmas. Customers can combine their skate with a trip on the London Eye, with special Mulled Wine and Champagne Flights providing a perfect way to view the Christmas lights along the Thames. With the Christmas Market reappearing on the Southbank in late November and December, the London Eyeskate (see what they've done there?) does a roaring trade and certainly adds to the wonderfully festival feeling in this part of London. If the sounds and lights of the nearby Christmas carousel fail to get you into the seasonal spirit then those delectable goodies and sweets smells certainly will.


Broadgate Ice Rink

The ice rink returns to Exchange Square for its second year.

Exchange square, Broadgate, City, London, EC2A 2BQ

Tube: Liverpool Street Station, Moorgate Station


Dates: 17th November - 26th February 2015


London's longest-running ice rink returns to its new location of Exchange Square in 2014, 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 there will also be The Tasting Room, a brand new luxury pop up bar and smokehouse, which nestled alongside the rink, will serve freshly smoked dishes, gourmet doughnuts, local craft beers and winter warmers. 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.


Westfield London Ice Rink

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

Tube: Wood Lane Station, Shepherd's Bush Station (Central), Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line)


Dates: 18th November 2015 to 3rd 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.


Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

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: 21st November - 04th January 2015


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.


Winter Wonderland Open Air Ice Rink

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: 21st November - 04th January 2015


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.


Ice Skate Vauxhall

A full size urban ice rink and the capital's first ever Christmas tree maze.

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, 139 Vauxhall Walk, London, SE11 5HL

Tube: Vauxhall Station


Dates: 21st November - 04th January 2015


This festive season, a brand new winter experience comes to the capital, as Ice Skate Vauxhall opens for the first time in the historic location of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Set in the vibrant heart of South London, visitors to Ice Skate Vauxhall can experience a full size urban Ice Rink and the capital's first ever Christmas tree maze, made from hundreds of real Christmas trees sparkling with lights, covering almost a square kilometre. There will also be dining at an extended street market offering London's top pop-up eateries, shopping at the Artisan Craft Market, thrills on traditional rides, special skate dates and other special events.


Winterville, Victoria Park

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: 02nd - 31st December 2014


This December a magical town will spring up from 2nd until 31st December in Victoria Park in East London. A free-to-enter winter wonderland with an outdoor Ice Rink, horse-drawn carriages, a fairground, ferris wheel and a pub, this wonderland also gives shoppers a Christmas Market to stock up on gifts while out and about enjoying the festive atmosphere. And that's not all, there's a Wall of Death, a food hall, street food traders, craft beer area and bars as well as a Spiegeltent hosting club nights, cabaret, comedy, a special Christmas Panto. There's also a Roller Disco with an eclectic series of club nights, and a Kid's Quarter with immersive entertainment including traveling arts circus House Of Fairy Tales and a reimagined Santa's Grotto.


JW3 on Ice

An outdoor ice rink with capacity of up to 70 skaters and hosting Chanukah on Ice.

JW3, Finchley Road, London, NW3 6ET

Tube: Finchley Road Station


Dates: 07th December - 11th January 2015


From 7th December the JW3 piazza will be transformed into a winter wonderland with an outdoor ice rink, mulled wine, hot chocolate and seasonal food. With a capacity of up to 70 skaters, JW3 on Ice is a wonderful day out with friends or family offering 50 minute ice skating sessions with penguin stabilisers and banana toboggans available to hire. As well as the skating area, Zest cafe is there to replenish energy with tasty, warming refreshments. The outdoor ice rink is also the venue for Chanukah on Ice, held on 20th December 2014, the Jewish Festival of Lights is a combination of traditional candle-lighting, cocktails and music from Rebbetzins' Disco and DJ Kobayashi, who will play everything from northern soul to Gypsy Balkan Swing.

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