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
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: 18th November - 02nd January 2017
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.
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: 27th October 2016 to 8th January 2017
The Natural History Museum's annual icing-over of its gardens kicks off again from 27th 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.
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: 14th November 2016 to 2nd February 2017
London's longest-running ice rink returns to Exchange Square, 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 rink-side street food comes from Urban Food Fest so you get a rotating selection of London's top street food traders as well as festive offerings from Broadgate Circle's many surrounding restaurants and bars - Franco Manca and Shoryu Ramen to name but a couple. 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.
Tower Of London, Tower Hill, City, London, EC3N 4AB
Tube: Tower Hill Station
Dates: 16th November 2016 to 3rd January 2017
Nestled in the rounded hollow of the dry moat, the Tower of London's ice rink area forms a wonderfully festive scene. An ideal winter activity for children, couples and friends alike, visitors can carve their route across the ice while taking in one of the most historical buildings in London. Beside the Ice Rink is the Eis Haus Ice Bar, kept at a chilly -5°C, where everything you see - even the glass for your drink - is made of ice. Alternatively, head to the Après Bar for warming winter food and drink. Want to capture the moment? Check out the Ice Cable Car Photo Booth. While you're here it's worth paying a little extra and exploring the murky history of the Tower of London too.
Skate yourself dizzy against the spectacular backdrop of Somerset House.
Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA
Tube: Temple Station
Dates: 17th November 2016 to 15th January 2017
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).
Skate under the Christmas tree and post your Christmas wishes to win festive prizes.
London Designer Outlet, Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, HA9 0WS
Tube: Wembley Park Station
Dates: 18th November 2016 to 2nd January 2017
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 - where you can get up to 70 per cent off high street prices - with a skate. Even better, spend £50 or more at the shopping centre and you'll get two free tickets, worth up to £25, to skate. A snow shower falls every hour, there's a glimmering nine metre high Christmas tree, and a special 'Santa Post Box' where you can post your Christmas wishes for the chance to win festive prizes. After a skate, visitors can warm up with a mulled wine and hot chocolate at one of the 20 restaurants, bars and coffee shops at London Designer Outlet, next to the 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
Dates: 24th November 2016 to 8th January 2017
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.
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: 25th November 2016 to 8th January 2017
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 ice rink - measuring more than 1,000 metres square - 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. 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.
This year more than 8km of colourful LED lights are laid beneath the ice.
Canary Wharf Ice Rink, Canada Square, Tower Hamlets, London, E14 5AG
Tube: Canary Wharf Station
Dates: 4th December 2016 to 25th February 2017
One of London's largest ice rinks, the Ice Rink Canary Wharf is back for Christmas 2016 and this year it comes with more than 8km of LED lights laid beneath the ice. The LUMINOCITY installation means more than 16 million different colours shine through the ice every hour-long session so skaters can glide on, bathed in pretty lights - perfect for those Instagram pictures. The ice rink is also fully covered by a clear roof so you can skate whatever the weather. For those who prefer to watch on as others do the gliding, there is a large heated outdoor viewing terrace and bar from where you can admire the icy action.
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: 11th December 2016 to 8th January 2017
From 11th 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 21st December 2016, the Jewish Festival of Lights is a combination of traditional candle-lighting, cocktails and music.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink
Winter Wonderland Open Air Ice Rink
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Broadgate Ice Rink
Tower Of London Ice Rink
Skate At Somerset House
London Designer Outlet Ice Rink
Westfield London Ice Rink
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
LUMINOCITY: Ice Rink Canary Wharf
JW3 on Ice
Christmas in London 2016
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 and Boxing Day in London
Christmas Day Dining in London
New Year's Eve in London
- Christmas Lights in London
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