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 13th to 16th December, is transformed into a story book spectacular when 'The Little Mermaid' 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
A new ice skating rink for 2013 pops up outside the famous King's Road restaurant.
Bluebird Chelsea, 350 Kings Road, Chelsea, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UU
Tube: South Kensington Station
Dates: 11th November - 05th January 2014
The courtyard in front of Bluebird restaurant hosts a colourful ice skating rink for the first time this winter. Enjoy the ice skating and warm up afterwards with a cocktail, hot chocolate or meal in the cafe adjacent or in the first floor restaurant overlooking the illuminated rink. As well as being the obvious choice to get in the Christmas spirit, you can combine a skate with some shopping on the Kings Road, a street brimming with gift ideas. And on Thursday 14th November there's a VIP party to celebrate the launch - get your skates on for vodka fuelled cocktails and canapes.
Broadgate's ice rink moves to Exchange Square.
Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange square, City, London, EC2A 2EH
Dates: 04th November - 27th February 2014
London's longest-running ice rink has moved to a new location in Exchange Square, but it's still only a couple of minutes from Liverpool Street Station so City workers can still 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. There's also the Bar BBQ on Ice with a charcoal grill and wood-burning oven for those wanting some grub or a cocktail, craft beer or winter warmer. The Broadgate Ice Rink is London's one and only turn-up-and-skate outdoor rink, with admission purely on a first-come-first-served basis. Some weekends and evenings, however, are set aside for private hire so check dates and times before you go.
Canary Wharf Ice Skating
Canary Wharf gets into the Christmas spirit with a massive outdoor skating rink.
Nestled beneath the world-famous mirrored towers of Canary Wharf, this compact 450-square-metre outdoor ice rink 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. The Wharf's suited and booted office workers will no doubt be the primary type of skater you get here, sampling a little festive fun now the recession seems to be petering out and their bonuses are no longer frozen. But really it's meant for everyone - including those who prefer gawping to gliding (the expanded Rinkside Bar and viewing gallery should keep everyone in good spirits). Fitting for the competitive, testosterone-heavy surroundings, brand new sharpened high quality skates are available this year - so you better be on your toes (so to speak).
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: 30th November - 12th January 2014
The striking Tudor facade of Hampton Court Palace provides a majestic backdrop to this popular open-air London ice skating 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.
Follow a trip on the London Eye with a skate along the Southbank.
London Eye , Jubilee Gardens, South Bank, South Bank, London, SE1 7PB
Dates: 27th November - 05th January 2014
In its fourth year on the South Bank this winter is the EDF Energy London Eye open air ice skating rink which has joined the list of the capital's must-do events 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.
The Natural History Museum's massive ice rink comes complete with twinkly lights and hot chocolate.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 5BD
Dates: 31st October - 05th January 2014
The Natural History Museum's annual icing-over of its gardens kicks off again in November - and this winter the main rink will be larger than ever. The 1,050-square-metre rink is surrounded by 76,000 glowing pea-lights dangling from the overhanging trees outside Alfred Waterhouse's imposing building. 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. Big-foots amongst you will be pleased to know that skates go up to adult size 15, while five wheelchair sessions are available - see website for details. The Ice Rink and Cafe Bar are available for private hire too for a minimum of 150 guests. Last year there was a Christmas Fair throughout December which proved a great spot to get into the Christmas spirit and do some unusual shopping.
Skate yourself dizzy against the spectacular backdrop of Somerset House.
Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA
Tube: Temple Station
Dates: 14th November - 05th January 2014
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 Tiffany-decorated 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. Just be sure to watch out for the seven-year-old whizz kids skating backwards past you and pulling off a special Somerset Salchow. 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, iconic clubs and trend-setting festivals. Now in its 13th year, Skate at Somerset House is "one of the great sights of a London winter... a wonderful place to be" (The Times).
Glide across the ice at one of London's most dramatic and historic landmarks.
www.toweroflondonicerink.com 2013-11-162014-01-05 Where:
Tower Of London, Tower Hill, City, London, EC3N 4AB
Tube: Tower Hill Station
Dates: 16th November - 05th January 2014
Nestled in the rounded hollow of the dry moat, the Tower of London's ice rink area forms a wonderfully festive scene. Running for its sixth year, this outdoor ice rink offers a grand and historical option for skaters. 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 as they practice their camel spins, double axels and choctaws (or simply slip and slide aimlessly in circles). Ice guides are available for groups up to 15 people, while cold skaters can thaw out at the Moat Cafe (free for spectators), warming hands around hot chocolates and munching on mince pies. It's worth paying a little extra and exploring the murky history of the Tower too. For the past 900 years the medieval fortress on the Thames has been the setting for an array of famous and gruesome executions. Beefeaters, the Crown Jewels and a gory array of torture instruments make it a fantastically colourful attraction. A word of warning for gentlemen skaters - go easy on the twizzles for a bad landing could damage your own crown jewels...
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: 25th November - 05th January 2014
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: 22nd November - 05th January 2014
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.
2nd August 2014
IN THIS ARTICLE
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink
The Bluebird Skating Rink
Broadgate Ice Skating
Canary Wharf Ice Skating
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Skate at Somerset House
Tower Of London Ice Rink
Westfield London Ice Rink
Winter Wonderland Open Air Ice Rink
Christmas in London
Christmas Lights in London
London Ice Skating
London Christmas Markets and Fairs
Christmas Shopping in London
London Christmas Carols
Christmas Grottos in London
Christmas Trees in London
London Christmas Shows, Pantos & Attractions
Christmas and Boxing Day in London
New Year's Eve in London
Christmas Restaurant Booking in London
Christmas Hotels in London
- Christmas Lights in London
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