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London Ice Skating

 
 
 
 
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Skate at Somerset House

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Skate at Somerset House
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
Christmas at QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl
Skylight Rooftop
Skylight Rooftop
Skylight Rooftop
 

 

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.

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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 biggest (it has a total capacity of 1,250) and best permanent ice rink in London, Alexandra Palace Ice Rink within Alexandra Palace is an ideal place for a festive skate because you don't have to rely on the weather. The grand indoor rink is open all year round and offers a range of other activities, such as ice hockey and figure skating classes. 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 bar. On Saturday nights between October and April Club De Fromage puts on disco, rock, indie and old skool tunes and the panto on ice this Christmas tells the story of a little boy who couldn't stop lying.

 
 
 

Skylight Rooftop

An urban apres skate bar and London's first rooftop ice rink.

Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, London, E1W 2SF

Tube: Rotherhithe Overground Station

 
 

From Thursday 31st October 2019, Skylight Rooftop gets a winter makeover with cosy igloos and huts, warming cocktails and a real-ice rooftop ice rink on top of Tobacco Dock. The winter season opens with Halloween On Ice and continues with special events including a tree decorating evening, festive singalong events and New Year's Eve celebrations before the new year brings Burns Night and Australia Day. Set on the top three levels of a former car park in Wapping, the 600 capacity Skylight has multiple bars, indoor and outdoor seating areas, private booths, big screens and two street food stalls, all set against some of the finest views in the city - you can see The Shard, The Gherkin and the Walkie Talkie from here. Grab a seat on the upper level for prime views over some of London's most famous buildings.

 
 
 

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: 19th October 2019 to 12th January 2020

 

The earliest of London's winter ice rinks to open, the Natural History Museum's annual icing-over of its gardens kicks off from 19th 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 and a sparkling 30 foot Christmas tree. Additional attractions include a smaller 100-square-metre rink for youngsters and a stylish balcony cafe/bar when you can warm your hands and insides on hot chocolate. Big-foots amongst you will be pleased to know that skates go up to adult size 15, while penguin skate aids are available for £5 on a first come first served basis.

 
 
 

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: 13th November 2019 to 12th January 2020

 

The grand 18th-century courtyard of Somerset House makes for a spectacular backdrop for one of the most popular ice rinks in town, and 2019 will see the rink return for its 20th year. 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 Polar Cub Club for under 8s. But if you're looking for something altogether more grown up, Skate Lates brings a specially curated programme of music to the rink on nights with takeovers from hot names in the contemporary music scene - this year welcomes Nabihah Iqbal, RockersLDN and Eat Your Own Ears. 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. What's more, to celebrate the launch of major exhibition 24/7, this year will host London's first-ever 24-hour skating event.

 
 
 

Tower of London Ice Rink

Skate in the famous moat surrounding the medieval royal palace.

Tower Of London, Tower Hill, London, EC3N 4AB

Tube: Tower Hill Station

 

Dates: 16th November 2019 to 5th January 2020

 

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. Besides the Ice Rink there's a heated spectator area and warming snacks and drinks, from Cornish pasties and hot pies to hot drinks, at the Ice Rink Cafe Bar. While you're here it's worth paying a little extra to explore the murky history of the Tower of London, the 1,000 year old palace that was home to medieval kings and queens and still protects the Crown Jewels.

 
 
 
 

Christmas at QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl

For weather proof skating this Christmas, head to this west London ice rink.

QUEENS Skate, Dine, Bowl, 17 Queensway, London, W2 4QP

Tube: Bayswater Underground Station , Queensway Station

 

Dates: 18th November to 22nd December 2019

 

If you're looking for weather proof ice skating this Christmas head to QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl, west London's favourite indoor ice rink. There will also be ten lanes of real on-ice curling - bowling's wonderful winter cousin - Wednesday to Saturday in the evenings. Additionally, The Sin Bin, presented by MEATLiquor, offers a rink side bar and diner offering guests the chance to refuel, recharge and relax after taking to the ice. A special XXXmas menu will feature pigs in blankets, a roast turkey burger and a turkey cheese stack. Opt for a bronze, silver or gold package and you get up to two hours ice skating with boot hire, a welcome drink thrown in as well as shared sliders and sides from MEATliquor.

 
 
 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 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 - 05th January 2020

 

Don your skates and glide around the glittering ice rink set within the hugely popular Hyde Park Winter Wonderland which seems to get bigger and busier every year. The UK's largest outdoor Ice Rink - it's over 1,600 metres square - is located around the picturesque Victorian Bandstand on which bands play live music throughout the day and night as skaters take to the ice, illuminated by over 100,000 lights. Those feeling wobbly on the ice can hire an ice guide who can look after up to 15 skaters and guide the group for the one-hour skating session. Children of all ages can skate but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by someone aged 16 or over. Leave plenty of time to get there - there are so many Christmas attractions on offer as you make your way through the Winter Wonderland to the ice rink, distraction is inevitable.

 
 
 

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: 22nd November 2019 to 5th January 2020

 

For a truly regal skating experience London has to offer this winter, head to the Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink and take to the ice at Henry VIII's former home. The striking Tudor facade of Hampton Court Palace provides a majestic backdrop to this popular open air ice rink. Located in 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 food stalls serving hot refreshments. 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.

 
 
 

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