London is great all year round (okay, we’re may be a little biased…) but there’s undeniably something extra special about the capital during the winter. Particularly in the build-up to Christmas, there are a million and one things to see and do throughout the capital to delight its visitors of all ages.
One of the best things about the festive season is that this is when some of the best ice rinks open for avid (and newbie) skaters to enjoy. From stunning historic locations to modern surroundings, temporary ice rinks pop up in iconic settings throughout the city and are among the top attractions over the Christmas and New Year period.
If you’re heading to the capital over the next few months are want to pack your skates (though if you don’t have any, don’t worry as you can rent some!) we’ve rounded up some of the top rinks you need to check out.
Though before we do, make sure you familiarise yourself with our amazing premier hotel membership, as this is one of the best ways to get top deals on the best hotels in the city. As a Premier Club Rewards member, you can enjoy exclusive privileges including earning free night and complimentary room upgrade. Premier Club rewards membership will make your stay memorable, luxurious and rewarding. Learn about the best benefits here.
Somerset House ice rink
Among the most notorious of the city’s ice skating scenes, the Somerset House arena isn’t to be missed. Their well-known Skate Lates – evening sessions with exceptionally curated music playlists – made their first arrival in 2018, while Messrs Fortnum and Mason are running the rinkside show. Discover champagne and chocolate fondue at the Skate Lodge, and twinkly goodness at the Christmas Arcade all in the beautiful surroundings of Somerset House. This will certainly leave you feeling like a VIP, as will the Piccadilly London West End loyalty program we offer!
The trendy cousin of Winter Wonderland is back in the enchanted domain of Clapham Common. Likewise, with the Hyde Park option, the ice-skating rink is only one of Winterville’s numerous attractions. At 600 square meters, there’s sufficient space for everybody. Different attractions to be enjoyed in the park include Backyard Cinema, Plonk Golf, and a Spiegeltent, all of which pair pleasantly with a session of skating!
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
The Natural History Museum Ice Rink is one of London’s most well known, set against the surroundings of the monumental Natural History Museum with a shimmering 30ft Christmas tree. Each Thursday, from 7pm-9.30pm, there’ll also be a program of Acoustic Lates, curated by Ticketmaster Artist Services and showcasing rising musical stars in the chalet-style, rinkside Café Bar for free. There’s even the Penguin Skate Club, which will be running exercises for youngsters aged four to eight, and various wheelchair skate sessions taking place all through the season. With this option, you’ll be a stone’s throw away from taking advantage of our London premier Kensington reward program, too!
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Demonstrating that Winter Wonderland does nothing by half measures, Hyde Park will set up the biggest outside ice arena in the UK again this year. Skate around the Victorian bandstand under a shelter of lights, and you may even get serenaded. The rest of Winter Wonderland is truly enchanting as well, offering a Christmas experience in the capital like no other, with carnival rides, and karaoke sing-a-longs. Just make sure you’re prepared for crowds!
Canary Wharf Ice Rink
Ice Rink Canary Wharf, one of the city’s covered offerings, will come back to Canada Square Park with its fun skate way and devoted youngsters’ arena. It’s enlightened by the sparkle of over a thousand Edison lights and even has a skate way that is separate from the main arena through an overhang of twinkling trees. The Grandstand Secret Garden bar, an incredible spot for pre or post-skate drinks, has extraordinary views on the arena. There are also classes available for those looking to better their skating skills – check out the website for dates and times.
Hampton Court Ice Rink
Situated in the gardens of Henry VIII’s historic home, this open-air ice rink offers you the chance to glide across the ice under a star-covered sky while surrounded by spectacular views the of historic Tudor palace. Whether you’re looking for a memorable ice-skating experience or a place to catch up with your loved ones, you are sure to capture magical memories that you and your nearest and dearest will cherish for years to come. In the day time, it’s family-friendly, while once night falls, it becomes more date friendly as they light up the ring with hundreds of coloured lights.
Skylight’s Rooftop Ice Rink
Skylight at Tobacco Dock in Wapping has themed its winter season around an urban après skate bar. Fascinated? Just as regular beverages, fondue and some of the city’s most loved street food offerings, the east London neon-lit winter festive area is home to London’s first rooftop ice arena. DJs and ice hockey shooting will up the ante on the atmosphere front, as will their indoor and outdoor heated areas – make sure you check out the cosy igloos – as well as great views of the city, are going to make this one hard to beat for a festive evening out.
Tower of London Ice Rink
Set against the backdrop of the Tower of London’s floodlit dividers, and with the Thames streaming past close by, the Tower of London ice arena is one of the city’s best, particularly for tourists as it allows you to combine a bit of sightseeing as you skate. With that in mind, it’s worth noting that this is generally one of the city’s busiest ice rinks, so bear that in mind, especially if skating with little ones in tow. Though if it is particularly busy, you can relax in the nearby Ice Bar and Café, where merry bites are served.