It's that time of year again – an array of ice rinks are popping up around London, boasting prime backdrops of some of the capital's most iconic landmarks. Whether you're a pro skater or would prefer to relax rink side with a hot choc (or cocktail), these are the ice skating rinks to visit this winter.
Natural History Museum
One of London's most famous ice rinks has returned, located outside the front of the Natural History Museum in Kensington. This enchanting rink has a Christmas tree to skate around at the centre, while the Café Bar is the place to warm up with a hot chocolate or mulled wine while watching the skaters.
WHEN: 19 October 2019 – 12 January 2020
WHERE: Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 5BD
For more information visit nhm.ac.uk
The Queen's House
Open for the first time in 2019, the Queen’s House Ice Rink in Greenwich offers a unique outdoor skating experience. Located in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site with views of the River Thames and Greenwich Royal Park, the picturesque location will have you reaching for your camera - if you can balance for long enough! Open from 10am – 8pm daily, it's a great way to finish off a festive family day out.
WHEN: 29 November 2019 – 12 January 2020
WHERE: The Queen's House, Romney Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
For more information visit rmg.co.uk
Tower of London
Could there be a more picturesque setting for an ice rink? This 1040 square metre rink is based at Tower of London, alongside the River Thames, and is the ideal location for a date or a family day out. Whether you're a novice skater or pro, skating is even better after dark when the castle wall is lit up creating a beautiful backdrop.
WHEN: 16 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
WHERE: Tower of London, St Katharine's & Wapping, EC3N 4AB
For more information visit toweroflondonicerink.co.uk
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You'll want to book in fast for skating at Somerset House, as this ever-popular spot sells out fast. As well as a new Skate all-nighter on 7 December, the Skate Lates – evening skating sessions with live DJs – are back on selected nights, while Fortnum & Mason's Christmas Arcade returns so you can do a spot of Christmas shopping after you hit the rink. Meanwhile, the Fortnum's Lodge serves everything from chocolate fondue to champagne – the perfect post-skating indulgence.
WHEN: 13 November 2019 – 12 January 2020
WHERE: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
For more information visit somersethouse.org.uk
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is home to the largest open-air ice rink in the UK – and it's even bigger than ever! Live music from the bandstand will add to the atmosphere while you skate, and you can warm up with a festive drink at the spectator's platform if you'd rather simply watch the action. Ice skating sessions run every hour and last 50 minutes.
WHEN: 21 November 2019 – 5 January 2020. Open from 10am-10pm daily.
WHERE: Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, W2 2UH
For more information visit hydeparkwinterwonderland.com
Hampton Court Palace
Venture down to Hampton Court Palace for a regal skating experience with the historic 16th-century palace as your backdrop. Spanning 1,040 metres squared, this huge rink will be a hit with keen skaters of all ages, and offers a number of sessions throughout the day through to 9pm. Enjoy a post-skate pick-me-up at the Ice Rink Café & Bar, or take the opportunity to visit the palace's State Apartments and world-famous maze while you're there for a wintry day out.
WHEN: 22 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
WHERE: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU
For more information visit hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.co.uk
Head to the rooftop in Waterloo for some free skating and a drink at Bar Elba. Open from 13 November, the skating rink pop up offers the full winter wonderland experience, with hot Blood Orange gin cocktails, roast meat sandwiches, cosy blankets to keep warm and the opportunity to try skating or curling.
WHEN: 13 November 2019 – February 2020. Open from 4pm daily.
WHERE: Bar Elba, 109-117 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UL
For more information visit bar-elba.co.uk
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Perfect your skating skills at London's highest ice rink, located at rooftop bar Skylight in Tobacco Dock. Ice hockey slap shot, cosy igloos and heated bars - what's not to love? The amazing city views are more than enough reason to give this rink a try, but the raclette and cocktails ensure it's going to be your new favourite winter hangout.
WHEN: November 2019 – January 2020
WHERE: Skylight, Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, St Katharine’s & Wapping, E1W 2SF
Entrance is free. For more information visit tobaccodocklondon.com
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