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.
Ice skating at Natural History Museum
25 October 2018 – 6 January 2019
One of London's most famous ice rinks returns at the end of October, 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 Benugo's café – inside the museum – is the place to warm up while watching the skaters below from the viewing gallery.
Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 5BD. Open 10am – 9pm, adult tickets start from £12.65 are available to book here.
Tower Skate at Tower of London
23 November 2018 – 6 January 2019
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 even features skating staff dressed up as Beefeaters. The early morning sessions are perfect for novice skaters and families, while skating is even better after dark when the castle wall is lit up creating a beautiful backdrop.
St Katharine's & Wapping, EC3N 4AB. Open from 11am – 9pm on weekdays, and from 9am on weekends. Adult tickets are £14.50, and are available to book here.
Skate at Somerset House
14 November 2018 – 13 January 2019
You'll want to book in fast for skating at Somerset House, as this ever-popular spot sells out fast. Once again, 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.
Strand, WC2R 1LA. Open from 8:45am – 22:15 most days, tickets start from £7.50 and can be purchased here.
Ice skating at Winter Wonderland
22 November 2018 – 6 January 2019
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.
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, W2 2UH. Open from 10am-9pm daily. Tickets start from £7.50 for children and £9.50 for adults. See more and book your tickets here.
Hampton Court Palace
23 November 2018 – 6 January 2019
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.
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Open 11am – 9pm weekdays, and 9am – 9pm on weekends. Adult tickets start from £14.50 and child's tickets from £10.50. Find out more and book here.
Canary Wharf Ice Rink
2 November 2018 – 16 February 2019
You can enjoy a staggering 16 weeks of al fresco skating at the Canary Wharf Ice Rink in the heart of the city. Spanning through Christmas, New Year and even Valentine's Day, this rink has a separate skating area for youngsters, a rink-side bar, and is close to a number of other shops, bars and restaurants for your day out.
Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AB. Open 12:15-9:45pm Monday – Thursday, 10:45am-10:45pm Friday, and 9am-10:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Adult tickets cost £16.95, child tickets cost £10.95, and are available here.
15 November – 23 December 2018
Winterville will once again take over Clapham Common in the lead up to Christmas, with ice skating just one of the many attractions on offer. As well as taking a turn on the 600 metre squared rink, you can also catch a film at Backyard Cinema, visit the Spiegeltent, try your hand at Plonk Golf or simply relax with a mulled wine or two.
Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, SW4 9DE. Open from 12pm – 10pm on weekdays, and 11am on weekends. See more and book your tickets here.
John Lewis Skyline Skating
20 October 2018 – 6 January 2019
Your Christmas shopping just got a whole lot more fun! Located on the roof of John Lewis on Oxford Street, you can skate high above the crowds at this amazing winter pop-up. Sure, the rink isn't quite as big as the others, but the amazing views and Sipsmith bar – serving hot gin cocktails such as mulled sloe gin, hot G&Ts and hot gin and ginger – are a major draw.
John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX. Skyline Skating opening hours are 12-9pm Monday – Wednesday, 12-11pm Thursday – Saturday. Skating times differ slightly and cost £8. Get all the details here.
1 November 2018 – 27 January 2019
Perfect your skating skills at London's highest ice rink, located at rooftop bar Skylight in Tobacco Dock. The amazing city views are more than enough reason to give this rink a try, but the cosy igloos, raclette and cocktails ensure it's going to be your new favourite winter hangout.
Skylight, Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, St Katharine’s & Wapping, E1W 2SF. Open Thursday and Friday 5pm – 11pm, and 11am – 11pm Saturday and Sunday. Entrance is free, skaters will need to book in advance.
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