London Ice Skating

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Skate at Somerset House

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Skate at Somerset House
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink


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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Skylight London

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

Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, London, E1W 2SF

Tube: Rotherhithe Overground Station


From 2nd November 2017, Skylight turns from a British urban lawn club into an apres ski lodge, combining fondue and street food with London's first rooftop ice rink at Tobacco Dock. The new winter season brings neon lights, real ice and an ice hockey penalty shooting game on the lower floor with prizes to be won. Set on the top three levels of a former car park in Wapping, the 600 capacity Skylight has multiple bars, indoor and outdoor heated seating areas, mulled wine and 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. Favourite food traders return and a fondue station is set up for winter, serving chocolate as well as cheese fondue - for those with a sweet tooth.


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: 25th October 2018 to 6th January 2019


The Natural History Museum's annual icing-over of its gardens kicks off again from 27th 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. 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. The Ice Rink and Cafe Bar are available for private hire too for a minimum of 150 guests. Big-foots amongst you will be pleased to know that skates go up to adult size 15, while penguin skate aids are available 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: 14th November 2018 to 13th January 2019


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 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 Peckham-based radio station Balamii, Somerset House Studios artist Larry Achiampong, Field Day founders and promoters Eat Your Own Ears, '90s and '00s hip hop night Supa Dupa Fly and more. 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. Now in its 18th year, Skate at Somerset House truly is "one of the great sights of a London winter... a wonderful place to be" (The Times).


Tower of London Ice Rink

Skate in the famous moat surrounding the iconic royal palace.

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

Tube: Tower Hill Station


Dates: 17th November - 02nd January 2018


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 are pop-up food and drink stalls as well as a programme of events - details of which are to be announced soon. While you're here it's worth paying a little extra to explore the murky history of the Tower of London too.


Winter Wonderland Open Air 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: 17th November - 01st January 2018


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.



The first ice rink to come to Clapham Common.

Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, London, SW4 9DE

Tube: Clapham South Station


Dates: 15th November to 23rd December 2018


After taking over Victoria Park for the past few years, Winterville moves to Clapham Common for 2017. South London's answer to Winter Wonderland, the town of Winterville brings together a number of classic Christmas season favourites, including an ice rink - the first to come to Clapham Common - a Big Wheel and a Christmas market. Backyard Cinema will be creating an enchanted forest named The Winter Night Garden, Plonk Golf and the roller disco will provide alternative entertainment, and the Street Feast area will bring together traders like Up In My Grill, Mother Clucker, Petare and SE Cakery. The Spiegeltent also returns with a line-up of cabaret, comedy and family Christmas shows, including an opening weekend set from Norman Jay MBE and free shows from Guilty Pleasures, Ultimate Power, South London Soul Train and Gin & Juice. Ticketed shows include Cirque du Cabaret, Mexican Wrestling and The Merry Marys from Sink The Pink.


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: 24th November - 07th January 2018


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.


Greenwich Winter Time Festival

This new festive offering features a covered ice rink.

Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, London, SE10 9LW

Tube: New Cross Station (East London line closed. Bus service operates)


Dates: 01st - 31st December 2017


This December, Greenwich Winter Time brings Martine McCutcheon, The Snowman and a covered ice rink, set against the beautiful backdrop of Christopher Wren's Old Royal Naval College. Spend three hours at the festival and you'll encounter actors, musicians, jugglers, magicians, wandering performers and a stage adaptation of Nicholas Allan's The Giant's Loo Roll. A special treat for families, the East London Brass perform live to The Snowman, and young ones can meet Father Christmas on his magical 'launch pad' at the beginning of his Christmas journey. On the ice, under a canopy of sparkling lights, freestyle ice-skaters show us how it's done, performing at the start of each session. The Mirror Stage is the place to go for live music from Martine McCutcheon, The Puppini Sisters and The Magnets as well as festival favourites Uncle Funk and Boogie Wonderband, DJs and choirs. Alongside artisan food stalls there's a wonderful Christmas market. On throughout December, the festival culminates in a spectacular closing night gala on New Year's Eve.


Ice Rink Canary Wharf

More than 8km of colourful LED lights are laid beneath the ice.

Canary Wharf Ice Rink, Canada Square, Tower Hamlets, London, E14 5AB

Tube: Canary Wharf Station


Dates: 04th November - 24th February 2018


One of London's largest ice rinks, the Ice Rink Canary Wharf is back for Christmas 2017 and it comes with more than 8km of LED lights laid beneath the ice. The installation means more than 16 million different colours shine through the ice every hour-long session so skaters can glide on, bathed in pretty lights - perfect for those Instagram pictures. The ice rink is also fully covered by a clear roof so you can skate whatever the weather. For those who prefer to watch on as others do the gliding, there is a large heated outdoor viewing terrace and bar from where you can admire the icy action.

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