London boasts some truly unique ice rinks, so add them to your Christmas bucket list and don’t delay!
Whether it’s snowing or not, Christmas is the time for wrapping up warm, enjoying the clear, frosty nights and, for the more adventurous among us, engaging in a little action on the ice. Pop-up ice rinks, markets and Christmas fairs across London provide ample opportunity for slipping and sliding, so head to some of these iconic venues for a real London skating experience.
The most beautiful ice rink in London: Somerset House
Somerset House is an absolute must if you’re in London at Christmas. This stunning building has been standing since 1547 and survived the Great Fire of London, so it’s still here to play host to crowds of children in mittens and woollen hats as they glide (and tumble) on the picturesque ice rink in the central courtyard. This year’s season will feature ‘Skate Lates’, a programme of specially curated music nights, and as usual the West Wing of Somerset House will transform into Fortnum & Mason’s Christmas Arcade. So lace up your skates, pull on your gloves, and hold on to the barrier nice and tight.
Ice Skating with a twist at the Tower of London
Hands down London’s most dramatic rink, the Tower of London provides a truly unique skating experience. Step out onto the ice where you’ll be watched over by Beefeaters in imposing uniforms, and keep your eyes peeled for the ghosts of historical figures who were locked in the Tower hundreds of years ago. Tickets buy you 45 minutes of skating. Soak in the exceptional views of the river, and then venture inside the Tower to discover the crown jewels and royal armoury.
London’s biggest outdoor rink: Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
This fair is big, bold and bursting with fun. Make a beeline for the atmospheric rink: it’s the biggest outdoor rink in London, and is illuminated with 100,000 fairy lights, circling a Victorian bandstand where live music sets will keep your skating rhythmic throughout the session. Once you’re done skating, explore the rest of the Wonderland extravaganza. Pack in a Father Christmas meet and greet in Santa Land or investigate the mysterious Deep Sea Adventure. The park will be brimming with enticing trinkets, tankards of beer, cups of hot chocolate and steaming glasses of mulled wine. So throw a scarf around your shoulders, grab a bag of candy floss and venture forth.
Skate like a king at Hampton Court
With the sprawling Hampton Court stretching out around you and magical sense of history in the air, this rink will give you the chance to explore the expansive palace grounds in full and see the residence beautifully lit up at night. The rink will be at its very largest this year (1040 square metres) and mulled wine and mince pies are of course available at the nearby café.
The Natural History Museum
An absolutely classic ice skating venue and with good reason, the Natural History Museum has been home to a magical winter ice rink for thirteen years. The magnificent museum makes for an enchanting back drop, and the rink-side café will keep you toasty with piping hot drinks. Kids will be mesmerised by the Christmas tree to rival all Christmas trees, which is draped in fairy lights and topped with a fantastic star.
Discover the thrill of London’s ice rinks for yourself. Book your festive stay now and save up to 30% off the best available rate off all Thistle hotels when you pay in advance. Book now at https://www.thistle.com/en/special-offers/up-to-30-off-when-you-book-and-pay-now.html