Whether snowing or not, Christmas is the time for wrapping up warm, enjoying cold frosty nights and for the more adventurous among us, a little action on the ice. Pop-up ice rinks, markets and Christmas fairs across London provide ample opportunity to pull your skates on and enjoy this unmissable festive activity. There are many different ice rinks to choose from around London, all offering their own unique experience and below is a closer look at some of the best.
The Natural History Museum
An absolute classic ice skating venue and for good reason, the Natural History Museum has been providing a magical winter ice rink for twelve years. The magnificent museum acts as a backdrop and the ice rink is complete with a fun carousel and a rink-side café offering up piping hot drinks. New for 2016 is a striking 9-foot Christmas tree decorated with 6000 fairy lights and 1000 Swarovski crystals.
An alternative to your traditional skating environment, the Canary Wharf rink is nestled amongst the sky scrapers, which create a unique and unexpectedly impressive backdrop. With a bit of a disco theme the ice will feature bright LED lights installed beneath it and anyone who wants to come along to watch but not skate can enjoy the comfort of the heated viewing deck.
London’s most popular and loved ice rink with its breath-taking surrounding, Somerset House provides the ultimate ice skating experience. DJs nights from Ibiza Rocks and Ministry of Sound give it the edge and there is a decadent Fortnum & Mason pop-up with plenty of foodie gifts on sale, as well as hot snacks, cocktails and more.
A great skating option if you want to avoid the crowds, Broadgate is surprisingly quiet at weekends if you’re looking for a chance to practice some of your moves on the ice. A rink-side bar is backed up by a host of tasty street food options thanks to Urban Food Fest.
Tower of London
Amazingly nestled into the historic moat of the Tower of London, this ice-rink is a completely unique experience. Skate around the same route that the Tudors may have enjoyed before you and enjoy a wide range of beverages from the Eis Haus Ice Bar, where all drinks are served in glasses made of ice.
Hyde Park is London’s biggest outdoor ice rink and it is setup around a Victorian bandstand. This acts as a centrepiece and hosts live music throughout the festival period. 100,000 lights illuminate the ice and the rink is part of the much larger Winter Wonderland extravaganza, with markets, funfairs and more.
If outside is chillier than you can handle, then enjoy a fantastic skating session indoors at Westfield. The expansive 160-capacity rink has many special events throughout the Christmas period including live music and a fun Christmas jumper night. Being in the heart of the shopping centre means you can team your skating session with a bit of Christmas shopping too.
With the majestic backdrop of Hampton Court and all the history it contains, this ice rink has a traditional feel and the chance to explore the expansive palace grounds after your time on the ice. Hot mulled wine and mince pies are of course available at the nearby café and there is a really festive feel all around the court.