One of the best things about Christmas in London is the various ice rinks that come with it. We find them popping up by historic venues as well as in the middle of the city and bringing with them everything from boozy hot chocolate to warming cheese fondue. We’ve rounded up eight of the best seasonal rinks in the city, so come on, get those skates on…
Holborn (0.3 miles)
What: Savoy Skating
Why: The Savoy, for the first time in their long history, have installed an indoor ice rink. As well as this, the hotel itself has been transformed into a frozen fantasia, complete with an ice rink installation. Inspired by a child’s jewellery box, there’s a perpetually spinning life size ice skater sculpture – we can forgive you if you can’t pirouette quite as well as she does.
Where: The Savoy, Strand, London
What: Skating and Street Food
Why: Located in the heart of The City, Broadgate ice rink is London’s longest running outdoor rink. For those who are pros on the ice, to those who can barely stand, the rink defines skating in the city. Plus, the best bit…the ever popular Urban Food Fest are making their debut at Broadgate this year. With a constantly changing menu, you can expect American gourmet triple stack beef burgers, Greek pork and feta souvlaki and other international delights.
Where: 1-2 Exchange Square, EC2A 2BQ
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court (0.2 miles)
What: Palace Skating
Why: Why wouldn’t you want to skate along the paths Henry VIII once walked? The setting is perhaps one of the most wonderful in London and adds to the romance of the festive season. And since skating is bound to make you hungry, head to the ringside lodge after and tuck into an afternoon tea, indulge in a fondue and settle in with your mulled wine or hot chocolate.
Where: Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, KT8 9AU
Natural History Museum
What: Historical Skating
Why: Follow a day of learning at the Natural History Museum with a skate outside of the majestic Waterhouse building. The surrounding trees have been adorned with fairy lights and there’s a Christmas tree in the middle of the rink. Get into the festive spirit with the mulled wine and toasted marshmallows, non skaters too can join in the festivities from the Café Bar and Balcony which gives a birds eye view of the rink. It’s surely the most magical of all London’s rinks.
Where: Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 5BD
What: Skating and Bowling
Why: Establishing itself in the 30s, Queens: Skate-Dine-Bowl has been entertaining Londoners for more than our lifetimes. It has recently undergone a renovation, but maintains that retro charm. As the name suggests, as well as the ice rink there are 12 bowling lanes – the fun doesn’t have to stop at the skating. Grab a drink at either of their 2 bars, then don those skates for a night of festive fun…if you weren’t like Bambi on ice before, you will be now!
Where: 17 Queensway, Bayswater, W2 4QP
Tower of London
Tower Hill (0.2 miles)
What: Skating and Stunning Views
Why: This season, skate by the home of The Crown Jewels. The views across the Tower are pretty spectacular and if you’re skating at night, snowflake lights will light up the Tower, adding to the magic of the experience. By the rink will be the Eis Haus and Après Bar, the former was created from over 10 tonnes of ice, and features a carved ice throne photo booth. Settle into the Chesterfield sofas in the Après Bar and take in the history of the 1000 year old moat you’ll be sat beside.
Where: The Tower Of London, London, EC3N 4AB
What: Riverside Skating
Why: One of London’s most iconic ice rinks returns. At Somerset House, skaters are surrounded by the neo-classical architecture while Fortnum and Mason take over the the West Wing as it temporarily becomes ‘Fortnum’s Lodge’. The Lodge serves up dishes like Welsh rarebit as well as signature skate extras, including the Chocolossus hot chocolate, fondue and wine for two, and smoked salmon, caviar and blinis.
Where: Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA
What: LED Skating
Why: Light up your skate at Luminocity. The rink in Canary Wharf has 8km of LED lights beneath it – yes, you read correctly, you’ll be skating on colourful ice. By the rink is the Luminocity Bar where you’ll be able to enjoy food by Pulled, known for their slow cooked meats served in brioche buns; and Waffle On known for their handmade Belgian waffles which come with a range of delicious toppings. Accompany this all with festive drinks and skating can becoming a whole night out.
Where: Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AB