London’s Best Open Air Skating Rinks

London Ice Skating

We’ve hit peak Christmas time and everywhere around us there’s winter rooftops, Christmas light displays, magical things to do with the kiddos, and of course ice rinks’. Amazing for date nights and whizzing around with the kids, there’s nothing more Christmassy than ice skating in the open air. Okay, apart from catching Mummy kissing Santa Claus. Or reindeer sledding in Lapland. Or singing O Holy Night under a Victorian lamp post. BUT, other than all that, there really couldn’t be anything more Christmassy than ice skating in the open air.

And because we’re here to make your winter as Christmassy as possible, here are some of our favourite skating rinks, booking now and back for another Christmas season!

Somerset House

Somerset House

Somerset House has been putting on winter skating for over two decades now and remains the most popular outdoor rink of the season and probably the most ‘London’ place you can skate. Well, unless you include the actual river Thames, which last froze properly in 1814 when it hosted its last ‘frost fair’.

From skating lessons with Skate School and ‘Chilled Out’ sessions, to DJs on the rink-side decks, there’s something for everyone.

when: 15 Nov 2023 – 14 Jan 2024

Where: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA

Website: www.somersethouse.org.uk

Glide at Battersea Power Station

Glide Battersea

Enjoy the ultimate festive ice rink this season, while taking in the backdrop of one of London’s most iconic buildings. Glide is London’s only riverside ice rink and has much more to offer than skating. Hop on an amusement ride, take in the live music, or sip on a mulled wine all whilst enjoying the holiday ambiance.

When you’re done skating, take in Battersea Power Station’s 120 shops, bars, cafes, entertainment venues and restaurants, including the likes of Gordon Ramsay Street Pizza, Le Bab, Where the Pancakes are and delicious Malaysian plates by Roti King. A perfect spot to spend some quality family time, go on a date, or make memories with dear friends.

When: From November 10

Where: Nine Elms, London SW11 8EF

Website: www.glidebatterseapowerstation.co.uk

Winter Wonderland

 

Winter Wonderland

It’s not officially Christmas until you’ve been to Winter Wonderland. The sprawling Christmas fair is always thronging with fun-seekers enjoying their time on the myriad fairground rides, in the bier haus or shopping for trinkets in the market.

But a top-tip, from one Winter Wonderland aficionado to another, is to cut out everything else and head straight to the large outdoor skating rink. Surely one of London’s largest rinks, it’s built around a Victorian bandstand and, in the evening, below a canopy of fairy-lights, it’s the perfect way to start your inevitable trip to Winter Wonderland.

When: 18 Nov 2022 – 2 Jan 2023

Where: Hyde Park

Website: www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton House

Don’t lose your head (or any peripheral body parts, I’m always terrified for my poor fingers) at Hampton Court Palace this winter as the ice rink returns for another year.

Hampton Court was originally intended to rival Versailles, so you would be hard pressed to find a more extra place to skate. 

when: 17 November 2023 – 07 January 2024

Where: Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, KT8 9AU, United Kingdom

Website: www.hrp.org.uk

Skylight

Skylight

Every summer our readers go completely wild for a rooftop pool, so how about a rooftop skating rink? Well you’ll be glad to know that your rooftop fix is catered for at Skylight at Wapping’s Tobacco Dock.

Small but perfectly formed, the rink is a firm Handbook favourite, and it’s only part of the offering at Tobacco Dock this autumn. The heated igloos are back again, there’s live DJs and festive street food from Mac n Cheese to bratwurst are on the menu. All set to a panoramic view of East London. You’d better get your skates on!

when: From 10 November

Where: Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street entrance, St Katharine’s and Wapping, E1W 2SF

Website: www.skylightlondon.com

The Queen’s House, Royal Museums Greenwich

Greenwich

Let’s all go skating down at the Queen’s House! No, not Buckingham Palace but the exquisite mansion opposite the Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

The Royal Museums Greenwich rink is set in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by famed architecture and stunning views. You might consider a cultural afternoon spent glimpsing the college, the park and the Cutty Sark, followed by a romantic skate and a broken collar bone beneath the twinkling lights of this Georgian masterpiece

when: 23 November 2023 – 7 January 2024

Where: Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF

Website: www.rmg.co.uk

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf

Ice skate amongst the skyscrapers at Canary Wharf skating rink, which just happens to be the longest running in London.

This year skaters can enjoy themed sessions throughout the season including 80’s, 90’s and Soul Classics nights, meaning there is something for every skater to enjoy a twirl on the ice to this winter.

when:  21 October – 24 February

where: Canada Square, London E14 5AB

wesbite: canarywharf.com

Hanover Square

Hanover Square

You can never have enough ice rinks, and we have a brand new one set in the heart of the West End at Hanover Square, in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Glide around the uniquely designed elliptical rink taking in the historic surrounds, or warm up with a tipple or hot drink at the beautiful seasonal bar in the centre of the square.

Perfect for after-work fun, a magical setting for date nights or just escaping from the Christmas shopping bustle – make Skate West End your new Christmas highlight.

when: 04.11.2023 – 01.01.2024

where: Hanover Square, Westminster, London, W1S 1HD

website: skatewestend.com


Want to receive more great articles like this every day? Join our daily email now