9 Of London’s Best Ice Rinks
Hampton Court Palace
It’s all about atmosphere at Hampton Court Palace’s 1,040sq m ice rink, which has opened to the public for its annual run. Located in front of the Tudor palace, the open-air rink offers space for novices and experts alike. With 500 years of history to discover across the palace, we recommend arriving early to explore the spectacular State Apartments, 65-acres of formal gardens and its world-famous maze.
Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
Natural History Museum
Set against the backdrop of the Waterhouse building, the ice rink at the Natural History Museum is one of the most festive places to be this winter. Surrounded by fairy lights and frost-covered trees, the open-air rink continues to be one of the capital’s most popular. We like the Café Bar, which has a bird's-eye view over the skaters and is open until the rink closes – guests can warm up with tea, coffee, hot chocolate and mulled wine.
Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 5BD
Somerset House’s Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court is the backdrop to one of London’s most beautiful ice rinks, where you can skate day or night with family and friends. This year’s Skate Lates will feature an extra-special series of music nights throughout the season, including sets from DJ Yoda and Joe Goddard. Après-skate, guests can treat themselves at Fortnum’s Lodge with a ‘Skate Extra’. All designed for two to share, these include the likes of chocolate fondue and champagne. Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade will also return, transforming the West Wing into a one-stop festive shopping destination.
Strand, Covent Garden, WC2R 1LA
Following a successful summer season, Skylight is staying open, bringing out the blankets, turning on the heaters and transforming its sunlit terraces into warm and inviting spaces designed for shorter days and cooler nights. Its winter pop-up is home to a rooftop ice rink alongside festive food, drink and activities such as ice hockey shooting. The team has added cosy igloos and mountain huts on its top level, transporting guests to a wintry wonderland perched above the city – the perfect spot to sip on a mulled wine, roasted chestnuts in hand.
Wapping Lane, Wapping, E1W 2SF
Tower of London
Ice skating at the Tower of London takes place in atmospheric environs of the tower’s famous former moat. As you glide around the 1,040sq m rink, guests can take in the ambience of the castle and the views over the Thames. In the evenings, a light display will come into its own – set against the castle wall, this display adds a dramatic glow to proceedings.
Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB
A sister site to nearby hotspot Tonight Josephine, this cool bar resides atop Mercury House in Waterloo. Survive the six flights of stairs, and you’ll be treated to an extensive range of cocktails and plenty of Insta-ready vistas. This season, Bar Elba will launch its first rooftop skating rink pop-up. Guests will be able to enjoy the rink alongside cocktails and hot festive drinks.
109-117 Waterloo Road, Waterloo, SE1 8UL
There’s a reason Winter Wonderland still appeals year after year. Home to the UK’s largest ice rink, this Hyde Park staple gives guests the chance to grab their skates and take to the rink, which is set around the park’s Victorian bandstand under a canopy of sparkling lights. If skating to live music isn’t your thing, you can enjoy a hot chocolate or festive drink from the spectator’s platform. Don’t forget to hire a table in the Bavarian beer hall.
Hyde Park, W2 2UH
As Camden Market celebrates its 45th anniversary, the market’s North Yard is being transformed into north London's longest ice rink. The 25m illuminated ice rink has been decked out with fairy lights, providing a wonderful opportunity to skate under the sparkles. From 23rd November you’ll find ‘Santa in the Stables’, an enchanted grotto where Father Christmas will be putting on a mini magical show and workshop for little ones.
Camden Stables Market, Camden, NW1 8AH
Ally Pally’s ice rink is synonymous with the building itself, providing revellers with the opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit alongside its iconic panoramic London skyline. Unlike most ice rinks, Ally Pally’s is open year-round and this December will host a range of events including Pinocchio on Ice, a festive retelling of the family favourite featuring a cast of all ages and a mix of traditional and modern music. A great one for kids.
Alexandra Palace Way, Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY
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