Ice Rink Canary Wharf has returned to Canada Square Park for 15 weeks of festive ice skating. Open seven days a week, it's the ideal spot to enjoy one of London's most-loved winter traditions – and it’s right next to an abundance of shops, restaurants and bars – perfect for making an afternoon or evening of it. Take a turn on the ice, skating around the main 1200sq m rink, or stay close to the action at the rink-side bar. Good news for skating fans – the rink is open all the way through until February 2019.
Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AB
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
John Lewis & Partners
Following on from its lively Summer of Sound on the Roof, John Lewis & Partners has launched the ultimate winter hideaway in collaboration with Sipsmith Gin. The winter rooftop draws inspiration from the hedonistic frost fairs that took place on the frozen River Thames during the cold months of the 17th century, when shop owners would set up stalls selling hot gin. Along with a complete makeover, for the first time ever the venue will host its own skating rink allowing visitors to practice their pirouettes right on the roof. Background Bars will be on hand, serving a variety of winter-themed tipples such as mulled apple punch and chamomile fizz.
300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX
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
Queens Skate Dine Bowl
Queens Skate Dine Bowl has announced it will be the only indoor ice rink in London to come guaranteed with a side of snow this Christmas. Launching this week, custom-made snow cannons will create a truly wintery skating experience. Taking place every Saturday, Queens will also host singalong skating sessions (expect plenty of Mariah), plus singalong screenings of the nation's favourite Christmas classics. Brand new for 2018 is the Sin Bin, London's only dedicated curling rink-side bar and diner offering guests a relaxing spot to eat MEATLiquor fare after taking to the ice.
17 Queensway, Bayswater, W2 4QP
Somerset House’s Edmond J. Safra Fountain courtyard 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, Skate Lates features an extra-special series of music nights throughout the season – the perfect start to the weekend. Après-skate, guests can treat themselves at Fortnum’s Lodge with a ‘skate extra’, all designed for two to share – we like the sound of the champagne and chocolate fondue. Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade will also return, transforming the West Wing into a one-stop, essential 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. 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, and admire London's twinkling skyline with friends. Joining the street food team this year is Raclette Brothers, who’ll keep everyone warm with its mountains of melted cheese.
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. New for this year are its early-morning sessions – perfect for little skaters and families who want to get to grips with the ice before it gets a little busier. Come evening, the lights come into their own – set against the castle wall, this display adds a dramatic glow to proceedings.
Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB
Walthamstow Winter Wonderland
In celebration of the area winning the ‘London Borough of Culture 2019’ award, Walthamstow has launched ‘Walthamstow Winter Wonderland’, a community event in the town square that’s free to the public. The festive event will feature street food, craft and gift stalls, entertainment, amusements and – most importantly – a super-sized ice rink. The event will run every Sunday from 10am-5pm during the Christmas period.
642 Lea Bridge Road, Walthamstow, E10 6AP
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. New for 2018 across the park are The Magical Ice Kingdom Presents: The Secret Forest, Peter Pan On Ice, a 45m-long ice slide, ice-sculpting workshops and an 85m long ice trike trail. Don’t forget to hire a table in the Bavarian beer hall.
Hyde Park, W2 2UH
An all-encompassing festive experience, expect Winterville to be packed with something for everyone, from live DJs, comedy, musical bingo, roaming magicians, Mexican wrestling, food from Street Feast, Backyard Cinema and club nights in the Roller Disco to crazy golf on a UV-powered course and a funfair. Best of all is its huge outdoor ice rink, where everyone from kids to pros can take to the ice against the backdrop of Clapham Common.
Windmill Drive, Clapham Common, SW4 9DE