Whether you consider your ice skating ability equal to one half of professional figure skating duo Torvill and Dean, or you better resemble a new-born deer taking its first steps, going to an ice rink is an enjoyable, and occasionally hilarious day out for all. Here’s peppermints round-up of the best outdoor ice rinks in the capital – it’s time to get your skates on…
Skate at Somerset House
If scenic is what you’re after then this one is for you! Enjoy a skating session in front of the stunning neoclassical courtyard of Somerset House on the 900-metre-sqaure outdoor rink. Skating lessons are offered for those who wish to learn or if you’re happier watching from the side-lines grab a cocktail in the bar overlooking the ice rink which lights up beautifully at night.
Winterville – Ice Rink within a magical Christmas village at Victoria Park.
As part of a wintery day out at the Christmas village, take time out to skate on the 600-square-metre outdoor rink. Spectators are able to watch for free and for little ones there are penguin skating aids that can be borrowed to stop any slippery accidents. Booking in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment, especially on the weekend and school holiday.
For more Christmas fairs and market read our article for the cream of the crop this festive season.
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
Skate in the regal surrounding of King Henry VIII’s palace, boasting a 900-metre-sqaure outdoor rink there’s space to show off your moves on the ice. For the more nervous skaters there are ice guides and lessons available. Alternatively, sip mulled wine from the bar and watch the chaos on the ice ensue.
The longest running outdoor ice rink in London is set in the heart of the City of London surrounded by shops and only a short walk from the Spitafields Market if you plan on getting some Christmas shopping ticked off your list. Pop into restaurant and bar, The Tasting Room, next door for a revitalising drink and snack after working out your muscles on the ice rink! Amongst festive favourites on the menu, is a winter warmer selection including mulled wine and cider.
Natural History Museum
This is London’s most enchanting spot for an ice rink in the shadow of the beautiful Natural History Museum building, rows of trees stand dripping in fairy lights and a towering Christmas tree in the centre, making for an impressive view after dark. The main 1,000-metre-square rink and an adjoining smaller rink for the kiddies… or the less confident skaters who don’t want to be knocked off their feet by experienced skaters whizzing past. With live music (Thursdays only), a carousel and if you’ve exhausted all the festive treats on offer explore the museum itself – you can spend an entire day there!
Canary Wharf Ice Rink
In amongst the concrete jungle of high-rise corporate buildings sits the Canary Wharf Ice Rink, at just under 1,100-metre-squared (the biggest of our selection by a hair) it boasts a unique skate path which takes you under magical fairy light draped trees and around Ron Arad’s ‘Big Blue’ sculpture and back again to the main skating arena. Group packages are available if you were thinking of hosting a work Christmas party there, belly laughs are guaranteed!