What better way to bring in the festive season than by showing off your ice skating skills? Luckily the capital has a generous offering of ice rinks to suit all tastes, whether you want a traditional experience by one of London’s many landmarks or something a little different. Even if you’re not so comfortable on the ice, our picks offer everything from club nights and photobooths to bars and street food. Time to don your bobbly hat and get out there!
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Arguably the ultimate festive London activity, skating in front of the beautiful Natural History Museum will make you feel like you are in a Richard Curtis movie. Surrounded by thousands of fairy lights, you can glide along with friends, family, or maybe even hold gloved hands with a lover, and when you’re tired out you can enjoy watching others skating from the cosy ice rink café. This is a popular choice, so make sure to book in advance or choose quieter times on a weekday to visit.
The Natural History Museum Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD. Book tickets here.
Canary Wharf Ice Rink
A bit further afield in London’s financial district is Luminocity, which has gone the extra mile by offering skating as a fully immersive light experience. Over 8km of LED lights are layered beneath the ice, covering skaters in immense swathes of light and 16 million different colours. Covered by an impressive glass roof that shows off the majestic skyscrapers above, this rink also allows skating whatever the weather.
Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AB. Book tickets here.
Somerset House Ice Rink
Alongside being one of London’s most iconic ice skating venues, Somerset House provides an incredible range of events each festive season to add extra enjoyment to the ice skating experience, including club nights and children’s events. Whether you’ve just found out you’ll be lonely this Christmas and you want to skate along to break-up bangers at You Suck, or want to see an army of drag queens take on the ice at Savage, this classic Central London skating venue offers some surprisingly alternative experiences.
Somerset House, Strand, London,WC2R 1LA. Book tickets here.
Broadgate London Ice Rink
Based in London’s Liverpool Street, this ice rink combines East London cool with traditional ice skating. Skate below the city’s lit-up buildings and enjoy a diverse array of pop-up street food outlets as part of the Urban Food Festival, from Greek pork to French tofu. Afterwards, sip an ice wine or mulled cider in the wine bar whilst overlooking the other skaters.
Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, Broadgate,EC2A 2BQ. Book tickets here.
Tower of London Ice Rink
If you want an ice skating experience steeped in history, head down to the Tower Of London and skate beside the dramatic backdrop of the Tower, the ancient fortress and the Thames, in a centuries old dry moat. They have undoubtedly taken the ice theme to heart, with an Eis Haus bar where absolutely everything is made of ice, from the interior walls and crystal ice sculptures to the glass for your drink. Capture your evening with friends in the Ice Cable Car Photo Booth, and remember to wrap up warm!
St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB. Book tickets here.