The Christmas countdown has begun and it’s officially the festive season. With less than a month to go, we’re happy to enjoy the build up and make the most of the various events and activities going on in and around London in the meantime.
One of the things that we love most about Christmas in London is that it means ice skating season! Experienced skaters and novices alike; ice skating is a great social activity in winter. It’s an excuse to don your woolly knits and strap on a pair of blades and do your best – all in the name of Christmas!
There are plenty of places to go in London to get your fix, so here are some of our favourites:
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Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Perhaps one of the most iconic ice rinks in London in the winter, the Natural History Museum is, arguably, an unbeatable backdrop for this romantic activity. Lit up at night, this ice rink is surrounded with trees draped in fairy-lights and is a great place to head with your loved one for a great selfie moment. Skate around the Christmas tree in the centre of the rink before you explore the Christmas stalls and chalets with mulled wine and chocolate treats on offer. You can’t help but feel the festive mood!
From 25 October 2018 – 20 January 2019; Adult tickets from £12.65, child tickets from £8.80
Underground stop: South Kensington
Skate at Somerset House
A favourite for local Londoners, Somerset House on the Strand is another of London’s most iconic buildings and at winter especially as it turns into something truly magical. Skate around the inner courtyard with friends and family and jig along to the sounds of a DJ on special club nights, too. Open well into the evening, Skate at Somerset House is a great way to end a day of sightseeing and enjoy an unusual night out. Wrap up warm because it could be a late one! Surrounding the rink are a variety of stalls in partnership with the luxury brand Fortnum & Mason, so you’ll be sure to taste some delicacies along the way.
From 14 November 2018 – 13 January 2019; Adult tickets from £11, child tickets from £8.50
Underground stop: Temple
Hampton Court Palace
The ice rink at Hampton Court Palace is one of our favourites for its location alone. Skating right outside this stunning royal palace, once home to King Henry VIII, you can’t beat it for a view! Why not combine a visit to Hampton Court Palace with ice skating for a really festive sightseeing experience. It’s one of the less crowded ice rinks so it might be a better option if you’re visiting with a family. If you need any more reason to go to Hampton Court Palace, just see what you can learn at this royal palace here.
From 23 November 2018 – 6 January 2019; Adult tickets from £14.50, child tickets from £11.50
Nearest station: Hampton Court train station
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park
London’s winter playground, Winter Wonderland, is a haven for those after some festive cheer. Set in the middle of Hyde Park it’s a great place to go to get in the Christmas mood as it’s dotted with arts and craft stalls and wooden Bavarian-themed huts selling mulled wine and German sausages. You can’t miss Winter Wonderland’s outdoor ice rink either where you can skate under the bright fairground lights and ferris wheel and through this Magical Ice Kingdom.
From 23 November 2018 – 6 January 2019; Adult tickets from £9.50, child tickets from £7.50
Underground stops: Bond Street, Green Park, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Paddington and Victoria
With the dramatic backdrop of The Tower of London on one side, and the buzzing atmosphere of the Thames on the other, could skating at the Tower of London be any more exciting? Oh yes, you’re skating inside the moat with lights beaming against the tower walls. After your skate, relax in their Cafe Bar with mulled wine and snacks. The Tower of London has named itself the most dramatic place to skate this Christmas, and we don’t think they’re wrong. If you want to go inside The Tower of London itself, entry is included with The London Pass.
From 23 November 2018 – 6 January 2019; Adult tickets from £14.50, child tickets from £10.50
Underground stop: Tower Hill
High above the bustling crowds on Oxford Street, located on top of the John Lewis department store, is a mini ice rink and gin bar. With views of the West End skyline, live music, gin cocktails and freshly baked pies, Skyline Skating is a skate experience like no other. After your skating session, enjoy the views while listening to music with drinks and snacks in hand. The rink only fits 21 people per session so booking is recommended.
From 20 October 2018 – 6 January 2019; Adult tickets from £8, child tickets from £6
Underground stop: Oxford Circus