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Winter Wonderland via Facebook

The Best Ice Rinks in London For Dates, Family Outings and More

9 November 2018

The weather’s getting greyer, and if you listen really hard, you can hear suspiciously jingly bells in the distance. Yes, that’s right: London’s starting to get Christmassy, and that means outdoor ice rinks. Sure, you can fall over in front of hundreds of people at any time of year at London’s indoor rinks, but there's nothing better than feeling the crisp air on your face as you wibble and wobble your way around the rink like Father Christmas’s belly. Whether you’re as at home on the ice as Theresa May on the dancefloor or you still need one of those penguin stabilisers to get around, this beautiful selection of outdoor rinks will have you feeling more festive than a Christmas pudding. Just try not to knock anyone over…

Best for going with friends: Natural History Museum
The spectacular building of the Natural History Museum makes for a perfect setting for a Christmastime skate session for you and your pals. There’s a rinkside café for getting in those marshmallow-stuffed hot chocolates, a little balcony for watching the quaint scenes below (no skating ticket required for either) and if you really don’t fancy getting your skates on, a fairground carousel will be on site to take you for a less slippery spin.
 
Image: Natural History Museum via Facebook

Natural History Museum Ice Rink, 25 October 2018 - 20 January 2019, 10am - 9pm (times vary)
 
Best for families: Tower of London
Fabulous for a family day out, The Tower of London’s impressive ice rink is set in the historic dry moat against the imposing medieval backdrop of the Tower. The rink comes with a cosy café with snacks and tipples for young and old, and there are also morning sessions great for little ones which give you the opportunity to make a full day of it by combining a skate session with a visit to the fortress itself, home to almost 1,000 years of history, the awe-inspiring Crown Jewels, and of course, the iconic Beefeaters.
 
Image: Tower of London via Facebook

Tower of London Ice Rink, 23 November – 6 January, 11am – 9pm

Best newcomer: Walthamstow Winter Wonderland
Perfect for East London dwellers who don't fancy a big trip into central London to get into the Christmas spirit this year, Walthamstow Winter Wonderland is a brand new community event celebrating Waltham Forest. The Winter Wonderland will be offering festive ice skating smack bang in Walthamstow town centre. Skating on the town square will make you feel just like a character in a Dutch landscape painting. Visitors can also expect a full array of on-stage entertainment and amusements all centred around the town square.
 
Walthamstow Winter Wonderland, 1 December - 28 December, 10am - 10pm
 
Best for a cute date: Skylight Rooftop
Skylight changes its rooftop offerings with the season, and winter is not set to disappoint. The venue will play host to Europe's only rooftop ice rink(!) and adorably cosy igloos and huts to hang out in and maybe sneak a private moment, as well as heated après skate bars serving a delicious array of warming winter cocktails and mulled wine to share with your date. If you’re hungry after a particularly intensive skating session, the Raclette Brothers will be on hand to save you from a rumbling tummy with copious amounts of melted cheese. Très sophistiqué!

Image: Skylight via Facebook
 
Skylight, Tobacco Dock, Thurs-Fri: 5pm - 11pm, Sat-Sun: 11am - 11pm in November and December
 
Best for a party: Somerset House
The stunning Somerset House and its courtyard is an unmissable place to visit for any Londoner, and in winter it forms the backdrop to a beautiful ice rink. Skate Lates, a special series of music nights throughout the season with a range of up and coming selectors. Keep an eye out in particular for indispensable Kingsland High Street hangout Dalston Superstore as it takes over Skate Lates for the first time on 12 December. Après-skate, get some posh Christmas shopping in early at the Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade in the West Wing.
 
Image: Somerset House via Facebook

Somerset House Ice Rink, 14 November – 13 January, Skate Lates selected Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
 
Best for a Christmas overdose: Winter Wonderland
It’s the biggest, it’s the loudest, it’s Christmas on steroids: it’s Winter Wonderland. And this year, Winter Wonderland’s outdoor ice rink – already the UK’s largest – is getting bigger, so you certainly won’t be wanting for space to stretch your legs. The rink is set around Hyde Park’s Victorian bandstand under a canopy of lights and live music from the bandstand provides a rather romantic atmosphere. If skating isn’t your thing, then there is of course a metric ton of other Christmassy activities to be enjoyed.

Image: Winter Wonderland via Facebook
 
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, 23 November - 6 January, 10am – 10pm

 

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