A winter skate at one of London’s pop-up ice rinks is a must at Christmas! Here are the best spots to skate in north, south, east and west London…
Photo: Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park
1 Skate at Somerset House, the Strand
The popular Skate at Somerset House with Moët & Chandon is back with an impressive 40ft Christmas tree, contemporary music, gifts from Hotel Choclat and an array of food and drink to keep you warm. There’s also Skate Lates with Kiss DJs and Saturday morning sessions with Disney+.
Dates: November 17-January 16, 2022
Tickets: From £11
Address: The Strand WC2R 1LA
2 Natural History Museum Ice Rink, South Kensington
The Natural History Museum Ice Rink is one of London’s most popular, set against the backdrop of the imposing Natural History Museum with a sparkling 30ft Christmas tree. It’s also the last time you’ll get to grace the ice here, as next year, the museum will transform the gardens into a hub for urban wildlife as part of the museum’s campaign to encourage people to help the nature around them. The Penguin Skate Club runs lessons for children aged four to eight, and there’s a number of sessions for wheelchair skate sessions throughout the season too. It’s recommended to book ahead.
Dates: October 22 – January 16, 2022
Tickets: From £12.65/£8.80
Address:Cromwell Road, South Kensington SW7 5BD
3 Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland has the largest open air ice rink in the UK at 1,765 sq m. Set around Hyde Park’s iconic Victorian bandstand under a canopy of sparkling lights, it’s one of London’s most atmospheric outdoor ice rinks – with live music throughout the day and night. You can also enjoy a hot chocolate or festive drink from the spectator’s platform. The 50-minute skate sessions run on the hour every hour from 10am-9pm and there are penguin skate aids for the little ones.
Dates: November 26 – January 3, 2022
Tickets: From £10.50/£7.50 adult/child
Address: Hyde Park W2 2UH
4 Hampton Court Palace
Situated in the gardens of Henry VIII’s historic home, this open-air ice rink offers you spectacular views of the historic Hampton Court Palace while gliding across the ice. Whether you’re looking for a memorable ice-skating experience or a place to catch up with your loved ones, this Tudor palace in south west London (well, ok, it’s technically Surrey), is the place to do it. Sessions last for 45 minutes, penguin skate aids are available to hire for £5 and festive refreshments are available.
Dates: November 13 – January 9
Tickets: From £16/£11.50 adult/child
Address: Hampton Court, Surrey KT8 9AU
5 Skylight’s Rooftop Ice Rink, Wapping
Skate sky high at the rooftop ice rink at Skylight at Tobacco Dock Wapping, which is a festive addition to the venue, along with igloos, an après ski lodge, speakeasy cocktail bar and Christmas cocktail cinema. Ice skating sessions run for 45 minutes and can only be booked on the day, at the venue, and table or igloo reservation is highly recommended.
Dates: From November 5
Time: Thursday-Saturday 12pm-10pm; Sunday 12pm-10pm
Address: Pennington Street Car Park, Wapping E1W 2SF
6 JW3 Ice Rink, Finchley Road
The JW3 Ice Rink is one of your dinkier numbers, with a skating area of 200 sq m, but the special events, glimmering lights, music and electric atmosphere make it a great one to visit regardless. There are penguin stabilisers and seated banana toboggans for wobbly little ones, as well as hot chocolate, mulled wine, pizzas, doughnuts and kosher treats at Zest Café. The 50-minute sessions run throughout the daytime, starting at 10am and running up until the final session at 7.20pm (select days have limited sessions).
Dates: December 5 – January 2, 2022
Tickets: £13/£8 adult/child
Time: Times vary
Address: 341-351 Finchley Road NW3 6ET
7 The Queen’s House, Greenwich
Set against the backdrop of a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site and iconic architecture, the Queen’s House ice rink offers the chance to skate in front of the ‘House of delight’, built especially for James I’s Queen, while also soaking up the beauty of Greenwich Park and the spectacular views across the river to Canary Wharf. There’s a supply of warming winter snacks from Benugo’s catering stall, and Greenwich town centre’s wealth of restaurants, cafes and cars are a stone’s throw away.
Dates: November 18 – January 9, 2022
Tickets: From £15/£8.50 adult/child
Address: Queen’s House, Greenwich SE10 9NF
8 Ally Pally Ice Rink, Alexandra Palace
The indoor rink at Alexandra Palace is open all year round, but you only get Panto On Ice at Christmas time (Dec 6-12). This year, the rink plays host to The Nutcracker on Ice which features Disney On Ice performers and tells the story of Clara who teams up with the Nutcracker Prince to restore order in a not-quite-right enchanted kingdom. There’s also Christmas Club de Fromage discos, where you can wobble around to your favourite festive tunes and treat yourself to a mulled wine or snack at the Ice Cafe. Christmas skate sessions are available on the weekend throughout November and then during the school holidays from December 18 to January 3, 2022.
Tickets: From £9/£8
Time: Opens daily from 11am, closing times vary
Address: Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY
9 QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl, Queensway
QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl in west London is always coming up with new ways to have fun on the ice, and in addition to the indoor ice-skating rink (open all year round), there’s also curling and bowling. There’s also food and drink by MEATliqour at the rink side bar Sin Bin to fill you up. Good to know – QUEENS is for over 18s only after 8pm every evening.
Tickets: From £11.95/£10.50 over 12s/under 12s
Time: Sunday to Thursday 10am-11pm; Friday and Saturday 10am-12am
Address: 17 Queensway W2 4QP