You don’t have to travel to a cold country to experience ice skating, in fact there are plenty of options right here in London. Whether you gracefully slide across the sheet of white or flap and flail like a lost penguin, ice skating can be a great pastime and will really help you get into the Christmas spirit. England may not be world leaders in winter sports, but we certainly know how to create rinks with style, and if you’re more interested in the atmosphere than anything else, not even Scandinavia could compete.
Canary Wharf Ice Rink
Even the businessmen and bankers in Canary Wharf like to let their hair down every once in a while. This ice rink is surrounded by London’s tallest buildings and contains a very intriguing path down to the main space through a collection of luminous trees and sculptures. Outside the rink is equally impressive and contains a vast array of pop-up restaurants serving craft beer, mulled wine and hot chocolate.
London Eye Ice Rink
The London Eye Ice Rink – also known as Eyeskate – is situated in Jubilee Gardens. While it’s not the best rink in the city, it definitely has one of the most spectacular views – the glowing blue Eye spins in the background while you skate. The rink itself is 300 metres squared, making it one of the largest in the city, and sessions last for 45 minutes. Discounts are available if you also book a ride on the Eye.
Tower Ice Rink
The Tower of London is one of the most iconic landmarks in the entire country. The ice rink is situated in the moat that surrounds this gigantic building and the magnificent fortress battlements provide the perfect backdrop, especially when they’re illuminated in the evenings. The Tower of London has also had the privilege of being awarded the title of “most dramatic setting for an ice rink” by Red Magazine.
Winter Wonderland Ice Rink
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is a must for anyone in London this December. It’s one of the biggest and best festive events in the country, featuring everything from food markets to roller coasters. Slap bang in the middle is the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, which is the largest ice rink in the United Kingdom and features a huge fluorescent backdrop of fairground attractions.
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
The Natural History Museum has to be one of the most visited buildings in London, but at Christmas it’s not just the prehistoric beasts that people want to see. The ice rink is 1,000 metres squared and placed right in front of a row of trees that frame the iconic building. Overlooking the rink is a very charming café, which is ideal if you want to warm your bones with a post session cuppa.
Wembley Park Ice Rink
The Wembley Park ice rink is in the perfect location; the glittering arch hovers above the ice and it’s just a moment’s walk from the London Designer Outlet Centre and German Market. The best thing about skating in this 600 metre squared rink is that with every ticket you also get a free hot chocolate for after the session.
There’s nothing like an ice rink to get you into the Christmas spirit. While these locations are the most visually striking, London has plenty more on offer, such as at Westfield, Hampton Court Palace and Vauxhall.
If you want an even more picturesque view of London’s ice rinks take a flight on the London Helicopter and see them glimmer from above.