The London Ice Sculpting Festival is held once a year in Canary Wharf, and in 2014 will take place from 10th-12th January. It is a completely free event where the public is welcome to come and witness professional and award winning ice sculptors create amazing frozen designs.

There is nothing like seeing an artist at work, and at the London Ice Sculpting Festival you can witness world-class teams and individuals at work. Whether you go for one day, or for all three, it’s definitely worth dropping into the event just to witness the sheer amount of exciting activities taking place.


The main attraction of the festival is the three competitions it holds. The first is the single block competition, with a theme of ‘River Life’ this year. A 2-man team sculpts each piece; this is the first competition, taking place on 10th January.

Ice Sculpting Canary wharf
Ice sculpting is a fun activity.

The second competition is a freestyle competition with no theme. Individual sculptors enter this competition; they can completely surprise the judges and the public with interesting, unique and sometimes unusual designs.

The last competition, spread across the 11th and 12th, is the ‘Big Block’ competition. The theme is ‘Fabulous Fashion’ and is again sculpted by 2 man teams. The winner of this competition is decided by a panel of art experts, but the voting is also open to the public for their favourite design, which will also win a prize.

Winter Market

Alongside the incredible ice sculptures you can enjoy a hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate from the hot drink stalls and bar. This is sure to keep you warm when you’re surrounded by icy chills!

You can also wander around the winter food market, which offers a large variety of hot and cold food for you to eat immediately or save to take home later. This market complements the main events perfectly, and is a brilliant addition to the entire festival.

Master Classes

If you like the look of all the ice sculptures then there is also the opportunity for you to sign up for some master classes and learn from the experts! You’ll get a basic lesson in sculpture; previous projects have included making a penguin out of ice.

Master classes are held in a variety of locations, and you have to sign up for them on the day. Make sure it’s the first thing you do, as the master classes get full very quickly, so you don’t want to be disappointed!

Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf hosts this great event.

Extra Information

The weather conditions also play a part in the London Ice Sculpting Festival. If it rains heavily, the sculpting may temporarily stop for health and safety reasons.

Getting to and from the festival location is quite easy; on the London Underground you take the Jubilee line to Canary Wharf. You can also get the DLR to Canary Wharf or hop on the Thames Clipper. If you want to drive, then the postcode is E14 5AX, which you can easily pop into your satellite navigation device.

If you want to get an idea of what kind of things to expect, then there are plenty of amazing images from festivals gone by online, so why not check them out and see for yourself?


The London Sculpting Festival at Canary Wharf is a brilliant, exciting and unique event enjoyed by many every year. One of the greatest things about it is that it is completely free and can be enjoyed by everyone! Whether you go with friends, family or your partner, you’re sure to have a great day out and make some wonderful memories.

Image credits: Tim Gillin and Dave Straven

Back to blog