Ice skating in and around London
Feature by Lizzie Guilfoyle
IF YOU enjoy ice-skating or even just watching others take to the ice, there are several ice rinks to chose from, both in and around the capital, this coming festive season.
Canary Wharf – from November 3, 2012 to January 13, 2013.
The ice rink is situated in Canada Square Park, in the heart of Canary Wharf and is perfect for children and grown-ups, solo skaters and office parties and maybe even for that special romantic date.
This year, there’s a new look bar and spectators area as well as a brand new ice rink design, featuring London’s first skate path.
Canary Wharf has over 240 shops, bars and restaurants and great transport links, making the location perfect for a day or evening out. During weekends and Bank Holidays visitors can receive free parking by spending over £10 in any of Canary Wharf’s bars, shops, restaurants or at the ice rink itself.
Canary Wharf Ice Rink Website
Natural History Museum – from November 2, 2012 until January 6, 2013.
Set within the historic Victorian grounds of the Natural History Museum, the impressive 1,000 square metre ice rink has become an integral part of London’s winter scene since it first opened in 2005.
Attracting beginners and advanced skaters alike, as well as those simply wanting to bask in the festive atmosphere, the impressive 1,000 square metre ice rink is a London must-see during winter.
Read more l Natural History Museum Website
Somerset House – from November 16, 2012 to January 6, 2013
Now celebrating its 13th birthday, this is London’s original outdoor ice rink. Situated in the magnificent courtyard of Somerset House, it’s presided over by a giant Christmas tree festooned with lights. As well as Club Nights, there are Skate Lessons for anyone aged 8 and over, while for little people there’s the Penguin Club, which provides a safe environment for their first steps on the ice.
Alternatively, you can soak up the atmosphere rink-side at Tom’s Skate Lounge or pick up the perfect present at the new luxury pop-up shop, The Christmas Arcade.
Somerset House Website
Tower of London – from November 17, 2012 to January 6, 2013.
Back for an eighth year, the rink is situated in the moat beneath the north wall and is ideal for lunchtime skating, after-work gatherings, romantic dates and weekend leisure. Beautifully illuminated after dark, it makes a spectacular night time destination.
Beside the ice rink, the Ice Bar and Cafe provides a welcome place to warm up after skating, serving a selection of winter drinks and festive snacks.
Hampton Court – December 1, 2012 to January 13, 2013.
For the tenth year, visitors can enjoy the winter sun as it glistens on the ice, and after dark, skate under the stars. The Palace will be illuminated after the sun goes down, providing a magical fairytale scene to delight young and old!
There are ice skating lessons for children aged 5 – 16 and an Ice Bar and Cafe serving a selection of winter drinks and festive snacks.
Hampton Court Ice Rink Website
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink – open all year round
Alexandra Palace’s ice rink is situated against the backdrop of its dramatic Victorian architecture. It has long been viewed as London’s ice rink, and home to the region’s ice skating communities. Last year, the rink underwent a £2.3 million refurbishment, massively improving public skating conditions and also allowing it to be used as a competitive standard ice skating venue.
Alexandra Palace Website
Winter Wonderland – November 23, 2012 to January 6, 2013.
Set between Hyde Park Corner and the Serpentine, Winter Wonderland will once again transform London’s Hyde Park into an exciting world of ice and festive fun that will delight not only children but adults too.
Winter Wonderland Website
London Eye Ice Rink – November 17, 2012 to January 6, 2013
The ice rink is situated in the shadow of the EDF Energy London Eye, right in the heart of the festive South Bank. To find out more visit the London Eye Ice Rink Website