Nobody likes skating on thin ice, so here’s a list of solid suggestions for places to go ice skating in London over the festive season.
We’re talking indoor rinks. We’re talking open-air rinks. And we’re talking about the real reason you want to go ice skating in the first place:
soaking up the crisp night air with your closest friends and loved ones boozy hot chocolate and fondue.
Behold, the best pop-up rinks in London…
Glide at Battersea Power Station | Battersea
Battersea Power Station has been regenerated: and to herald the iconic building opening to the public for the very first time, they’re unveiling a brand new ice rink for the festive season. Sandwiched between that stunning 1930s backdrop and the Thames, it’ll actually boast three interconnected rinks circling a giant, 30ft Christmas tree – plus there’ll be funfair rides, street food and mulled wine huts to check out afterwards.
Details: 11th November – 8th January | Battersea Power Station, Circus Rd W, Nine Elms, SW8 5BN | £12
Somerset House | Strand
It’s the ultimate ice rink, with beautiful surroundings, DJ nights and a 40ft Christmas tree. Skate Lates offer ice-capades that go on into the wee hours, soundtracked by the likes of Girls of Grime, Don’t F**k with Disco, and, er, James Acaster, while the Moët & Chandon rinkside bar, Hotel Chocolat cocoa truck and alpine restaurant from pop-up king Jimmy Garcia take care of the après-skate.
Details: 16th November – 15th January 2023 | Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA | £10-22
Winter Wonderland | Hyde Park
It’s the largest rink for outdoor ice skating in London, built around a Victorian bandstand centrepiece and illuminated by thousands of lights. Plus, it’s right next to all the other ludicrously festive attractions at Winter Wonderland, which this year include an ice slide; ice sculpting workshops and that time-honoured traditional favourite, the five-storey Canadian Mountie Funhouse.
Details: 18th November – 2nd January, daily from 10am-10pm | Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, W2 2UH | £10.50, plus entry ticket costs £0-7.50
Queens Skate, Dine, Bowl | Bayswater
Arguably the venue’s biggest draw, Queen’s Skate, Dine, Bowl is one of just a few places for ice skating in London that’s open year round. It’s a huge space – almost the size of two football pitches – overlooked by a bright, festoon-lit ceiling, and a buzzy rink-side bar/restaurant running its whole length. Here you can get your skates on for an hour or two, or hit the ice for an intense bout of curling on Thursday & Friday nights.
Details: Open daily | 17 Queensway, Bayswater, W2 4QP | £12.75-14.75 + £3 skate hire
Hampton Court Palace | Hampton Court
If Henry VIII hadn’t been so mercilessly riddled with gout, no doubt he would’ve enjoyed a spin on the ice rink now perched outside his majestic abode. The mandatory mulled wine and mince pies can be found at the nearby cafe, alongside other delights of the palace grounds, including a cracking maze and a winter lights trail.
Details: 17th November – 8th January, 10am-8.45pm | Hampton Court Palace, East Moseley, KT8 9AU | £18.70+
The Queen’s House | Greenwich
It won’t surprise you to hear that The Queen’s House is a grand, former royal mansion in Greenwich. This year it’ll be hosting an ice rink for the fourth time, set amidst UNESCO World Heritage buildings and stunning views of the city.
Details: 17th November – 8th January | The Queen’s House, Romney Road, SE10 9NF | £16+
Alexandra Palace | Manor House
Another of the few London ice rinks open all year round (it’s where the Dancing On Ice stars train), Ally Pally steps it up a notch around the festive season with Christmassy music and a free cup of mulled wine, Bailey’s hot chocolate or mince pie.
Details: Open all year, festive sessions 28th November – 8th January | Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY | £9.50
JW3 | Finchley
JW3’s piazza is transformed every year to become home to their 200 sq m ice rink, which is surrounded with warming seasonal food, mulled wine and hot choco. It’s also open on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Details: 4th December – 3rd January | 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET | £13+
Skylight Tobacco Dock | Wapping
Skylight have let things slide… by adding a real rooftop ice rink to their covetable spot atop a Wapping carpark (with unobstructed views of some of London’s finest stretches of skyline). And they’re throwing in mulled wine, festive street food, hireable igloos, ping pong and DJs just to top it all off.
Details: Thurs-Sun from 5th November | Penning Street Car Park, Wapping Lane, E1W 2SF | £15 for 45 mins skating, only bookable on the day
Canary Wharf Ice Rink | Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf’s ice rink is back, and it’s covered – which is partly for your benefit, given the delightfully mercurial nature of the British weather, and partly for the benefit of everyone in the surrounding offices, by shielding them from FOMO. As always, there’s a heated rinkside bar, Off Piste, with mulled wine, boozy hot chocolate and live music.
Details: 22nd October – 25th February 2023 | Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AB | £17.95
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