Okay, so if you aren’t a Torvill or Dean, then gliding might be an exaggeration. Nevertheless, London’s finest ice skating rinks are still in business, so you can cautiously inch your way alongside the handrails with the best of them! Get your skates on ASAP, as these are the best ice skating rinks in the city.
1. Skate at Somerset House, open from November 16 until January 15, 2023
Amongst the most iconic of the city’s ice rinks, the Somerset House rink is not to be missed. Their popular Skate Lates – evening sessions with specially curated music playlists – will make a return for 2022, featuring an returning partnership with Moët & Chandon. Find champagne cocktails at the Skate Lodge, and a beautiful 40ft Christmas Tree out by the ice. Discover more about the rink here.
Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. Open between November 16 – January 15, 2022, adult tickets range from £10-20 and can be purchased here.
While this may be a permanent fixture, whatever the season, in London’s ice rink scene, there’s plenty of reasons to choose Ally Pally as your festive skating spot. You’ll catch the ice rink turning into a festive paradise between November 28 – January 8, with mulled wine, Baileys hot chocolate and mince pies to munch on between spins around the rink.
into a disco dance floor on selected dates, meaning you can belt out some bangers as you glide around the historic hall. Ideal, right? Read all about it here.
Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Wood Green. Adult tickets are £9.50 on weekdays, £10 on weekends & school holidays. Admission to evening Ice Disco sessions start at £11. More info here.
3. Glide At Battersea, open from November 11 until January 8, 2023
Right, time to address the elephant in the room here: there’s one glaring omission from this list that you will have enjoyed in previous years. That’s because 2021 marked the final winter that the ice rink at the Natural History Museum graced our presence. But! All is not lost, friends. The same team behind it are giving us a brand new one over at London’s latest attraction: Battersea Power Station. Glide arrives on November 11, and boasts a 30ft Christmas tree, fairground rides, and photo booths; on top of the beautiful views of the historic building and a plethora of destinations to eat and shop.
Proving once and for all that Winter Wonderland does nothing by halves, Hyde Park have set up the largest open air ice rink in the UK for yet another year – they even expanded it in 2018, too, because seriously, they don’t do things by half, and we’re delighted to say that it’ll be back better than ever this Christmas! Skate around the Victorian bandstand under a canopy of lights, and you may even get serenaded. The rest of Winter Wonderland is pretty magical too, offering a Christmas market, fairground rides, and karaoke hüttes. Is there any word more fun to say than hütte…?
You’ll find the Winter Wonderland rink in Hyde Park, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner.
5. Queen’s House, open from November 18 until January 8, 2023
Another royal residence with an outdoor ice, this season marks the third year of The Queen’s House ice rink in Greenwich. Set amongst the dreamy surrounds of a UNESCO World Heritage site, the rink looks over the classical house and commands winning views of Greenwich Park.
Find it at Queen’s House, Greenwich, SE10 9NF. Nearest station is Cutty Sark For Greenwich Maritime. Open 10am-9pm daily. Adult tickets start from £16, find them here.
6. Hampton Court Palace, open from November 17 until January 8, 2023
A right royal skating experience, is this one. The sixteenth-century palace makes for a stunning backdrop, particularly when night rolls around and the illuminations begin. The food is hot, the drinks are boozy, and you’ll feel like royalty come night’s end. While the royal ice rink isn’t open at the Tower Of London, the festive occasion here is sure to provide you with your fill.
Hampton Court Palace is in East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (National Rail). Open from November 17 – January 8, 2023. Adult tickets start from £17.50, book them here.
7. Canary Wharf, open from October 22 until February 25, 2023
Returning for 2022 is perhaps the longest-running event on this list: you’ll be able to enjoy the action on this ice rink for a whopping four months! You’ll find the spot over at Canada Square Park and you’ll be bowled over by their spectacular roof, boasting over 1,000 lights to give you a suitably festive feel. More info and booking here.
Nearest station is Canary Wharf (E14). Adult tickets start from £19.95.
8. Skylight, Tobacco Dock, open from November (exact date TBA)
The highest ice rink in town returns for another festive sesh. Ice skating with beautiful views over the city is always going to be a winner, but you can also expect fondue, seasonal cocktails, and cosy igloos when you visit. And, let’s be honest, of course you’re going to visit… Find out more here.
You’ll find Skylight at Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, St Katharine’s & Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell.
Not announced yet (but could be later in the year)
Brand new in 2019, is this one. Camden Market’s rink was engineered to fit within the narrow confines of the North Yard, meaning it’s very long but rather thin. Still it’s a fine rink, and with Santa’s grotto and new fairytale dessert cafe Hans & Gretel right nearby, it’ll made for a pretty magical skating experience. We weren’t blessed by its presence last year, but let’s hope we see it once again one day!
Camden Market North Yard, Camden Stables Market, NW1 8AH. Nearest stations are Camden Town and Chalk Farm.
10. Bar Elba
Rooftop skating came to Waterloo, as noted summer hangout Bar Elba made a play to capture the winter crowds. Their first-ever ice rink was small but perfectly formed, with skyline views and hot gin punch just made for a lovely winter soiree. Fingers crossed we see this at one of our favourite bars once more!
109-117 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL. Nearest station is Waterloo. The rink is open 4pm-midnight (Sun to Weds) and 4pm-1am (Thu to Sat), and you can see more here.
Also published on Medium.