Skate at Somerset House

Lace Up For London’s Outdoor Ice Rinks

Culture /


Get your skates on – Christmas is coming

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Last year’s lockdown meant we were deprived of our skating fix – but the capital’s outdoor ice rinks are back in full force for 2021. Whether you’re a pro glider or more of a cling-to-the-handrails kind of skater, a trip to one of London’s rinks is guaranteed to get you feeling festive. From Skylight’s rooftop to the Natural History Museum’s famous rink – which is returning for one final hurrah – here are the ones to book now.

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The Best Outdoor Ice Rinks in London

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Skate at Somerset House

Skate at Somerset House

After a year off, Somerset House’s much-loved ice rink returns – this year in collaboration with new drinks partner Moët & Chandon. Enjoy picturesque skating in the venue’s neo-classical courtyard to the soundtrack of rink-side DJ takeovers, including a three-day residency from female-led community radio station Foundation FM. Nervous about getting on the ice after a long gap? This year will see the introduction of ‘Chilled Out’ sessions on selected weekday mornings. Afterwards, enjoy a hot drink from Hotel Chocolat’s Chocmobile or grab a bite to eat at Jimmy Garcia’s Chalet Barragiste.

Fancy making a night of it? Book the new Get Your Skates On package at Southbank hotel Sea Containers London, which includes two tickets to the ice rink plus an overnight stay and breakfast.

17 November 2021 – 16 November 2022, somersethouse.org.uk

Image by David Jensen

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

After 16 years, 2021 will be the last time the Natural History Museum hosts an ice rink – which gives us all the more reason to go. Skate amid frost-covered trees surrounded by fairy lights before soaking up the sights from The Café Bar, which overlooks the rink. Though we’ll be sad to say goodbye, the Museum’s next project is an exciting one. It will be transforming the five-acre garden into a hub for urban wildlife – part of a national campaign to encourage people to help nature on their doorsteps.

22 October 2021 – 16 January 2022, nhm.ac.uk

Hampton Court Palace Outdoor Ice Rink

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

If a striking setting is high on your list, head to Hampton Court Palace to skate with views of Henry VIII’s historic Tudor palace. Little ones in need of a helping hand can pre-book skate aid helpers, and there’s something for all the family at the Ice Rink Café & Bar, which serves food platters, mince pies, hot chocolate and mulled wine.

13 November 2021 – 9 January 2022, hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.co.uk

Winter Wonderland Outdoor Ice Rink

Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park’s Christmas extravaganza is home to the UK’s largest ice rink, set under a canopy of twinkling lights and built around the Victorian bandstand. It’s open from 10am to 10pm daily, and welcomes all ages and abilities, with wheelchairs also allowed on the ice. Afterwards, soak up the unparalleled festive atmosphere of Winter Wonderland, which features a Bavarian village, funfair rides and numerous street food stalls.

19 November 2021 – 3 January 2022, hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

Skylight Rooftop

Skylight

Come winter, Tobacco Dock’s Skylight transforms into a cosy winter hangout, complete with its own ice rink. Being located on a rooftop means spectacular city views as you skate, and heated après-skate bars serve up winter cocktails, steaming jugs of mulled wine and festive fare from street food traders.

tobaccodocklondon.com

Canary Wharf Ice Rink

Ice Rink Canary Wharf

Running for 18 weeks this season, Canary Wharf’s ice rink has the advantage of being covered, meaning you can visit regardless of the weather. Located in Canada Square, the rink is set beneath the glow of 1,000 fairy lights, with an Offpiste Bar for those who prefer to spectate than skate.

23 October 2021 – 26 February 2022, icerinkcanarywharf.co.uk

Main image: Somerset House by David Jensen

Photo 1 of
Skate at Somerset House

Skate at Somerset House

After a year off, Somerset House’s much-loved ice rink returns – this year in collaboration with new drinks partner Moët & Chandon. Enjoy picturesque skating in the venue’s neo-classical courtyard to the soundtrack of rink-side DJ takeovers, including a three-day residency from female-led community radio station Foundation FM. Nervous about getting on the ice after a long gap? This year will see the introduction of ‘Chilled Out’ sessions on selected weekday mornings. Afterwards, enjoy a hot drink from Hotel Chocolat’s Chocmobile or grab a bite to eat at Jimmy Garcia’s Chalet Barragiste.

Fancy making a night of it? Book the new Get Your Skates On package at Southbank hotel Sea Containers London, which includes two tickets to the ice rink plus an overnight stay and breakfast.

17 November 2021 – 16 November 2022, somersethouse.org.uk

Image by David Jensen

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

After 16 years, 2021 will be the last time the Natural History Museum hosts an ice rink – which gives us all the more reason to go. Skate amid frost-covered trees surrounded by fairy lights before soaking up the sights from The Café Bar, which overlooks the rink. Though we’ll be sad to say goodbye, the Museum’s next project is an exciting one. It will be transforming the five-acre garden into a hub for urban wildlife – part of a national campaign to encourage people to help nature on their doorsteps.

22 October 2021 – 16 January 2022, nhm.ac.uk

Hampton Court Palace Outdoor Ice Rink

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

If a striking setting is high on your list, head to Hampton Court Palace to skate with views of Henry VIII’s historic Tudor palace. Little ones in need of a helping hand can pre-book skate aid helpers, and there’s something for all the family at the Ice Rink Café & Bar, which serves food platters, mince pies, hot chocolate and mulled wine.

13 November 2021 – 9 January 2022, hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.co.uk

Winter Wonderland Outdoor Ice Rink

Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park’s Christmas extravaganza is home to the UK’s largest ice rink, set under a canopy of twinkling lights and built around the Victorian bandstand. It’s open from 10am to 10pm daily, and welcomes all ages and abilities, with wheelchairs also allowed on the ice. Afterwards, soak up the unparalleled festive atmosphere of Winter Wonderland, which features a Bavarian village, funfair rides and numerous street food stalls.

19 November 2021 – 3 January 2022, hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

Skylight Rooftop

Skylight

Come winter, Tobacco Dock’s Skylight transforms into a cosy winter hangout, complete with its own ice rink. Being located on a rooftop means spectacular city views as you skate, and heated après-skate bars serve up winter cocktails, steaming jugs of mulled wine and festive fare from street food traders.

tobaccodocklondon.com

Canary Wharf Ice Rink

Ice Rink Canary Wharf

Running for 18 weeks this season, Canary Wharf’s ice rink has the advantage of being covered, meaning you can visit regardless of the weather. Located in Canada Square, the rink is set beneath the glow of 1,000 fairy lights, with an Offpiste Bar for those who prefer to spectate than skate.

23 October 2021 – 26 February 2022, icerinkcanarywharf.co.uk