Just imagine how good you’ll look sliding and gliding with the best of them on one of London’s festively fabulous ice skating rinks!
Okay, so if you aren’t a Torvill or Dean, then gliding might be an exaggeration. Nevertheless, London’s finest ice skating rinks are back in business this month, 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 2018.
Ice skating rinks confirmed for Winter 2018
1. Natural History Museum, open now, until January 6)
The Natural History Museum’s outdoor rink is one of the most enchanting in London. For starters, there’s a fully-decorated, photo-worthy Christmas tree slap bang in the middle of the ice (with a barricade to prevent you smashing into it). Benugo’s adjacent café, inside the famous London museum, will be dishing out winter warmers to enjoy from a viewing gallery overlooking the picturesque scenes below.
Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. Open most days from 10am – 9pm, adult tickets start from £12.65 and can be booked here.
2. John Lewis Skyline Skating, Oxford Street, open now, until January 6
The upside? It’s open a full five days earlier than the Natural History Museum’s rink, making it the first place to skate this year. The downside is that the rink is made of plastic, which makes skating kind of a bitch… Still, the rinkside entertainment is good – set up atop the rooftop of John Lewis Oxford Street, you’ll find a winter soiree inspired by London’s Frost Fairs. This means ‘skating’ several stories above the capital’s busiest street, as well as hot gin cocktails and warming pies.
300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX. Nearest station: Oxford Circus.
3. Skylight (November 1 – January 27)
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. Because of course you’re going to visit…
You’ll find Skylight at Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, St Katharine’s & Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell. Open Thursday and Friday 5pm – 11pm, and 11am – 11pm Saturday and Sunday. Entrance is free, skating is not.
4. Canary Wharf (November 2 – February 16)
Bankers love Christmas too, and apparently they love it more than most, because Canary Wharf’s rink will be sticking around for a staggering fifteen weeks! Which means you can go skating on Bonfire Night, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day, AND Valentine Day’s in this part of town… The rink boasts a dedicated skating area for the little ones, and there’s a cosy rinkside bar for the not-so-little ones.
Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AB. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. Open from 9:45am – 9:45pm Monday to Thursday, with Fridays and weekends differing slightly. Adult tickets start from £16.95, and can be booked here.
5. Skate at Somerset House (November 14 – January 13)
Amongst the most iconic of the city’s ice skating venues, 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 2018, whilst Messrs Fortnum & Mason are once again running the rinkside show. Find champagne and chocolate fondue at the Skate Lodge, and twinkly goodness at the Christmas Arcade.
Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. Open from 8:45am – 22:15 most days, tickets start from £7.50 and can be purchased here.
6. Winterville (November 15 – December 23)
The hipster cousin of Winter Wonderland is back in the magical realm of Clapham Common. As with the Hyde Park version, the ice skating is just one of Winterville’s many attractions, but at 600 square metres, there’s enough space for everyone. Other attractions include Backyard Cinema, Plonk Golf, and a Spiegeltent, all of which pair very nicely with a session of skating!
Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, SW4 9DE. Nearest station: Clapham Common/Clapham South. Open from 12pm – 10pm on weekdays, and from 11am on weekends. More info here.
7. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (November 22 – January 6)
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 another year. It’s even bigger in 2018, too, because seriously, they don’t do things by half. 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. Open from 10am – 9pm, more info here.
8. Tower Of London (November 23 – January 6)
Beefeaters on ice! Beefeaters on ice! If that hasn’t reeled you in already, then just look at the spectacular backdrop for another reason to drop by. There’s 104 square metres of ice to play with, but don’t scare off the ravens though, unless you want to run the risk of the kingdom collapsing…
St Katharine’s & Wapping, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill. Open from 11am – 9pm on weekdays, and from 9am on weekends. Adult tickets start are £14.50, and can be booked here.
9. Hampton Court Palace (November 23 – January 6)
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.
Hampton Court Palace is in East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (National Rail). Open 11am – 9pm most weekdays, and from 9am on weekends. Adult tickets start from £14, book them here.
Ice skating rinks expected to return for 2018 – details to follow
10. Greenwich Winter Time Festival (December, TBC)
London got a brand-spanking new winter festival for 2017, but there’s no news on the 2018 front. If it comes back, expect ice skating with the Royal Naval College as a backdrop, and other pricey winter attractions.
Need more winter delights? Check out our guide to London’s Christmas lights!
Featured image: Sheep”R”Us