One of London’s most iconic ice rinks is taking a break in 2020.
There are only a few weeks of the year when Hope the whale slides into second place on the list of the Natural History Museum’s top attractions, and they all fall in November and December. That’s because the Museum’s dazzling ice rink pitches up for the winter, with skaters gleefully whizzing around the Christmas tree at its centre. Or, at least they do in normal years, because in 2020, the Natural History Museum ice rink won’t be making its annual appearance in London. [Flickr: SheepRUs]
It’s another instance where the coronavirus pandemic has forced their hand, but in the interest of public health and safety, the Natural History Museum have confirmed that the rink is taking a break in 2020. Citing “ongoing health concerns and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19”, the Museum issued a statement this morning to inform us of the news. Whilst the ice rink won’t be back, the Museum itself remains open and stuffed full of treats – including the recent return of their annual hit Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit.
Still, it’s a crying shame, for the Natural History Museum ice rink is amongst the most breathtaking of all London ice rinks, and often the first one to arrive. We’re at least two ice rinks down this year, as the giant skating rink at Winter Wonderland will also be absent in 2020, owing to the cancellation of Hyde Park’s giant Christmas village. And whilst the likes of the Tower of London ice rink and a rink at the Queen’s House, Greenwich, will both provide a happy hit of skating this year, London is certainly the poorer for the absence of the Natural History Museum rink. Here’s to a swift return in 2021!
Also published on Medium.