The Queen’s House ice rink is fit for a royal.
It hasn’t been the best 12 months for London ice rinks when the spaces at Winter Wonderland, Tower of London, Somerset House, and the Natural History Museum were all cancelled for Christmas 2020. But luckily there are some brighter spots on the horizon. With it looking more likely that the best Christmas pastime can come back in full swing, let us give you a suggestion fit for a Monarch. Things are looking a little rosier with the arrival of The Queen’s House ice rink, possibly the only London ice rink found on a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is reopening to skaters on November 18.
Up until a couple of years ago, The Queen’s House had committed the unforgivable crime of not having an ice rink, relying instead on its admittedly very photo-friendly Tulip Stairs to attract guests. Happily, that oversight was corrected in 2019, and now the ice rink returns in 2021 as an altogether bigger and better beast. With an expanded rink, skaters now have even more space to glide, twirl, and stumble around. Yes, it’s handy for social distancing, but an arguably better upside is the chance to get unobstructed views of the ‘House of Delight’ which James I had built for his wife, Queen Anne of Denmark.
Just as winsome are the views of picturesque Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory, and once you’ve hopped off the rink, Greenwich Market beckons for an afternoon of present-hunting. Meanwhile, warming winter food and drink – including the all-important hot chocolate – will be on offer from a series of rinkside stalls.
The Queen’s House ice rink will run sessions from 10am-9pm on peak days, and 11am-9pm on off-peak days, giving you plenty of time to soak up the festive atmosphere. Tickets are £15 for adults and £8.50 for little ‘uns, and they strongly encourage advance booking to reserve your spot on the ice – you can find tickets here. Before you know it, you’ll be gliding around in front of this beautiful house, buoyed by that rising tide of Christmas cheer. Happy skating, everyone!
Find it at Queen’s House, Greenwich, SE10 9NF from November 18 until January 9, 2022.
Also published on Medium.