For many of us ice-skating is a terrifying experience, bringing back memories of clinging to the edge of the rink, cold feet and humiliating wipeouts. We all know it's never as serene an experience as the Christmas cards make out, but there’s a veritable plethora of skating experiences to be had across London this snowy (hopefully) season.
There are rinks with a touch of class at Somerset House (21 Nov - 17 Jan) or Hampton Court Palace (1 Dec - 13 Jan) where you will find people elegantly skating past you in their latest seasonal ensemble. Alternatively there’s a rink at the Natural History Museum (8 Nov - 20 Jan), likely to be full of screaming children and overwrought parents. There’s even an ice disco at the O2 (10 Nov - 9 Mar). The website doesn’t sound entirely certain what this might entail, although, presumably it will involve a big sound system, plenty of embarrassing dance-pop and some even more embarrassing dancing.
So you’re spoilt for choice. Of course, the enjoyment of skating is often reliant on how willing you are to look like an idiot. But most of us are in the same boat. And we all hate those professional skaters that visit public ice rinks to pirouette, skate backwards and perform other icy feats of derring-do. Don woolly hats, mittens and scarves and partake in one of the few social activities it’s OK to be crap at.
By Ben Fowler
Other rinks at Kew Gardens (25th Nov – 6th Jan), Greenwich Old Royal Naval College (8th Dec – 13th Jan), Royal Windsor at Alexandra Gardens (8th Dec – 6th Jan), Tower of London (24th Nov – 13th Jan) & Canary Wharf (17th Nov – 18th Feb).
Image courtesy of Just_Tom's Flickrstream.