We love London in the winter. If skating's your thing, you're in the right place. We'll be updating this page in the run-up to the festive season, as more information becomes available. Looking for other festive things to do? Take a look at our Christmas in London page.
Natural History Museum ice rink
This South Kensington ice rink is always the first to open for the season, in time for October half term. Skate around the 30ft Christmas tree in the courtyard of the museum, surrounded by fairylit trees. Not a skater? No problem — the cafe bar and balcony, run by Benugo, offers a view over the ice rink while you sup on a hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Natural History Museum, 25 October 2018-9 January 2019
Somerset House ice rink
The courtyard at Somerset House will be frozen over once again for the Fortnum & Mason ice rink, centred around a 40ft tall Christmas tree. Look out for the special club nights including appearances from nightclub Total Refreshment Centre, plus skate school, and Alpine-themed Fortnum's Lodge. New for 2018 are collaborations with the Charlie Brown and Peanuts exhibition, and an 'artistic commission' from artist and ice skater Ruth Proctor.
The Christmas Arcade returns too, for a chance to stock up on Fortnum's goodies before the big day, as well as the Skate Lounge — a bar and cafe overlooking the ice rink (we highly recommend the gingerbread, if last year is anything to go by). Take a look at the 2017 rink:
Somerset House, 14 November 2018-13 January 2019. Tickets available 13 September.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland ice rink
The ice rink at Winter Wonderland is normally set around the bandstand, with a fairy light canopy, and acoustic musicians serenading the skaters on evening sessions. For atmosphere alone, it's one of our faves, and it also claims to be the largest open air ice rink in the UK (it does get busy). Of course, you have to battle through the madness of Winter Wonderland to get there, which loses it a few points.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, 22 November 2018-6 January 2019
Skylight at Tobacco Dock
It was only a matter of time before someone opened an ice rink on a London rooftop. The chosen rooftop is Tobacco Dock; skylight is a free entry winter venue (charge for ice skating) with food, drink, and that all-important ice rink. Full details for this year are yet to be announced, although fondue and ice hockey are mentioned — keep an eye on the Skylight website.
Skylight, November 2018 to January 2019
Canary Wharf ice rink
In past years, an ice rink has popped up in Canada Square Park, in the shadow of the skyscrapers. We're hoping that the dedicated children's rink, and a skate path through the trees will be back — along with ice skating lessons, plus ice hockey and curling tournaments. It's usually a long-running rink, opening in the autumn and running right through until February half term. Keep an eye on the website for details.
Ice Rink Canary Wharf, 2018-2019 details TBC
Tower of London ice rink
For Christmas 2017, there was an ice rink in the moat of the Tower of London, with a cafe in an adjoining marquee, and snowflakes projected onto the castle walls. Keep an eye on the website to see if it'll be back for Christmas 2018.
Tower of London — 2018 details TBC.
Hampton Court Palace ice rink
The Tudor backdrop of Hampton Court Palace made for a spectacular setting for an ice rink over Christmas 2017. Keep an eye on the website for details of its 2018 return.
Hampton Court Palace — 2018 details TBC.
JW3 ice rink
In past years, this one has prided itself on being the only ice rink in London open on Christmas Day (you'll definitely want to book in advance if that's your plan). Penguin helpers are available to those less steady on their feet, and younger skaters can have a seat on a banana toboggan instead. Kosher food is available at the JW3 centre's cafe. Christmas 2018 details yet to be announced — keep an eye on the JW3 website.
JW3 — 2018 details TBC
Note: prices may vary by peak/off peak sessions, and many get booked up in advance, so plan ahead. See individual venue websites for price and booking information.