Where To Go Ice Skating In London For Christmas 2021

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 11 months ago

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

Where To Go Ice Skating In London For Christmas 2021
A Victorian bandstand in the centre of an ice rink at dusk. A few people are on the ice, with fairy lights strung overhead, and a decorated Christmas tree inside the bandstand.
The ice rink at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland returns

Want to go ice skating in London this winter? We've rounded up the best Christmas ice skating rinks in London for 2021 — and having missed out last year, we're raring to get our skates on once again. Looking for other festive things to do? Take a look at our Christmas in London page, which we'll update as the season draws closer.

Natural History Museum ice rink: Christmas 2021

People ice skating around a large Christmas tree in front of the Natural History Museum
Photo: Natural History Museum

We've already told you that the Natural History Museum ice rink is back for Christmas 2021 and — big news — this will be its final year.

It's the same set-up as in previous years — skating around a 30ft Christmas tree (lovely on Christmas Eve, a bit disconcerting if you're there in October), with that gorgeous museum building as a backdrop. The cafe bar runs alongside the rink selling hot chocolate, wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks, offering the non-skaters in your party somewhere to sit and watch the action.

Penguin Skate Club runs on Saturday mornings, offering skating lessons for 4-8 year olds. The rink is accessible to wheelchair users, with some sessions set aside exclusively for wheelchair users and those with accessibility needs.

Natural History Museum ice rink, 22 October 2021-16 January 2022

Canary Wharf ice rink: Christmas 2021

People skating on an ice rink in the dark, with skyscrapers in the background, illuminated by lights in the windows
Skate in the shadow of skyscrapers at Ice Rink Canary Wharf

After a hiatus in 2019, Ice Rink Canary Wharf was due to return for Christmas 2020, but then... well, you know.

It makes its grand return this year instead, offering London skaters a chance to take to the ice in the shadow of Canary Wharf's skyscrapers. Though not as traditionally pretty as some of London's other rinks, it has a certain metropolitan vibe, surrounded by glass and metal rather than trees and grass.

By our calculations, it's London's longest ice skating season, running for 18 weeks from October through until February, closing only on Christmas Day, (sessions after Christmas tend to be a bit quieter). Manual wheelchair users can use the ice rink during all sessions, and we're told that ice skating lessons will be available to book from November.

More of a spectator? The heated OffPiste Bar runs alongside the rink, giving you a view of the action without the risk of ice-induced bruising.

Ice Rink Canary Wharf, 23 October 2021-26 February 2022

Skate at Somerset House ice rink: Christmas 2021

Somerset House courtyard at night with an ice rink in the centre and people skating
Photo: Somerset House

We don't like to play favourites, but we do have a soft spot for the Skate at Somerset House ice rink. Things are switching up a bit this year, as Somerset House partners with Moët & Chandon for the first time — we can't wait to see what replaces the Fortnum & Mason hampers as decorations on the 40ft Christmas tree.

In typical Somerset House style, things are kept lively with Skate Lates and DJ sets on selected evenings. Families are catered for too, with Saturday morning Disney+ sessions, hosted by Kiss FM DJs.

People sitting at a bar inside a marquee with fairy lights. Through the window, people can be seen ice skating.
The Skate Lounge at Somerset House

The Skate Lounge alongside the rink returns too, specialising in champagne and Moët cocktails. Over in the building's West Wing, chef Jimmy Garcia hosts Chalet Barragiste, an Alps-style pop-up restaurant serving warming treats such as fondue.

Cocoa-centric brand Hotel Chocolat is also present at the rink, selling hot chocolate from a Chocmobile, Christmas gifts at a pop-up shop, and running chocolate workshops and masterclasses throughout the season.

Skate at Somerset House, 17 November 2021-16 January 2022

Queen's House Greenwich ice rink: Christmas 2021

Queen's House Greenwich facade, with an ice rink in front of it at night, both illuminated purple, with skaters on the ice
Skate in front of Queen's House

How does ice skating at a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site sound? That's what's on offer right outside Queen's House Greenwich for seven weeks this winter.

Practise your twirls on an open-air rink in front of the former royal residence, with views over Greenwich Park and beyond. The rink is accessible to wheelchair users, though you'll need to contact the bookings team directly for tickets.

A Benugo stall pitches up alongside the rink offering a basic selection of drinks and snacks. Need something a bit more warming? The National Maritime Museum's Parkside Cafe is open during museum opening hours.

Queen's House ice rink, 18 November 2021-9 January 2022

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland ice rink: Christmas 2021

Ice skaters on the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland ice rink in daylight, with fairy lights strung overhead and trees in the background
Photo: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is back for Christmas 2021, albeit with some changes to how it operates. The ice rink is back too, and you can get round those new entry fees by spending at least £20 on skating tickets (or combine skating tickets with food, drink or other attractions to a minimum of £20).

Things on the rink itself remain much the same — it's still set around the park's Victorian bandstand, with fairy lights strung in a canopy overhead. If you can block out the fairground madness going on around you, the rink itself is actually one of the most charming places in London at winter. Wheelchairs are allowed on this ice rink too, with ramps onto and off of the rink.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, 19 November 2021-3 January 2022

Hampton Court Palace ice rink: Christmas 2021

Four ice skaters hold hands while skating on an ice rink in front of Hampton Court Palace in daylight
Skate with Hampton Court Palace as your backdrop

The Tudor backdrop of Hampton Court Palace makes a fantastic setting for taking to the ice. Once you've glided and twirled to your heart's content, warm up with mulled wine or hot chocolate as well as festive snacks at the Ice Rink Cafe & Bar.

If you take to the ice like a duck to (frozen) water, the Hampton Court ice rink offers season passes. £186 for an adult (£102 child) gets you unlimited skates during the rink's season, though you'll still have to book your session in advance. Gift vouchers are available for this rink, and it's wheelchair accessible.

Hampton Court Palace ice rink, 19 November 2021-2 January 2022.

Tower of London ice rink: Christmas 2021

There will be no ice rink at the Tower of London this year due to 'exciting plans for a major event at the Tower of London in 2022'. We assume they're referring to these plans to turn the moat into a huge garden to celebrate the Queen's platinum jubilee.

Skylight at Tobacco Dock ice rink: Christmas 2021

No confirmation yet on whether this one's going ahead this year — check back soon.

JW3 ice rink: Christmas 2021

No confirmation yet on whether this one's going ahead this year — check back soon.

Know any Christmas ice rinks in London that we've missed? Let us know by emailing hello@londonist.com.

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.

Check with individual venues for the latest updates regarding Covid-19 restrictions, and book early as some rinks may be operating at a reduced capacity this year.

Last Updated 08 October 2021

Continued below.