We love London in the winter. If skating's your thing, you're in the right place, as we've rounded up the best Christmas 2019 ice skating rinks in London. Looking for other festive things to do? Take a look at our Christmas in London page.
Natural History Museum ice rink 2019
This South Kensington ice rink is always the first to open for the season, in time for October half term. Skate around the Christmas tree in the courtyard of the museum, surrounded by fairylit trees. Not a skater? No problem — the cafe bar and balcony, offers a view over the ice rink while you sup on a hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Natural History Museum. 19 October-22 January.
Skylight at Tobacco Dock ice rink
East London's rooftop ice rink is back, offering real ice, igloos, bars and live entertainment, with stunning views back towards the central London skyline.
Skylight at Tobacco Dock. 31 October 2019-5 January 2020.
Skate at Somerset House ice rink 2019
Somerset House marks the 20th anniversary of its ice rink this year. The courtyard at Somerset House will be frozen over once again for the Fortnum & Mason rink, centred around a 40ft tall Christmas tree. Look out for the special club nights , plus skate school, and Alpine-themed Fortnum's Lodge.
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).
Somerset House, 13 November 2019-12 January 2020. Tickets on sale in September 2019.
Rooftop ice rink at Bar Elba, Waterloo
New for 2019 is this petite rink at Waterloo's rooftop Bar Elba. The whole venue has a festive makeover, and it pays to be keen, as skating is free throughout November.
Bar Elba ice rink, from 13 November 2019.
Camden Market ice rink 2019
We didn't think there'd be room for an ice rink among the hustle and bustle of Camden Market, but they've managed to squeeze one into the North Yard. The real-ice rink is new for this year, illuminated by fairy lights and antique chandeliers — how very Camden.
Camden Market ice rink, 15 November 2019-9 January 2020.
Tower of London ice rink 2019
Take to the ice in the moat of the Tower of London, with a cafe in an adjoining marquee, and snowflakes projected onto the castle walls.
Tower of London ice rink, from 16 November 2019.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland ice rink 2019
The ice rink at Winter Wonderland is 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, 21 November 2019-5 January 2020
Hampton Court Palace ice rink 2019
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, other hot, cold and alcoholic drinks as well as festive snacks at the Ice Rink Cafe & Bar.
Hampton Court Palace ice rink. From 22 November 2019.
Covent Garden's Tiffany-inspired ice rink
A slice of the Big Apple lands in the Covent Garden Piazza in the form of the Tiffany & Co ice rink. It's a promo for the brand's new perfume, so expect to
Oh, and the best bit — it's free.
Covent Garden ice rink, 29 November-26 December 2019.
The Queen's House, Greenwich ice rink 2019
For the first time, at least in recent years, Greenwich gets an open-air ice rink. The Queen's House is the regal backdrop for your figure-of-eights, with views of the Old Royal Naval College and towards Canary Wharf.
Greenwich ice rink. 29 November 2019-12 January 2020.
JW3 ice rink 2019
Jewish community centre JW3 brings back its outdoor ice rink, complete with glimmering lights and music. It's the only rink (to our knowledge) that opens on Christmas Day.
JW3 ice rink, 1 December 2019-5 January 2020.
City Island Ice Rink
Another new entry for this year, City Island ice rink pops up down by the river, near East India Dock and Trinity Buoy Wharf. It's got the capacity for 45 people, and a Christmas market, workshops and performances take place at various times, but we'd recommend swinging by Fatboy's Diner for pre- or post-skate refreshment.
City Island ice rink, 12-22 December 2019.
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.