London is a wonderful place to be at Christmas. Take a look at our guide to Christmas in London for inspiration on getting stuck into the festive season. 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 usually 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, 26 October 2017-7 January 2018
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.
Skylight, from 2 November
Canary Wharf ice rink
Once again, an ice rink will pop up in Canada Square Park, in the shadow of the skyscrapers. This year's offering has a dedicated children's rink, a skate path through the trees, ice skating lessons, plus ice hockey and curling tournaments. It's a long-running one, opening in the autumn and running right through until February half term.
Ice Rink Canary Wharf, 4 November 2017-24 February 2018
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, 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, 15 November 2017-14 January 2018
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. Of course, you have to battle through the madness of Winter Wonderland to get there, which does lose it a few points. Tickets on sale now.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, 17 November 2017-1 January 2018
Tower of London ice rink
It doesn't get much better than gliding around a 1,000 year old moat, does it? Throw in a huge Christmas tree, illuminated snowflakes projected onto the Tower's walls in the dark, and pop-up food and drink, and you've got yourself a festive experience in an extremely iconic London setting.
Tower of London, 17 November 2017-2 January 2018
Hampton Court Palace ice rink
A palatial, riverside setting is what's on offer at Hampton Court Palace. The Tudor backdrop is gorgeous by day, but we recommend heading there when night falls to see it illuminated in all its glory. Food and drink is served up by The Pie Man of Chelsea Green — expect plenty of warming pies, sausage rolls and homemade cakes.
Hampton Court Palace, 24 November 2017-7 January 2018
Greenwich Winter Time Festival
This is a new event for 2017, taking place in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College. The pricing's a bit confusing — you pay for entry to the festival, and then pay for ice skating on top of that. Festival tickets include entry for a three hour time slot, entertainment shows, and access to the winter market. All we know about the ice rink so far is that it's a "bespoke covered ice rink". Watch this space...
Greenwich Winter Time Festival, 1-31 December
JW3 ice rink
This one prides 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.
JW3, 3 December 2017-7 January 2018
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.