Want to go ice skating in London this winter? We've rounded up the best pop-up winter ice skating rinks in London for Christmas 2022 — and having missed out for the last couple of years, we're raring to get our skates on! See you on the ice?
1. Canary Wharf ice rink: Christmas 2022
Ice Rink Canary Wharf makes its grand return, and as the Natural History Museum rink is no more (boo!), this is now the first to open for the season
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. Cleverly, its season covers both the October and February half term holidays, and as with all of these rinks, sessions after Christmas tend to be quieter.
The rink offers 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. Crucially, it has a roof — strung with fairy lights, naturally — so there's no chance of rain stopping play.
Manual wheelchair users can use the ice rink during all sessions, with dedicated wheelchair sessions planned throughout the season, too.
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, 22 October 2022-25 February 2023.
2. Glide ice rink at Battersea Power Station
The Battersea Power Station development fully opens to the public this autumn, and kicks things off with a brand new ice rink. Glide sits with the iconic power station building on one side, and the River Thames on the other, and consists of three interconnected ice rinks, all centered around a 30ft-tall Christmas tree. Fairground rides pitch up near the ice, and the new development has lashings of restaurants, cafes and shops for skaters to make use of.
Glide at Battersea Power Station, 11 November 2022-8 January 2023.
3. Skate at Somerset House ice rink: Christmas 2022
We don't like to play favourites, but we do have a soft spot for the Skate at Somerset House ice rink. Somerset House partners with Moët & Chandon again this year, something that'll be reflected in the decorations on that Insta-famous 40ft Christmas tree.
The rink is located in the Fountain Court, and we're promised a bigger skate space this year. In typical Somerset House style, things are kept lively with Skate Lates and DJ sets on selected evenings. Brush up your skills with Skate School, by National Ice Skate Association instructors, and get youngsters used to the ice with special Kids Club sessions for 6-10 year olds.
Wheelchairs users can use the rink during any sessions, with dedicated wheelchair skate sessions on 27 and 30 November. Chilled Out sessions take place on weekday mornings, aimed at anyone who benefits from a quieter and calmer environment.
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 Suisse, a Swiss-themed pop-up restaurant serving warming treats such as fondue.
Cocoa-centric brand Hotel Chocolat is also present at the rink, dishing out 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, 16 November 2022-15 January 2023
4. The Queen's House Greenwich ice rink: Christmas 2022
How does ice skating at a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site sound? That's what's on offer right outside the 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 during all sessions, though you'll need to contact the bookings team directly for tickets.
Hot drinks and seasonal snacks are available alongside the rink. The National Maritime Museum's Parkside Cafe is also open during museum opening hours.
The Queen's House ice rink, 17 November 2022-9 January 2023
5. Hampton Court Palace ice rink: Christmas 2022
The Tudor backdrop of Hampton Court Palace makes an enchanting 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. £210 for an adult (£117 child) gets you unlimited skates during the rink's season, though you'll still have to book your session in advance. It's a wheelchair accessible rink.
Hampton Court Palace ice rink, 17 November 2022-8 January 2023.
6. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland ice rink: Christmas 2022
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is back for Christmas 2022, including that ice rink set around the Victorian bandstand. It's apparently the UK's largest open-air ice rink. If you can block out the fairground madness going on around you, the rink itself is actually rather charming, with fairy lights strung in a canopy overhead.
Wheelchairs are allowed on this ice rink (motors must be off on electric chairs), with ramps onto and off of the rink.
As with last season, you'll need to prebook your entry into the Winter Wonderland site — prices vary depending what time you visit, though some off-peak sessions offer free entry. However, if you spend more than £25 prebooking attractions (including the ice rink) in the same transaction, your entry automatically becomes free. To confuse things even more, ice rink prices also vary depending when you visit, to a maximum of £15.50 adult/£10.50 child — so you'll need to add a couple of rides or a show to reach that free entry.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, 18 November 2022-2 January 2023.
7. Ice rink at Westfield London, Shepherd's Bush: Christmas 2022
New for 2022 is an ice rink at Westfield London (that's the one in Shepherd's Bush, not Stratford). It's part of the Winter Village opening in Westfield Square, complete with what is apparently Europe's tallest Christmas tree (and at 65ft, who are we to argue?). The real-ice, open-air rink is wheelchair accessible, and will host special sessions for parents with toddlers, and for children with special needs. Keyworkers can get a 30% discount on tickets for sessions Monday-Thursday until 15 December.
Food, drink and the like is available in abundance at the cafes and restaurants of Westfield.
Ice rink at Winter Village, Westfield London, 19 November 2022-8 January 2023.
8. JW3 Ice Rink
Jewish community centre JW3 in Finchley has a 200m2 outdoor ice rink, complete with twinkling lights and music. Penguin stabilisers and banana toboggans are available for little ones, and it's the only ice rink in London that opens on Christmas Day.
JW3 Ice Rink, 4 December 2022-2 January 2023.
9. Skylight at Tobacco Dock ice rink: Christmas 2022
Apparently Europe's only rooftop ice rink, Skylight at Tobacco Dock offers revellers a chance to take to the ice again this winter. The rink is located alongside Skylight's other amusements — think indoor croquet, ping pong and shuffleboard, indoor and outdoor seating, and food and drink options aplenty. Plus, they'll be screening the World Cup here too. Exact 2022 dates have yet to be announced — we'll let you know when we know more.
London's lost festive ice rinks
Looking for other ice rinks you've visited in the past? Some have gone for good. Natural History Museum's ice rink had its final airing last year — the space it occupied for a couple of months each year is being transformed into an urban wildlife garden. We've heard that the museum has plans to double down on its green credentials in the coming years, and an energy-guzzling ice rink doesn't quite fit the vibe.
Similarly, the ice rink in Tower of London's moat is no more — it didn't go ahead last year, as plans for Superbloom were under way, and now the new natural landscape is being kept permanently.
Know any Christmas ice rinks in London that we've missed? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.