London: Ice Skating Rinks with Central Locations and Views

Posted in: London Outdoors

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Ice skating Tower of London
Ice skating at the Tower of London. Photo: Jaimelondonboy

By Neha Gadhvi in London—

Ice skating rinks pop up in London‘s parks, museums and nestled alongside stunning landmarks across the city during Christmas time, with residents donning skates and falling over themselves to have fun on the ice. Leave your dignity at the door, grab your mittens, a glass of mulled wine and a gaggle of festive friends and go ice skating crazy.

Here are some of my favorites spots to go skating in London:

Best for location

Somerset House
Open through January 23, 2011
Price: Adults £10.50-15, children £8.45-9.60
Web site

An extravagant outdoor ice-skating rink, the Somerset House rink is now in its 11th year. The stunning 18th-century courtyard at Somerset House is dramatically lit and over-shadowed by a vast Christmas tree, making it one of the most atmospheric spots for outdoor ice skating in London. On selected Friday and Saturday evenings, DJs provide a soundtrack for the icey moves and frosty nights.

Tower of London
Open through January 9, 2011
Price: Adults £10-12, children £7.50-8
Web site

If it’s impressive locations you’re after, then you can’t quite beat skating around the history steeped surroundings of the Tower of London. With Tower Bridge and the River Thames a snowballs throw away, you really will feel like a true tourist skating within the historic grounds.

The Natural History Museum
Open through January 9, 2011
Price: Adults: £13, children £8.50
Web site

Start or end your skating experience with a visit to the Natural History Museum, as the rink is a mere walk away in the magical east lawn. The Ice Rink at the Natural History Museum is complemented by their Christmas Fair, so there’s no shortage of things to do.

Best for views

London Eye Ice Rink
Open through January 5, 2011
Prices: For London Eye and Eye Skate, adults £28.45, children £17.00
Web site

For the first time ever, the London Eye will open its very own ice skating rink offering the opportunity to celebrate the festive season taking in the best views of London–both from the London Eye and from the Southbank’s first ice rink. After twisting and turning on the ice, warm up on a mulled Wine Flight on the London Eye or a Champagne Flight (which allows you to sip Pommery Champagne while enjoying the  breathtaking views from the London Eye). Happy Eye-skating!

Kew Gardens Ice Rink
Open November 29, 2010 – January 4
Price: £10, children £7.50
Web site

Forget springtime; winter is spectacular at Kew Gardens as Christmas lights and decorations adorn the trees and gardens and a large ice skating rink is constructed in front of the glass house. To get you into the spirit, there’s also festive evenings on December 13 and 14 when the shops stay open late and carol singing is on offer.

Best for all round Entertainment

Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park
Open through January 4, 2011
Price: Adults: £10, children from £8. Combination tickets which include entry to all the other attractions are also available.
Web site

Winter Wonderland, held annually in London’s famous Hyde Park, features an ice rink, toboggan slide, traditional German-style Christmas market, cafes and bars, Ferris wheel, carousel, helter-skelter, various fairground rides, Santa Claus and the Santa Express, a Zippo circus and more festive goodness than you can shake a stick at.

Westfield London
Westfield, Ariel Way, London, W12 7GF
Open through January 2
Price: Adults £9.50-10.50, children £6.50-7.50

Setting up shop under the glass roof of the Atrium in the huge Westfield mall, this skating rink could be the best way to unwind after a shopping spree. (Or perhaps you could just leave the little ones here while you head off to buy their presents.) There are offers at several Westfield eateries for skaters, too, if you feel like some food after your spin.

About the author

About the author: Neha Gadhvi is a perpetual traveler, adventurer, and general-mischief-and-pleasure-seeker. A London-based travel editor and freelance writer, some of her favorite things about the city include leafy green parks, unusual market stalls, cultural diversity and afternoon tea.

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