There are few things that feel more quintessentially festive than the thought of gliding on a beautiful ice rink, beneath a bright winter’s sky. While London might be a bustling urban city, come winter, you can enjoy the exhilarating feeling of skating across the ice in the open air at a number of great ice rinks across the capital.
For guests staying at The Chilworth Hotel during winter, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the best of what London has to offer. Read on for your guide to London’s ice rinks, and what you can enjoy around them.
Natural History Museum
One of the most popular outdoor rinks during the winter season, every year, the Natural History Museum opens up its stunning rink, outside the beautiful building of the main museum. With a traditional Christmas tree as the centrepiece and sparkling lights all around you, it’s a wonderful festive tradition.
The museum offers special sessions for adults and young children during daytimes, making it a lovely place to head to if you’re visiting London with family. Look out for offers for great deals on skating, as well as exclusive events during the evening, where you can enjoy something extra special during your stay in the city.
When you need a little warming up after your skate session, you can find some of the best afternoon tea in London nearby at the Chilworth, or enjoy a soothing hot chocolate in the museum’s own café. With a viewing balcony looking over the rink, it’s a great place to unwind, as you watch the skaters twirl around.
Tower of London
With fantastic London hotels deals and special offers, it’s the perfect time of year to visit the capital and enjoy many of its historic sights and attractions. With so much going on during the winter season, combine the city’s rich history with a little festive magic, by skating within the illustrious Tower of London. It’s an incredible place to marvel at the unique setting, as you glide around the fortress and take in the centuries’ old surroundings, all while making great memories with friends and family.
The Tower of London ice rink is open until 9 pm every day, so you can enjoy skating by day, or enjoy a more atmospheric session by night, as the rink and Tower are lit up dramatically. While you’re there, indulge in a tasty treat at the rink café and bar, where you can snack on freshly made Cornish pasties and pies, hot drinks and mulled wine. There’s even a special Prosecco and skate session – for adults only – where you can enjoy a delicious tipple before having a go on the ice.
Skylight at Tobacco Dock
For a truly one of a kind experience while skating, head to Skylight at Tobacco Dock, Europe’s first and only rooftop ice rink. It’s a fantastic location, offering breath-taking views over the city, and a great place to enjoy the stunning London skyline, as well as experiencing the thrill of skating. You can simply enjoy a regular skate session, and try your hand at a game of ice hockey if you’re feeling particularly competitive, or get cosy in the rooftop igloos.
Skylight has plenty of other things to enjoy while you’re there too, so make a date with friends or a special partner, to tuck into their delicious fondue and seasonal cocktails to enjoy after an energetic skating session. After admiring the sparkling lights, head to some of the lovely restaurants in Paddington London for a delicious meal, before retiring for a restful night.
Somerset House can always be relied upon for delivering great experiences with flair, artistry and style, and this year, their annual ice rink will feature great music during their popular Skate Late sessions. Specially curated playlists set the mood for a wonderful festive experience, while the neighbouring festive market, ensure that there are plenty of delectable treats to tempt you. Afterwards, indulge in a Montcalm Christmas, with goodies for adults and children alike.
The rink will also feature London’s first all-night skate session on 7 December, where you can skate through the early hours beneath the stars, for a truly magical time.
Hampton Court Palace
Set amongst the awe-inspiring backdrop of the 16th-century royal residence, you can enjoy a skate session in London like no other. The enormous outdoor rink is located outside Henry VIII’s former palace, so it’s hard to beat the incredible location for splendour and historic importance.
Open by day and night until 5 January, you can enjoy skating around the grounds of the palace gardens throughout the winter season. The rink is open to children and adults, with adorable penguin supports to help younger skaters learn to find their way on the ice safely. And if you need a break from skating or would rather just watch, you can also relax in the nearby spectator area, giving you the perfect vantage point to capture some brilliant photos of friends on the ice.
After a chilly day skating, warm up in the ice rink café nearby, where you can enjoy a delicious menu of seasonal treats, including a fully loaded hot chocolate, brimming with whipped cream and marshmallows, or toasty savoury bites.
Queens Skate Bowl
If you’re looking for a fun place to socialise and get your skates on in easy distance of The Chilworth Hotel, then Queens is a perfect place to head to at any time of the year. With an indoor ice rink, this is a great spot for all levels to try out a variety of tricks on the ice. Queens also offers coaching and lessons, for both adults and children, making it a safe and welcoming place if you’re trying to skate for the first time.
As well as an indoor rink, Queens also features a huge variety of other fun activities to enjoy, including bowling and ice karting, as well as beer pong and a delicious selection of food and drink to enjoy.