Is there anything that screams ‘Christmas’ more than ice skating? Ok, yes, possibly quite a few things. But ice skating is extremely enjoyable nonetheless, and London is home to some of the world’s most magical ice rinks.
Where better to feel a wintry chill on your cheek and spray ice like the long-lost lovechild of Torvill and Dean than in the shadow of London’s historic buildings, on top of them, or in a specially adapted ice go-kart?
Take a look at 6 of the most amazing ice rinks central London has to offer.
The classic. The ice rink is enclosed within the courtyard of Somerset House, so you’ll find yourself somewhat shielded from the elements by the grandeur of this 18th century neoclassical masterpiece. 2017 sees the introduction of Skate Lates, giving the rink a musical edge with takeovers by the likes of Peckham-based radio station Balamii, Field Day founders and promoters Eat Your Own Ears, and hip hop and R&B night Supa Dupa Fly. There’s even a selection of delicious treats – from fondue to mince pies – to warm you up in the Fortnum and Mason-run Fortnum’s Lodge afterwards.
Skylight Ice Rink
During the summer months, the Skylight is a bar on the roof of the Grade I listed Tobacco Dock warehouse, offering spectacular industrial-tinged views of East London. In winter it’s the same thing, but with an ice rink, i.e. even better. Now you can skate with the Shard, the Walkie-Talkie and the Gerkhin as the backdrop to your pirouettes, then wolf down some Greek fusion fast-food from Yiro restaurant.
Natural History Museum
Some theorists claim that an ice age wiped out the dinosaurs, but this ice age at the Natural History Museum might well be the highlight of your Christmas. Undoubtedly one of the most impressive rinks in town – with a giant Christmas tree at its centre, and dazzling fairy lights illuminating the branches of deciduous trees arching overhead – the Natural History Museum is mere minutes away from residents of our Lexham Gardens properties.
Brave the crowds of Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and you will find a fairytale ice rink at its centre, illuminated by a twinkling spider’s web of aerial christmas lights with the park’s gorgeous Victorian bandstand at their centre. Once you’ve had your fill of the rink, there’s plenty more to keep you entertained – a giant ferris wheel, a roller coaster, Zippos Christmas Circus, and a bar made entirely from blocks of ice. It’s not called a Winter Wonderland for nothing – and it’s a festive 12 minute walk from our Grosvenor Hill property in Mayfair.
Tower of London
Skate back in time with an ice rink in the shadow of London’s oldest intact building – the Tower of London’s White Tower – and try and keep your head where others have literally lost theirs. Self-styled as “London’s most dramatic ice rink”, you’ll be hard-pushed to find anywhere with the same historical cache.
Up for something a little different? How about skating around in a specially-adapted go-kart on an ice rink race track? That’s exactly what you can do at QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl in Queensway – indoors, and safely cosseted in your little racing helmet. Also available: bowling and gloriously greasy burgers from Meat Liquor (though it might be an idea to eat after driving). Just a short walk from our soon-to-be-opened Bathurst Street property…