November 13 2023
It’s time to get your skates on! Whether you’re wobbling and clinging to the sides, helping little tots stay upright or swirling like a swan in the centre, skating brings seasonal cheer to winter. Many rinks open in November and run into January, providing the boots, special aids for little ones and a place to warm up with a drink afterwards, too.
From outdoor ice rinks in grand settings like Somerset House to all-weather rinks with the beats pumping like QUEENS Skate Dine & Bowl – here’s our guide on where to ice skate in London this winter.
Around the Victorian bandstand in Hyde Park is the UK’s largest ice rink, and it’s open from 10am to 10pm. Surrounding it is Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, filled with fairground rides, pop-up bars and food stalls and Father Christmas in Santaland. Pop along to swap your shoes for their skates or bring your own.
Taking little kids? There are special overshoe bob skates for tots and a few penguin skate aids to help them get around without falling over. Book in advance to secure your skate slot.
Set in the grounds of King Henry VIII’s Tudor palace, the annual Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink is a thoroughly grand setting for a spot of winter skating. If you go after dark, the palace is lit up to provide a beautiful backdrop as you channel your inner Torvill and Dean.
After all that winter action, get warm and cosy at the bar. You can book your skate session in advance and choose special packages for group bookings and special occasions to make your ice-skating trip even more magical.
When it comes to ice skating in London, Somerset House makes you feel you’re inside a snow globe. The ice rink stands in a neoclassical courtyard with a huge twinkling Christmas tree at one end. On weekend evenings, an impressive line-up of guest DJs spin tunes bringing a club vibe to the rink.
The après-skate scene here is full of chocolate treats and bubbly, too. Tickets go fast, so book early to avoid missing out.
For iconic London views as you skate, this Greenwich ice rink is for you. In one direction, you have views of Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory, in the other are the lights of Canary Wharf’s skyscrapers.
In the grounds of the Royal Museums Greenwich, in the daytime, the museum café provides warmth and snacks, and there’s a food stall next to the rink in the evenings. The penguin skate aids for little ones are here if you’re skating with the family.
For an all-weather option, Ice Rink Canary Wharf has a roof, so you can book your indoor ice skating in London and not worry if it rains. With a giant mirror ball above your head, it’s a big space, so you can perfect your skate spins (or shuffle around the edge) without getting in other people’s way.
If you’d rather watch than participate, the Off Piste Bar is a smashing spot for a drink while watching the action on the ice rink.
Ice skating when it’s not even winter? You radical, you. Legendary QUEENS Skate, Dine & Bowl in West London has an enormous refurbished 1930’s arena turned indoor ice rink open all year round. DJ sets get the party vibes going on Friday and Saturday nights, and there’s no shortage of burgers, arcade games and bowling lanes.
Kids are welcome during the day and early evening, but after 8pm, QUEENS is an adult-only venue. You can simply turn up and skate, but you save a few quid if you prebook.