From stunning historic locations to glistening modern surroundings, temporary ice skating rinks pop up in iconic settings right across London in the run-up to Christmas and well into the New Year.
The ice skating rinks listed below are London's top annual open-air ice rinks. Most open in mid-November and last at least into early January - but make sure to check back towards the end of the year for confirmed locations, dates and themes for Christmas and winter 2017.
Somerset House Ice Skating
Glide on one of the most popular ice rinks in London with Skate at Somerset House. Set in the beautiful Edmond J. Safra Fountain courtyard with the famous neoclassical facade as backdrop, this Central London ice rink runs day skating sessions and a programme of cool club nights under the stars, when the rink comes alive with top international DJs. There’s usually also a rink-side food and drink lodge and a Christmas pop-up shop, courtesy of Fortnum and Mason in 2016.
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Get your skates on in the east lawn of this iconic museum, transformed for winter with twinkling fairy lights and a magnificent Christmas tree. The ice skating rink at the Natural History Museum opens all day and well into the evening. After your session, warm up with hot chocolate or mulled wine in the cosy museum cafe which overlooks the rink.
Hampton Court Ice Rink
Drop by Hampton Court Palace for a quick spin on the ice, or make a day of it with family and friends by exploring the former home of King Henry VIII, before heading out onto the rink. The Hampton Court ice skating rink is located in front of the spectacular Tudor facade, which lights up with beautiful colours as darkness falls.
Ice Skating at the Tower of London
Take to the ice at the Tower of London’s ice rink. This gleaming Central London ice skating rink is nestled in the attraction’s famous dry moat in the shadow of the 1,000-year-old London landmark. Visit the rink for an evening skating session to see hundreds of snowflake lights illuminate the walls of the castle.
Winter Wonderland Ice Skating Rink
Skate around Hyde Park’s Victorian bandstand to the sounds of a live band in an enchanting festive atmosphere. The biggest open-air ice skating rink in the country, Winter Wonderland’s ice rink in Hyde Park is surrounded by bustling Christmas markets, fairground rides, wintry food and drink stalls and many more festive attractions. Enjoy a day skating session on a crisp winter day, or see the park lit up for Christmas with an evening skate.
Canary Wharf Ice Rink
Enjoy a post-work spin or a quieter ice skating session on weekends at Ice Rink Canary Wharf. Flanked by gleaming modern glass buildings, this London ice skating rink usually stays open until the end of February and, thanks to its clear roof covering, you can continue to enjoy the ice whatever the weather. In winter 2016-2017, thousands of colourful LED lights sparkled beneath the ice and all around the rink for a dazzling LUMINOCITY skating experience set to music.
There was no temporary ice skating rink at the Coca-Cola London Eye in 2016, though there are always plenty of festive activities to enjoy around London’s famous observation wheel.