Written by Liam Coultman
Families looking for an experience other than drinking mulled wine while decorating a tree, put on your skates on!
InYourArea has partnered with Things To Do In London to bring you the ultimate guide for the festive season so you can enjoy London’s hottest or coolest, ice rinks.
It’s fair to say that no Christmas in London is complete without skating in some of the capital’s most cherished venues.
To put the finishing touches to your yuletide, we’ve picked the top places to go ice skating in London – that you won’t be able to experience at any other time of year.
Ice Skating at Skylight
Where: Tobacco Dock, Wapping, London E1W 2SF. The nearest tube station is Shadwell
When: November to January 2020 open until 11pm
Put your skates on and show off your figure-skating skills this festive season by going to Europe’s only rooftop ice rink: the Skylight.
The capacity of this unique ice skating rink is limited to 50 people so make sure you get your tickets in advance.
Although this rooftop skating rink is smaller than most other rinks in London, it is well worth visiting the venue with your friends this Christmas.
You’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful views of the capital and it’s a perfect photo-taking opportunity with the city skyline in the background.
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Where: Cromwell Road, Kensington, London. The nearest tube station is South Kensington
When: Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, January 12 2020. Open 10am to 10 pm
The Natural History Museum has started its skating season once again this winter with a whole host of exciting programmes.
Located opposite the symbolic South Kensington Museum, the ice rink is decorated with hundr of fairy lights and a huge 30 foot Christmas tree, making it one of the most beautiful places to enjoy ice skating with your loved ones.
Afterwards, visit the Café Bar for some hot chocolate and cream teas.
Skate at Somerset House
Where: Strand, London WC2R 1LA Nearest tube stations are Charing Cross and Covent Garden, London
When: Wednesday, November 13 to Sunday, January 12 2020
The most beautiful ice rink in London returns this year with a whopping 40 foot Christmas tree.
Even if you don’t have any skating experience, you should still not miss visiting Somerset House this festive season.
You can take a skating lesson here and step on the ice in no time.
And while you’re there, why not stop by Fortnum Mason’s Christmas Arcade for a spot of shopping before soaking up the atmosphere with a cup of hot chocolate at the Skate Lounge.
Tower of London Ice Rink
Where: Tower Hill, St Katharine’s and Wapping, London EC3N 4AB. Nearest underground stations are Tower Gateway and Tower Hill
When: Saturday, November 16 to Sunday, January 5 2020
This year, the Tower of London ice rink is bigger than ever – making it a perfect place for practicing your figure of eights with your friends or family.
The historic fortress wall of this iconic venue is illuminated with beautiful Christmas lights as you skate through the night.
At the end of your skating session, pop over to the Ice Rink Cafe Bar, which is located in the moat and serves hot food and snacks.
It’s a good idea to arrive an hour early to prepare in good time before your slot starts.
Winter Wonderland ice Rink at Hyde Park
Where: Hyde Park, London. Nearest tube stations are Knightsbridge, Lancaster Gate and Marble Arch Station
When: Thursday, November 21 to Sunday, January 5 2020 open 10am to 10pm
The largest open-air ice rink in the UK is at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, home to London’s most extravagant Christmas lights, and best of all, it’s free to enter!
For this festive period, there is plenty in store to excite people of all ages and tastes, from the Magical Ice Kingdom to the world’s tallest Observation Wheel and Paddington on Ice, plus much more.
Winter Wonderland tends to get very busy on the weekends so either arrive at the venue early or visit the rink during the week to enjoy skating at a more leisurely pace.
Queen’s House Ice Rink
Where: Romney Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF. Nearest stations are Maze Hill and Greenwich
When: Friday, November 29 to Sunday, January 12 2020 – Open from 10am to 8pm
The Queen’s House is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts beautiful surroundings of the Royal Museum.
This skating venue is the only outdoor ice rink in South London and a truly spectacular place to skate with your family or friends this Christmas.
Here you will be able to enjoy views of the Greenwich Royal Park and the Thames as you skate your way around the rink.
There will also be on-site stalls selling hot drinks and seasonal snacks.
City Island Ice Rink
Where: City Island, Hopewell Square, Poplar, London E14 0QG. Nearest tube station, Denmark Hill
When: Thursday, December 12 to Sunday, December 22
This Christmas, Hopewell Square in East London has a brand new skating rink so get yourself ready for an exciting session with your loved ones.
Aside from skating, there will also be a four-day Christmas market from the Thursday, December 12 to Sunday, December 15, where you can find some great festive gifts.
Be sure not to miss the opening of London City Island ice rink this year with the highly-anticipated Nutcracker-themed performance from the English National Ballet.
Bar Elba Skate Rink
Where: Waterloo Road, Lambeth, London SE1 8UL. Nearest Station is Waterloo
When: Wednesday, November 13 to the end of February 2020
For the first time ever, Waterloo’s hippest rooftop oasis, Bar Elba, will turn its venue into a skating wonderland, complete with an artificial pop-up ice rink that comes with striking views of London’s skyline.
The no-frills rink is only four metres by 14 metres in size, but it’s slippery enough to invite you for a skating session this Christmas.
And the best thing about this venue is that you can treat yourself to a cocktail or two at the bar – before or after a skating session.
There is also good news for those who are on a strict budget; entry to the rink is free throughout November!
Find more activities and festive fun in your area by using our events finder below