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The best London ice skate rinks this winter


It’s that time of year again. Department stores have had a Christmas floor since August, the jingle jangle of merry music is flooding my local supermarket and Lola is already planning her list for Santa. But the bit I really look forward to is the opening of London’s winter ice skating rinks which, for me, are the real barometer of Yuletide celebrations starting. Here are the ones we suggest you try if you’ve not been before….

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf ice rink at night

Having opened just last week, Canary Wharf is ringing wiht skaters who are flocking to the financial district for ice, both on and off their skates. The rink is now in use, as is the pop- up bar, Q on Ice. Open until 28th of February 2015, this enchanting space has transformed Canada Square Park into a cosy, Christmas landscape. This particular rink features London’s only skate path, a passage through fairy-lit trees around Canada Square Park’s iconic ‘Big Blue’ sculpture by British designer, Ron Arad. At 1100m2, this is one of the capital’s largest ice rinks.

Canary Wharf rink welcomes those aged aged four and above, with doors opening every day except Christmas Day. And if a post-skate cocktail or seasonally-inspired snack beckons, check out Q on Ice. Following the success of their On the Roof with Q pop-up at Selfridges this summer, the menu at Q on Ice is packed with lots of locally sourced ingredients and secret seasonings. Canary Wharf also offers up the delights of Roka, Tom’s Kitchen Deli and Obika Mozzarella bar.

Adult: £14.50, Children (Under 13): £9.50
Family: £39.50 (2 adults + 2 children/ 1 adult + 3 children)

For further information click here.

The Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum ice rink at night

Now in its 10th year, the infamous rink right outside of London’s magnificent Natural History Museum will, this year, be perched in its usual spot beneath 80,000 twinkling fairy lights. Aside from the rink, there is an interactive Christmas chalet loaded with chocolate treats, giveaways and activities in partnership with chocolatiers Lindt. The Cafe Bar on-site is a lovely spot for hot chocolate, snacks and a few minutes off your feet.

Adults: From £12.65 per ticket and kids from £8.80 per ticket, from October 30th to January 4th 2015.

For further information click here.

Somerset House

Somerset House by  James Bryant

Photo by  James Bryant

Somerset House is an iconic spot on the edge of London’s Strand, known by most for hosting the drama of London Fashion Week. However, come winter, it transforms into a veritable winter wonderland and houses one of the capital’s most beautiful, not to mention popular, skate rinks. Even better, this year sees Somerset House rink sponsored by the one and only Fortnum and Mason, meaning some heavenly food options, such as Skate & Classic Cream tea. This involves, unsurprisingly, a classic Fortnum’s cream tea after your skating session in the cosy Fortnum’s Lodge in The Christmas Arcade at Somerset House.

Ticket prices from £7.50 for skating. The Fortnum and Mason Skate & Classic cream tea costs £35 per person, plus booking fees. The ice rink is open from 11th November 2014 to 11th January 2014.

For further information click here.

Eyeskate

Eyeskate at The London Eye

In arguably one of the coolest locations for a London ice rink, Eyeskate is situated directly beside the London Eye on the River Thames. Ticket prices include a 45 minute skate session and ice skate hire, and the Winter Cocktail Experience is also available, which may not sound very kid-friendly, but actually children just one, but two rounds on the Eye (parents get the cocktails, obviously) which, given the glittering view across London at Christmastime, will make some seriously good memories for you all.

Winter Cocktail Experince: £45 each for those aged 4 and above.

Eyeskate: £10.50 for adults and £7.50 for children (aged 4 – 15 years of age). Book online for a discount.

From November 15 until January 4.

For further information click here.