December is a very exciting month here in London; the streets are covered in Christmas decorations and there is the constant buzz of shoppers. And as the temperature starts to drop London sees a rise in open air ice rinks. They pop up everywhere in the capital in late November and are open until February. I am an avid ice skater and although I hate the cold weather, ice rinks are one of the things I love winter for.
Here are some of my favourite places to enjoy cutting some moves on the ice:
The Tower of London - This iconic London landmark offers a fantastic setting for winter skating. It is open from 10 a.m to 10p.m so you can enjoy skating during the day or after dark when you can see the place illuminated making a great night experience. There are drinks on sale so you can keep warm with a glass of mulled wine or a hot chocolate. For more information on tickets and opening times check out their website.
The Natural History Museum - Within the magnificent body of the museum there is a great place for winter skating. The ice rink is open all day long, beautifully illuminated at night and accompanied by music for even more festive atmosphere. For those who don’t want to skate there is a vintage carousel for some fun rides. You can find out more information on the museum’s website.
Somerset House – The courtyard of Somerset House hosts an ice rink every year. Peacefully surrounded by the house walls, it offers a fantastic backdrop for a romantic evening of skating, mulled wine and nice music. There are some special events too, more information is available on their website.
Canary Wharf Ice Rink – has been a popular destination for ice skate lovers in recent years. Located in Canada Square, it is within easy reach of the station. For those new to skating, there are special lesson sessions. Information on tickets and session times is available on their website.
Hampton Court Castle - If you are up for a little drive into the suburbs of London, Hampton Court Castle is a fantastic place for ice skating. Set close to the river, in the castle main courtyard, you can enjoy skating amongst a beautifully illuminated castle for a truly magical experience. You have to book in advance online and bring your tickets with you. There are drinks on sale there so you can get warm even on a freezing night. As ice skating is perfect for groups and school outings, the ice rink at the castle offers discounts for groups over 20 people. To book your tickets and to find further information on times and offers, log on to their website.
Westfield Shepherd’s Bush - If you don’t like to be outside in the cold but still would love to enjoy some skating, then the shopping centre at Shepherd’s Bush is the perfect place. The small ice rink in the middle of the building is open till late. The website offers information about opening times, special events and bookings.
Where is your favourite ice rink in London? Have we missed some great place where you can enjoy skating? Let us know in the comments below. You can also review your favourite ice rink on Review Centre and tell us why you love it so much!