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Ice skating in London

Glide with the greatest of ease around the capital's outdoor ice rinks this winter

Whether you dance on ice like Christopher Dean or scramble around like Bambi, the capital's outdoor ice rinks are some of the most magical locations you'll see all season. With Christmas lights and trees set to the backdrop of London's stunning institutions, a trip to an ice rink is a must-do for the views alone. Here's a round-up of all the best London ice skating rinks to twirl around on this year. 

RECOMMENDED: Read our full festive guide to Christmas in London

The best ice skating rinks in London

Broadgate Ice Rink

After nearly 30 years of popping up in the middle of Broadgate Circle, Broadgate ice rink moved to Exchange Square in 2014 and has made itself a firm favourite. The outdoor rink offers group bookings, skating aids and lessons, and there will be a schedule of special events announced in due course.

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Broadgate , Moorgate Until Thursday February 2 2017

Canary Wharf Ice Rink

Our business district's soaring towers lend Canary Wharf Ice Rink an imposing backdrop, and some exciting extras help it to keep up with its extravagant surroundings, this year themed 'LuminoCity'. An iced path allows skaters to dash off from the main rink and glide below fairy light-laden trees. A pop-up bar and restaurant will serve everything from sandwiches and ales to cheese fondue and hot buttered rum.

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Canada Square Park , Canary Wharf Until Saturday February 25 2017

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

Henry VIII's sixteenth-century pad makes a mighty picturesque backdrop for this 900-metre-square outdoor rink, especially when lit up after dark. Wrap up warm and take a turn on the ice in this regal back yard.

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Hampton Court Palace , London Until Sunday January 8 2017

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland's ice rink, the biggest outdoor rink in the UK, surrounds the Victorian bandstand and is illuminated with more than 100,000 lights. There's no minimum age for skaters, but under-12s must be accompanied by someone 16 or over and the smallest skates for hire are children's size 9 (adult skates go up to size 13).

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Hyde Park , Kensington Until Monday January 2 2017

JW3 On Ice

West Hampstead's Jewish arts, culture and community centre gains a 70-capacity ice rink in its piazza for winter, with hot chocolate, mulled wine and seasonal food available to warm up with either side of your 50-minute session. 

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JW3 , Frognal Saturday December 3 2016 - Sunday January 8 2017

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

The truly beautiful backdrop of Alfred Waterhouse's Natural History Museum buildings, a row of trees just dripping in fairy lights and a majestic Christmas tree in the middle of the ice all help to make this London's most enchanting ice-rink. The main area is 1,000 metres square, and adjoins a smaller rink for children needed a gentler space to practice in.

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Natural History Museum , Brompton Until Sunday January 8 2017

Skate at Somerset House

The grand 18th-century courtyard that is home to Somerset House ice rink provides a stunning location for a skating session this winter – and no matter how unimpressive your skills a trip to this 900-square-metre outdoor rink will look the very definition of festive fun on Instagram. There are lots of tempting extras too: the Fortnum's Lodge will offer champagne, afternoon tea and even private dining; Club Nights will feature DJs from Rough Trade Records, Green Man Festival and a “sober morning rave” from Morning Gloryville. 

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Somerset House , Temple Until Sunday January 15 2017

Thames Frost Fair Christmas Party

A 20-metre ice rink on top of the river’s largest open-top deck boat sets sail for a Christmas party with a difference. The 200-capacity Harmony Boat will set sail complete with a live band from Embankment Pier for a return voyage to the Thames Barrier. Tickets include a welcome cocktail, unlimited house wines and beers, and canapes. 

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Embankment Pier , Waterloo Thursday December 15 2016

Tower of London Ice Rink

Located in the dry moat, the Tower of London ice rink offers a grand historical setting for seasonal skating sessions, along with views of London's ancient fortress. This year, round off a skate with a visit to the Tower's temporary 'ice bar', literally serving drinks in ice. Wheelchairs are welcome on the ice except during the last session of the day. Online booking is advised. 

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Tower of London , Tower Hill Until Tuesday January 3 2017

Westfield London Ice Rink

The atrium of the Shepherd's Bush shopping mecca gains a 160-capacity indoor ice rink for the 2015 festive season. Family entertainment, themed sessions, DJs and live performances will keep skaters distracted from their instability, and younger visitors can hire penguin- and seal-shaped stabilisers (£5) to keep them upright. Sessions are an hour long with 40 minutes on the ice.

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Westfield London , Shepherd's Bush Until Sunday January 8 2017

Find more fun festive outings

Christmas markets and fairs in London

Looking for gift inspiration? Look no further than London's Christmas markets and fairs. Among a raft of special festive events you'll find foodie gifts, hand-crafted pressies and usually a bit of glühwein to help you get into that merry spirit.

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By: Time Out London Things To Do


Filip B
Filip B

TOWER OF LONDON - Worst ice rink I`ve visited in years. They are not sweeping away the water and its more of a lake than an ice rink. But the real bad surprise came when we were told that we are not allowed to take pictures. We have a annual tradition to go ice skating around Christmas and do one picture each year that we collect in a special album. Well, not this time, unless you pay £8 for an official photo from the photographers there. Staff, who was extremely rude, justified that with safety as if someone knocks me down while taking a picture, my mobile will break its glass and they will have to close the ice rink because of that. Well my question is then what happens if someone bumps into the photographer and his lenses break, and also what about the people skating with their glassed on. Clearly a racket to sell their own photos rather than any safety whatsoever. If they care about safety they will not let the rink melt with an inch of water on top. As I mentioned to staff I will probably not be visiting them again, they replied "That is OK". Well yep, I wont. Somerset house ice rink staff not only were happy for pics to be taken but were kind enough to offer that they take the pics of us with our mobile. Will be sticking to that one for future. Anyone who thinks of going to tower of London - AVOID AT ANY COST. Worst spent money so far this year.

Nazeela Azarpira
Nazeela Azarpira

I want to put my birthday as ice skating I was going to invite 10 people