Natural History Museum Ice Rink

Things to do , Ice skating Natural History Museum , Brompton Thursday October 27 2016 - Sunday January 8 2017
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(50 user reviews)
113 Love It
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 (© Peter Kindersley)
© Peter Kindersley
 (© Peter Kindersley)
© Peter Kindersley

An enchanting outdoor ice rink that's sure to charm visitors of all ages.

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. The rink is celebrating its twelfth year in 2016, and will provide the usual festive fun on its perimeter: a Café Bar overlooking the ice with live music on Thursdays and a pretty fairground carousel. See the website for wheelchair-user sessions, and note the rink is occasionally closed for private functions. It is also closed on Christmas Day.

Find more places to go ice skating in London

Venue name: Natural History Museum
Address: Cromwell Road
Opening hours: Daily 10am-5.50pm (last admission 5.30pm)
Transport: Tube: South Kensington
Price: From £12.65 (adults)
Event website:

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:32
  • 4 star:12
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
2 people listening
Warwick W

The clement  weather is playing havoc with the ice, which for the novice skater, means you'll be clinging on to the edge as it makes for much more difficult skating! 

Despite the rink having significant surface water it didn't dampen the fun.

A few tips

- Bring some cash for stashing your valuables - £2 per item.

- Don't fall over - you'll get soaked as my wife found out.

- Get there early - Especially if you've got kids, it takes a while to get the uncomfortable boots on and park your buggy etc.

- We arrived about 20 minutes before our session and that wasn't long enough. which meant we ate in to our 50 minute time slot.

- If your children are novices, they provide penguins for balance - They only have a limited number, so get to the front of the queue - Also, they cost £5 but definitely worthwhile.
- Get a slot when it's dark outside, it's so much more picturesque. 

- Food is really reasonable up in the bar - About £6-8 for a main. The Proscecco isn't. £32 a pop! Ouch.

reah b

Write a review...Whilst the location is lovely, the amount of people allowed on the ice rink at one given time is just far too many!

Also, the ice rink was literally a swimming pool with no suitable means of removing the water between sessions. Not what you'd expect for £15 for 50 minutes. 

Staff Writer

This has to be the most picturesque ice rink in London. You skate around a massive Christmas tree, with lit up trees around the side in the foot of the natural history museum. Bit of a queue to get in, so make sure you arrive early. 

Nadia T

The penguins definitely help if you havent skated before, or well. The time slot access is good cause i dont think i could cope with loads of people on the ice!

Hannah W

Beautiful Venue. Can get busy though although obviously can't do much about that

Eve D

The trees with fairy-lights transform the place into a magical venue when the sun sets. I went with my sister and we both had a great time once I overcame my fear of ice skating. The staff were friendly and unlike other reviewers I found there was plenty of room on the ice rink to skate or hold onto the side if you were a little scared like me! (I did go on a weekday evening so maybe avoid the weekend if it gets crowded.) A fun activity for the family but also a really romantic idea for a date.

Ray D

I'm sure if you like ice skating then this is probably really fun, but I find the idea of sliding around on the coldest hardest slippiest thing in the world in an enclosed space full of sharp blades to a soundtrack of modern pop anthems a little bit distressing. plus you can only go round in a circle, and look I know that isn't limited to just this ice skating rink but it'd be good if someone came up with one where you could go round different things eg through different zones, maybe some history themed stuff, that would be good. Anyway, it probably just wasn't for me. Also I got blisters off the shoes.

Tracy B

This is a magical setting with all the fairy lights, the Xmas tree and the Natural History museum lit-up in the background. It's much better priced (especially for a family) compared to Somerset House and the cafe is beautiful. Really cosy with lots of comfortable chairs and snuggle sofas and more fairy lights, where you can enjoy mulled wine afterwards :-) on the down side, it felt like the whole of London was on the rink too and you couldn't properly skate...I would still recommend it though as it's simply stunning :-)

Staff Writer

No denying this is a spectular venue for an ice rink, in the shadow of one of the most beautiful buildings in London. However, when I visited on a Saturday last year it was simply too overcrowded. The chance to actually "skate" was limited as you spent the entire time navigating the masses. Not to mention the ice was covered in an inch layer of water. Spare a thought for any poor soul who fell over and spent the rest of the day soaked through. Sort out the ice surface and don't be greedy on the ticket sales at weekends and this would be best ice skating experience in London.

Kemi O

 This was an amazing night! The setting is beautiful and there was a lovely atmosphere. The staff were extremely accommodating. My friends and I had an amazing time! I would definitely recommend this for anyone! 


A great end to the day and fantastic setting. Can't wait for next year.


Everything you could want from a 'things to do' guide! Will definitely be using this to guide my aussie friends around our capital!


The price is a bargain for such a large rink and good time! Definitely the best place to skate.

Elena A

We have visited a few of the London ice rinks this year and the Natural History museum is by far the best location to skate- so atmospheric!


Definitely the best option if you are thinking of ice skating in London. We tied in a visit to the museum with the kids and had a great day.


Had a great time ice skating at the Natural History Museum and it truly was a magical experience. I havent ice skated in years, and after a few minutes I was back on the ice feeling very comfortable and at ease. The venue was beautifully lit up and and I even managed to take a few snapshots on my phone while I skated. I could definitely do this again.


We had a great day out with the family, brilliant that there is a separate junior ice rink for the kids.


I went on Saturday evening for the first time and all I can say is what a fantastic location to skate in. The museum surroundings look stunning when you are on the ice. Definitely worth a visit.


Loved the ice skating at the Natural History Museum and in such a fantastic setting. The bar is great for a drink afterwards and you can watch the ice skating from the bar balcony.

Dan Noake

The rink that all the others try and copy! Amazing setting and really friendly staff that make the whole experience magical.

Ruth Beer

Fantastic venue with the backdrop of the Natural History Museum. Spend the day in this area fun for all the family.

Steve GALL

I expected a 1000 metre square but only got a 1000 square metre area instead. Disappointing!!


Skating at the History Museum was a beautiful experience and such a nice way to lead into winter and the Christmas season! The setting is just beautiful with the Christmas tree in the middle of the rink and the lights in the trees all around. I had thought 50 minutes might not be long enough but it definitely felt like a good amount of time. We also went for a drink in the bar upstairs afterwards and watched the next session of skaters out on the rink. A lovely evening.


I was surprised when I got a pair of ice-rink tickets. It was amazing and great experience on Halloween night. I had a lots of fun. Thank you so much for a great chance.


Really great setting to go ice skating. Had a great time but a sore arm from supporting the whole time..


Our kids had a great time at the skating. Really well organised and great fun!


That was truly a great experience. I went there with one of my best mate for an hour and then headed to the coffee house. It had a nice and warm Halloween feel to it. Thanks for the free tickets


I cant believe I won 2 tickets to the ice skating at natural history museum for opening 'Halloween night'! We wore some Halloween costumes and enjoyed it so much. the scenery was beautiful and really got me into the Christmas spirit - an essential Christmas visit for tourists and locals alike. also the mulled wine and hot chocolate in the bar was to die for! thanks again


It was an amazing experience! I have never ice skated before and i loved it. The atmosphere was great and me and my friend had a great time!

Nicola Harris

I was so surprised to hear I had won two tickets to the opening night of the Natural History Museum ice rink and what a great night it was. We had lots of fun and a great way to get into the wintery Christmasy spirit. I am already planning my next skating visit. Fab location- magical rink..would definitely recommend!


Great place to go ice skating. Plenty of space on the ice and an amazing backdrop of the Natural History Museum lit up.

Kulli Cheema

I was lucky enough to win two tickets from Timeout for the opening night of the Natural History Museum ice-skating rink. I arrived promptly at 6.50pm and was politely greeted by staff who asked for my name, once they found my name on the guest list I was shown where to collect my skates. Once on the ice me and my dear friend had a lovely time. I am not the best skater in the world so there were a few giggles on my part, but an enjoyable experience nonetheless. The experience really got me excited for Christmas as the ice-skating rink is located directly outside the beautiful Natural History Museum. I had a fantastic time and really appreciate the opportunity from Timeout. I will for sure keep an eye on the Timeout website and twitter account for other exciting opportunities in and around London. Merry Christmas Timeout :) x


I won the tickets from Time Out and absolutely loved it. Me and my friend enjoyed every second of it! Will be coming back.


My first time skating and I didn't stack it once. Am I some sort of ice skating prodigy? Probably. Lots of fun, only gripe however, too many people on the ice, meaning lots of swerving to avoid crashing into people. Like Piccadilly Circus but slippery.


As a Canadian, I was so excited to go skating across the pond and on an opening night, how special! It was a great experience, lovely environment and just a great stress reliever! Highly recommend it :)

John Nelmes

Very good, but a bit expensive, in my opinion. ie it in with a visit to the museum and its well worth the cost though!


does anybody know if you go on in session groups? I wanted to go saturday but maybe if the rink is to crowded i can wait till any other day

Sam J

Beautiful setting and magic atmosphere on the rink at nhm. Really gets you in the mood for Christmas. Great for family and couples :)