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Get your skates on! Parts of the Thames could be turned into natural ice-rinks

Isabelle Aron

There are very few things in London that sound less appealing than going for a nice 'refreshing' dip in the Thames - but ice-skating on the river? That's something we can get on board with. Architecture firm NBBJ – the folks who came up with the idea to replace the Circle line with a travelator – have come up with a new novel idea: to turn parts of the Thames into natural ice rinks. The project, called 'Frost Flowers', proposes using large circular pans which would sit under the water surface. This would isolate water from the current, meaning it should (hopefully) freeze. And then voila, you've got yourself a floating ice rink.


And out of season, the discs would fold up and and look like flowers:


It might all sound a bit complicated and hi-tech, but the plans are actually based an old London tradition from hundreds of years ago. From the seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century, London Bridge limited the flow of the river, causing parts of it to freeze, meaning Londoners could host big public festivals called 'frost fairs' on the river. And to anyone worried about the ice cracking, at the last frost fair in February 1814, they proved how solid the ice was by marching an elephant across the river, so we reckon you should be okay.

Sadly we don't think it'll happen in time for Christmas, but here's our ultimate guide to all things festive in London this month.

And if you're not sick of them yet, take a look at these Christmas sandwiches ranked worst to best.

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