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Photograph: Philip Lay
Photograph: Philip Lay

In pictures: Walthamstow Marshes became an ice rink this weekend

Turns out ‘the cold’ can be ‘fun’

By
Kate Lloyd
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Finally, FINALLY, Big Cold’s siege on London has come to an end. Throw your thermals in the bin, there’ll be no more snow, no more slippery pavements, no more biting winds... Our daily walks can return to a more normal and enjoyable state. 

That’s not to say that Londoners didn’t make the most of our time in Big Cold’s grip. Creative capital dwellers used the onset of snow and ice to have a jolly old time. Remember the Bernie Sanders snowman from a fortnight ago? He was a laugh, wasn’t he?

This inventive energy continued this weekend as, after a week of sub-zero temperatures, many of London’s waterways and wet bits froze over – including a flood plain in Walthamstow Marshes. On Sunday, east Londoners discovered it had become a big patch of ice and took to the new terrain to skate and play ice hockey (in pairs, hopefully). It's a move that could be described as either fun-loving or foolhardy, depending on how much of a killjoy you are, but it seemed like everyone was having a good time getting their government-mandated exercise in. 

Photograph: Philip Lay
Photograph: Philip Lay

Designer and former Time Outer Philip Lay spotted the unusual scene. ‘I think the marshes had been flooded for a while which then froze into this lake-style ice rink,’ he says. ‘There were quite a lot of people sliding across the ice on Saturday. They were obviously excited to be doing something other than walking aimlessly. By Sunday people decided it was strong enough to skate on and a few people started playing ice hockey on it, which then made a crowd gather and watch. It definitely had a fun atmosphere! Perhaps not the kid that fell into some melting ice and got wet... Although that made me laugh.’

Photograph: Philip Lay
Photograph: Philip Lay

Perfect pictures of dogs in the snow in London. 

The best green spaces for winter walks.

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