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Ice skating in London

Get your skates on at the best ice skating rinks in the capital

By Time Out London Things To Do and Ellie Walker-Arnott |
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Skate at Somerset House, ice rink
© Life After Print Ltd.

Get your skates on! Christmas is coming to London, and with it comes a flurry of festive ice rinks. 

Whether you can pirouette like Michelle Kwan or just slip around like Bambi, there's a rink for everyone in London. From rinks surrounded by festive vibes like Winter Wonderland, to slices of ice with party-style DJs like Skate at Somerset House, or skating slabs on rooftop bars like Skylight - it's time to put your plans on ice and slide into action. Skaters gonna skate!

RECOMMENDED: The best Christmas events in London

The best ice skating rinks in London

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Photograph: Steve Dunlop
Things to do, pop-ups

Winter at Skylight Rooftop

Skylight London, Wapping

Winter has returned to east London, more specifically Tobacco Dock in Wapping, where there’s a rooftop ice rink (the only natural one in Europe). The rooftop is lined with igloos and huts which are mighty cosy, but must be booked in advance for a hefty fee (£90-£180). Skate, or spectate while knocking back mugs of mulled wine and feasting on roasted chestnuts.

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Photograph: Bar Elba
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Bar Elba

Waterloo
4 out of 5 stars

For the first time, buzzy rooftop oasis Bar Elba in Waterloo will turn its fairy-light-lined bar into a mini winter wonderland, complete with a pop-up, artificial ice rink with views of the city skyline. As rinks go, it’s extremely petite, coming in at around 4m x 14m. You can skate or play a (very short) game of curling. Since it’s artificial, it’s not quite as slippery and festive as the others, but there’s hot gin to amp up the Christmas spirit.

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Bars and pubs

Queens Skate Dine Bowl

Queensway

Queens Skate Dine Bowl has been around since the 1930s, and now boasts a fancy new look with a slick ice-skating rink, state-of-the-art bowling lanes and an outpost of the cult-status burger joint MEATliquor. There are also two cafés, and a fun retro games arcade. Plus, it's one of the only places in London where you can also do curling and go-karting on ice.

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Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival 2015
Photograph: Sandra Sorensen
Things to do, Ice skating

Alexandra Palace Ice Rink

Alexandra Palace

Ally Pally's lofty and indoor skating arena is open year-round for general skating, figure skating, ice hockey, parties and even weekend ice discos. The venue also offers year-round skating classes, so even the most wobbly skater could be gliding around the ice rinks like a pro, come Christmas. 

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LV_Sept2011_0254.jpg
Sport and fitness

Lee Valley Ice Centre

Lee Valley

The kid's parties are a big hit at this modern, well-maintained and comparatively warm ice rink. Other plus points are the fact that it’s never too busy, the ice rink is a good size, and the option is there to book private tuition if you're a little shy on the ice. 

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Streatham Ice Arena 2015
Attractions

Streatham Ice Arena

Streatham

Streatham has long been a home of ice and all the fun that comes with it. The rink was first opened here in 1931, where it stood for 80 years before getting a much needed renovation in 2013. Now it is Olympic sized (that's 60x30m) with almost 1,000 seats surrounding it. Both pros and novices of all ages can use the rink, with classes in skating and ice hockey also vailable.

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