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Queen’s House Ice Rink
Photograph: Queen’s House Ice Rink

Ice skating in London

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

By Time Out London Things To Do
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Don’t listen to the hearsay. Christmas is not cancelled. Okay, Winter Wonderland is. But there will still be Christmas lights, there will still be seasonal music played two months too early, and there will be skating, damn it, even if it’s on a sparsely populated, socially distanced rink. 

Whether you can pirouette like Michelle Kwan or just slip around like Bambi, there’s a rink for everyone in London. We might have to book well in advance, but we can’t be stopped – skaters gonna skate! 

The best ice-skating rinks in London

Queen’s House Ice Rink
Queen’s House Ice Rink
Photograph: Queen’s House Ice Rink

1. The Queen's House Ice Rink

Things to do Ice skating Queen's House, Greenwich

Fancy whizzing around one of London’s prettiest UNESCO World Heritage sites? South London's only outdoor ice rink is back in front of at Greenwich’s resplendent Queen’s House - and this year it’ll be even bigger, which means more space for social distancing.

2. Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

2 out of 5 stars
Things to do Ice skating Hampton Court Palace, Hampton

Skate around Henry VIII's sixteenth-century pad this Christmas. Hampton Court Palace makes a mighty impressive backdrop for this outdoor rink, especially when lit up after dark. The ice is right by the side of the Thames and is an impressive 1,040 square metres. It’s pretty family friendly (those little penguin and dolphin skate aids are available for children, if you book in advance). For the rink wallflowers, there’s a café curated by Miss Polly which means big hot chocolates, fat cookies and home-made brownies. Find out more here

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Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival 2015
Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival 2015
Photograph: Sandra Sorensen

3. Alexandra Palace Ice Rink

Things to do Ice skating Alexandra Palace

Ally Pally’s lofty and indoor skating arena is back open for business. As usual, there’s public skating as well as ice hockey sessions. 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. 

Tower of London ice rink
Tower of London ice rink
Photograph: Courtesy of Tower of London ice rink

4. Tower of London Ice Rink

4 out of 5 stars
Things to do Ice skating Tower of London, Tower Hill

Fancy whizzing around one of London’s most famous landmarks? 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 and the River Thames. Skate sessions will be staggered this year, so there will be fewer people on the ice, and the organisers have promised ‘enhanced cleaning regimes’. There will be food and drink available on the sidelines at a heated café, so you can skate, or just spectate while drinking a hot chocolate piled high with mini mallows. 

Booking is essential. Find out more here

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5. Lee Valley Ice Centre

Sport and fitness Lee Valley

It’s hard to miss this very 1980s-looking arched-roofed building. Though a little marooned on Lea Bridge Road, its ice rink is really popular with kids’ parties, and has the added bonus of being close to the family-friendly Walthamstow Marshes. 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. 

6. Streatham Ice Arena

Attractions Streatham

Streatham’s rink was first opened in the area in 1931, where it stood for 80 years before getting a much-needed renovation in 2013. Both pros and novices of all ages can use the rink, with classes in skating and ice hockey also available. It’s part of the Better leisure centre group, so you’ll need to download the app to pre-book a public skating session. Okay, it’s not exactly Christmassy but it is Olympic sized (that’s 60m by 30m), so that’s a big tick for social distancing. 

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7. Queens Skate Dine Bowl

Bars and pubs Queensway

Welcome back, Queens. This ice rink, bowling alley and arcade has been around since the 1930s, and has just reopened after making some tweaks for the new health-and-safety guidelines (apparently it’s keeping the place squeaky clean and you can book for a maximum of six). There are also two cafés and an on-site Meat Liquor. If you can, save your visit for a Monday, when you can skate or bowl for just £7 per person

Venue says Located on Queensway in the heart of London, with food and drink by MEATliquor, QUEENS is central London's biggest one-stop fun shop.

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