Natural History Museum Ice Rink

Things to do, Ice skating Natural History Museum , Brompton Thursday October 25 2018 - Sunday January 6 2019
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
(101user reviews)
 (Jenna Foxton | Fanatic)
1/9
Jenna Foxton | Fanatic
 (Felipe Goncalves)
2/9
Felipe Goncalves
3/9
 (© Peter Kindersley)
4/9
© Peter Kindersley
5/9
6/9
7/9
8/9
 (© Peter Kindersley)
9/9
© Peter Kindersley

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

The Natural History Museum is home to London’s most enchanting ice rink, thanks to the beautiful backdrop of Alfred Waterhouse's buildings, a row of trees dripping in fairy lights and a majestic Christmas tree in the middle of the ice. It's become a London Christmas classic. This year, the rink will provide the usual festive fun on its perimeter:Benugo are in charge of the indoor Café Bar and viewing balcony is open to all and overlooks the ice. See the website for wheelchair-user sessions. Booking is recommended. 

Get a sneak peek of this year's rink in our video below. 

Find more places to go ice skating in London

Posted:

Venue name: Natural History Museum
Contact:
Address: Cromwell Road
London
SW7 5BD
Opening hours: Daily 10am-5.50pm (last admission 5.30pm)
Transport: Tube: South Kensington
Price: From £12.65, £8.80 children
Event phone: 0844 847 1576
Event website: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/ice-rink.html
Static map showing venue location
    • Natural History Museum From £12.65, £8.80 children Buy tickets
    • Natural History Museum From £12.65, £8.80 children Buy tickets
    • Natural History Museum From £12.65, £8.80 children Buy tickets
    • Natural History Museum From £12.65, £8.80 children Buy tickets
    • Natural History Museum From £12.65, £8.80 children Buy tickets
    • Natural History Museum From £12.65, £8.80 children Buy tickets
    • Natural History Museum From £12.65, £8.80 children Buy tickets
    • Natural History Museum From £12.65, £8.80 children Buy tickets

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:57
  • 4 star:33
  • 3 star:9
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|101
1 person listening
Tastemaker

This a lovely experience that should be enjoyed whilst still possible! The rink is well build with quality ice, there's a massive beautiful Christmas Tree in the middle and the highlight - that gorgeous building in the back. One of the ultimate festive experiences in London, you can still grab a bite, a hot chocolate or a glass of wine on your way out. 

tastemaker

Ice skating at the Natural History Museum was an incredible experience for me... sure, I didn't have much to compare it to considering this was my second ever attempt at ice skating but wow... if you haven't been, you need to go.


Obviously the backdrop is incredible - walking up to the rink and seeing the museum towering behind it is something you won't forget. When we got there it was pretty packed but the line moved swiftly - I recommend getting there a bit earlier before you want to start to make sure you have time to get your skates on and put your coat and bags away. 


Due to my newbie status, and love of not being injured, I grabbed one of those children's skating aids aka. the penguin which I was hoping would help me get out on the ice rather than clinging to the railing. That decision turned out to be a wise one as I actually got to skate around a few times. As an aside, it would be good to have a larger sized penguin to help adults who are a little bit inexperienced on the ice. 


After our hour on the ice we all went in at the same time to get our bags which took a little bit of time of course. If you don't mind leaving the ice a bit earlier, it may be worth it just to dash in there and grab your stuff before the crowd. 


Overall, this was such a great experience and one that will stick with me forever!

Tastemaker

Its the most wonderful time of the year lalala.


The back drop of this ice rink is gorgeous and so pretty and romantic. The ice rink itself is too busy, so not the best place to learn. Its fun and you can take a selfie on the rink. Its expensive 16 pounds for 45 mins, but its nice and pretty and would be a fun thing to do with a group of friends.


Top tip

two pounds per item for the cloak too, what a rip off.

tastemaker

This was my first time at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink, and whilst I'm not the most talented ice skater I really enjoyed *attempting* to skate around this rink. The fee for the cloak room was excessive at £2 per item, I thought anyway. The backdrop is stunning and all the trees were lit up as well which made for a truly festive experience. The rink was big enough that we weren't constantly running into people, and an overall great experience! 

tastemaker

Wonderful at night, the Natural History museum ice rink won’t be an exception to the rule; Ice-skating in London is expensive!

I would even say extremely expensive, or even, take a loan to take your family there.


£16 for one hour of ice-skating at peak time sounds already expensive right? Well you should know that this is actually 40/45 minutes slot only. 45 if you are lucky enough to have beaten the queue on arrival for your ice skates and the cloakroom.


Despite the price, we can’t deny that the place is beautiful, down the loveliest museum of London (according to me) and with all the Christmas lights in the trees.



If I add to choose one ice rink to spend my money in London, I would most than likely go for this one.

tastemaker

This was the 2nd year that I went to Ice skating at Natural History Museum, and I can appreciate its beauty and that it had become something that everyone needs to do at least once when you live in London. but in comparison to last year, I was a bit disappointed. The price of the check-in and even the help penguins have gone up and it just felt like the Ryanair of ice rinks, where you had to pay extra for every little thing. 


I love the feel of the place and even the look and feel of the bar above if cosy and nice but for £7 a hot chocolate, it is just a bit too much for me. 

Tastemaker

Ice skating at Natural History Museum is, without a doubt, a London tradition by now. I have never been before and was looking forward. I am certainly glad I went, but I can’t afford the experience more than 3 stars. Sure, the location is magical and it all feels very Christmassy: the Christmas tree looks eye-pleasing and provides an excellent backdrop for selfies, and the Natural History Museum looks like a huge gingerbread house against the backdrop of Christmas lights. But, but! The skating rink was overcrowded and the quality of the ice was pitiful. They don’t clean the ice after each session, so it feels like ice skating on an off piste snow slope. The skates are horrible, they obviously don’t sharpen the blades often enough and the buckles are loose. You have to stand in your socks on a wet carpet waiting for the stuff to exchange your boots for skates, so get ready to have wet feet. The price is expensive for what you get and they charge extra (£5) to hire a training penguin which I think is plain evil and unfair to families with kids. They tell you to get there 40 min early and this is the one time when it makes sense as there’s a lot of queueing. Or, alternatively, and that’s what we did, plan to arrive late and leave early to avoid the congestion (of course, if you are willing to loose some of your skating time). Oh, one last thing, they have security people skating alongside visitors, but at the time of our session one of the guards was swishing by so quickly and doing quite reckless figures on ice, so it really felt like a disaster waiting to happen.

So, I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but many a European town (in particular Italy and Switzerland come to mind) do ice skating rinks way better. Last year for the same price I was ice skating in Lugano with a backdrop of Alps, on better ice, wearing better fitting white leather lace-up ice skates and with a proper Christmas market to go to afterwards. Get real, people!

Tastemaker

The fear starting kicking in pretty early that it had already been a whole year since I skated last at the Ice Rink at NHM. This year however, I was a lot more disappointed than the year before. Now don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful and mega Christmassy rink, and the setting in the heart of London is great... BUT it's awfully expensive - over £15 for a 1 hour slot. And then you have to pay £2 PER ITEM to put your stuff in the cloakroom, which I feel is excessive. As well as this, you're never going to get a whole hour skate, unless you arrive half hour early to get your skates on and are waiting outside ready for the doors to open. They also close the rink 10 minutes before the hour is up to get everyone off and clean it before the next slot. For these reasons I cannot award more than 3 stars this year.


What are you waiting for? Get your skates on and head for some, eh, skating! In a beautiful setting with the backdrop of the towering museum, a spin on this rink is a sure fire way to get into the Christmas spirit pronto. The massive tree in the middle makes it pretty festive and good to grab hold off when you’re heading for the ice.

The whole thing is memorable and magical...make sure you head upstairs after for some mulled wine to people watch everyone else becoming bambi on ice.

One star missing for the lack of xmas music and mini bottleneck occurring at every lap for putting a selfie camera in a corner of the rink?

Tastemaker

An undeniably picturesque, London-centric way to mark that annual drop in temperature and kick off the holiday season! Staff are all friendly if a little stressed and the rink is a touch on the small side for an hour session - we were running a touch late for our time slot and it wasn't a problem at all.


I only wish there were some sort of an alarm sounded halfway through to mark a change in direction so that I didn't feel all strain in my right leg only the next day but, having said that, it did us well to jump off the rink a touch earlier and beat the masses queuing for their shoes once ushered off.

tastemaker

What more can you say about London’s best ice skating spot?

Skate on real ice (not one of those chopping boards you get in other locations!) around the most stunning tree while surrounded by beautiful lights - all behind the grand Natural History Museum.

It’s worth getting in a little late (and leaving the session a little early) to miss the queues of people swapping skates for shoes - particularly at the end when the ‘queue’ becomes more like ordering a drink at a busy bar on a Friday night. They’re also missing a trick by not playing Christmas music when you skate (I don’t mind listening to the chart music instead, but hearing Will Smith’s ‘Summertime’ was just inappropriate given the circumstances).

A stunning skate rink and as much a London Christmas tradition as mince pies, Christmas lights and mulled wine (all of which you can find in the upstairs bar).

tastemaker

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially at the beautifully decorated ice skating rink at the Natural History Museum. 


When you step out of the tunnel from the tube, you are transported to a winter wonderland - an ice skating rink sits proudly in front of the museum, with a Christmas tree stunningly decorated in the middle and trees decked with fairly lights twinkling. It was the first time I was happy the dark evenings draw in early so I could really take it all in. 


The rink was a good size, and I even worked up the courage to let go of the sides. A nice touch was the 'selfie machine' - push the button, get into position and say cheese! The only downside was that you then have to pay £10 for the photo. Not ideal. There were also photographers swooshing round the rink with the photos apparently going up on Facebook, but sadly we didn't get one of these taken. 


However, it is great fun here and I would highly recommend getting your skates on and heading down for some festive fun. 

Tastemaker

Is it that time of year already? I can't believe it has been 1, a year since I last ice skated and 2, time to open up London's beautiful outdoor Christmas ice rinks. I was lucky enough to check out the ice rink at the start of the season (maybe a bit early?!). It was fairly spacious on the rink which I hope is due to limited ticketing rather than lack of interest.  Any more people would make the experience stressful rather than enjoyable. Compared with last year it seemed a lot more gimmicky with more than one photo booth of which you have to now buy. It is also 2 quid per bag which is ridiculous on top of the £16 for an hour on the ice. The scenery is stunning however with trees full of Christmas lights and the museum lit up. Hotel chocolat also have a pop up van serving warming hot chocolate. It certainly makes for a special evening out.

Tastemaker

It's one of those Christmas classics that I've always wanted to do but never got around to. The tree in the middle of the rink was just gorgeous and it was a really good experience. The thing I loved the most about it was that it felt like every single person was almost as bad as me on ice skates. It went from terrible to okay, and I loved it being a really appalling skater myself. The one thing I wasn't a big fan of was that terrible, terrible playlist - it really could have done with some Christmas tunes in my opinion.

All around the rink were some nice hot chocolate, mulled wine and other treat kiosks.

 It was a nice experience but bear in mind that it is £16 for just under an hour of skating which is way too pricey in my opinion
tastemaker

I do not take to the ice like a duck takes to water but this is a lovely activity to get you into the festive spirit. The rink is fairly small so they’re isn’t much room for the racers and the edges are normally occupied by the novices but the 50 minute time allocation is just right. The staff are pretty sufficient but I’d get there a little early to join the queue to make the most of your time. The only bad thing I would say is that at £16 each, it’s not exactly a cheap date and the cloak room also costs £2 which irritated me slightly but otherwise layer up and embrace the Christmassy spirit.

Tastemaker

I always dream of going Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum when Christmas rolls around.It has the most beautiful backdrop to any ice rink I have ever seen and the stunning tree in the middle really makes you feel festive.The boots are comfortable too which is always a massive plus!The only thing I would say is that it gets extremely busy which makes it difficult for first time skaters to get a handle on the skill and means you are frequently almost knocking over someone else or being run over yourself.If the skating isn’t for you there is a carousel and a bar serving mulled wine and other festive treats.  They are quite expensive and so is the skating itself so save this for a special occasion but if you are only going to visit one rink this year, I would make it this one. 

Tastemaker

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas… The season of gluhwein, hot chocolate and ice skating! And what better way to ice skate than with the National History Museum as your backdrop. I genuinely got so excited walking up to the NHM and seeing the huge Christmas tree and ice rink.


The ice rink had a general mix of would-be figure skaters and to the not so confident rail huggers. They even have the penguin helpers for those who aren’t brave enough to face the ice alone. Beware of all the selfie-taker skaters who are not watching where they’re skating.


For a ticket, approximately the price of a movie, you get to skate around the Christmas tree centrepiece for an hour. My only wish is that you’d be able to skate for longer. Tip: If you’re able to get away from work, during weekdays you’re able to skate from 11 - 13:40 for the price of a single ticket!


There is a cafe with a terrace above the ‘locker-room’ entrance and exit that overlooks the ice rink for all your drink and food needs.


So. Much. Fun!

tastemaker

Bambi on ice has nothing on me, so when I decided to face my fears at the Natural History Museum's ice rink I did not have high hopes. I envisaged a bustling rink where I was sure to be knocked over, but in fact I was not entirely correct. Generally there seemed to be a good balance to the number of people on the ice, and I managed to last the whole session without a tumble. 


However, I do think there is room for improvement. 


Firstly, as a very nervous skater I found it hard to get up confidence to move away from the bar very much as every time I did I had to quickly catch my balance to stop myself tumbling into groups who decided it would be a good idea to stop in the path of other skaters so that they could take pictures - please, please ban phones and cameras from the ice! It's an accident waiting to happen! Not that being by the railing made much difference, as here I instead had to contend with people on the little viewing platform thrusting cameras and phones over the railing to take pictures too, also knocking me off balance.


Secondly, if you're looking for a purse-friendly family day out, this is not it. The ticket prices for what amounts to around 45 minutes at the most on the ice are pretty eyewatering. Not to mention all the added fees - £2 per item to store bags (which conveniently aren't allowed on the ice) and £5 per penguin for children needing a skating aid.


Overall, not a totally horrific experience, but definite room for improvement.

tastemaker

This is only my second London ice skating experience but I have to say I think this is possibly the most picturesque setting you could possibly imagine!! All the beautiful lights, the backdrop of the beautiful Natural History Museum and of course the iconic Christmas Tree plonked right in the middle of the rink just makes you feel all gooey inside. Although I imagine it also strikes fear into the heart of many, I may have overheard a few very angry people that were not impressed with their partners 'romantic surprise' as they clung to the wall for dear life. 


The rink is kind of on the small size itself and given there seemed to be a very large number of people in the session it meant the pace was much slower than the rink I was at last year. Having said that it was nice to not be fearfully overlooking my shoulder every five minutes for speed demons. 


There is of course a cafe for refreshing beverages after your session. A glass of mulled wine will cost you £6.50 (a little steep in my opinion) and a hot dog and chips £8. The view on the balcony though is really nice and a great place for a post skate cuddle as you watch the next lot of fearful couples limp around the edge of the rink. 


Word to the wise, get there EARLY  as possible for your session as the queues are LONG and the staff do both people coming off and on the ice so it is very slow going. To the point that I decided not to use the bag check for £2 because it would have taken half the session to find someone to take my bag which is less than ideal. 

tastemaker

Set in front of the Natural History Museum at South Ken, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful location for this Christmas ice-rink. the Victorian museum building in the background is perfectly lit giving the whole scene an oldy-worldy feel like you’ve been transported a hundred years back.

During peak time a skating session costs £16 which includes skate rental. It’s then £2 per item to use the cloakroom (which you have to do unless someone can just hold all your stuff), so although it’s not a cheap hour it’s a great experience. Each skating session is 50 minutes- everyone gets on and off the ice at the same time making it super organised.

There’s also a little practice rink on the side if you want to build up some confidence before tackling the main one.

I love the bar that over-looks the rink- it’s the perfect spot to rest your feet and enjoy a much-deserved drink if you’ve been on the ice, or if you just want to watch others giving it a go instead.

The big Christmas tree in the middle of the rink, museum in the background, the kids’ plastic penguins, make the whole scene totally Instagrammable too.

Whether you’re skating or not, it’s certainly worth a visit.

tastemaker

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink. It is an early adventure into the world’s most wonderful time of year. Christmas has definitely come early. I feel it comes earlier than ever which is scary.

It always means another year coming to an end and a new one ready to awaken.

When you get to the museum, your surrounded with such beautiful, tiny fairy lights which are decorated around the trees.

It’s somewhat magical to see the ice rink, the Christmas lights, the Christmas tree and the museum in the background as a whole.

It’s a perfect combination to have an evening or a day of pure laughter and excitement on ice outdoors.

I always get very excited when it comes for Christmas each year, so when I visited the NHM ice rink for the first time I was extremely happy and quite terrified at the same time.

I haven’t skated on ice for a couple of years.

It is special to be on that ice rink, skating smoothly with the person you love.

Seeing all the intricate lights and the magnificent centre piece, which is the Christmas tree, is marvellous.

My only worry was falling and I didn’t fall. It almost happened, but I tried not to think about it.

There were a couple of people that fell quite drastically and staff are always ready to assist and help anyone on the ice.

I started off skating on the sides of the ice rink and then I gradually started to skate around the rink in circles.

It’s definitely a Christmas classic for all ages to enjoy every year.

It’s so nice to see so many people around the rink, enjoying the 50 minutes of skating on ice.

I would highly recommend getting there at least 30 minutes earlier than your scheduled time slot, it will get rather busy with queues and getting your boots on.

I had bags on the day and unfortunately I couldn’t really carry around a heavy bag on the rink, that would look really silly.

I had to pay £2 for each bag, which is quite unfair. Tickets are already expensive, so be aware what you bring on the day.

The experience being on the ice is unforgettable, but I probably wouldn’t go again.

It was lovely for a one time experience, but I personally wouldn’t pay £12 for just 50 minutes.

All in all it’s fun, it’s super and it’s Christmas.

Don’t forget the indoor café bar which is a treat for all visitors and you’ll get to see the pictures that were taken of you on the ice.

I did enjoy the view from the balcony, it’s a great view to take photographs.

The carousel adds another boost of fun for the children and adults. Why not. I would love to go on it. Maybe next time.

Enjoy every second of the NHM ice rink.

#TOTastemaker

Love MD.

tastemaker

The Christmas tree in the centre of the rink, with the natural history museum as a back drop really sets the tone for Christmas cheer. The brightly lit carousel turns as cheesy 90's music plays in the back ground. The staff happily practice their skating whilst guarding the penguins (the ice skating equivalent of arm bands). Men, women and children alike, cling to the balustrade as they very ungraciously step out on to the ice desperately hoping they don't perform a bambi reenactment. After a few cautious strides we slowly peel away from the edge getting the hang of gliding across the ice. Obviously the over confident (me) eventually attempted a very slow game of IT (or tag as you may no it, this is no place for sticky glue). The 50minutes on the ice was great and plenty amount of time to stay warm and not get too cold. The rink isn't particularly big, and with a lot of people taking care and slow skating is the best option. At £16/£17 for off peak and on peak adult prices it is a fairly expensive treat but a lot of fun. One tip is I would get there early as the queues to get boots and return them are quite long. There aren't many staff and a lot of people all arriving and departing at the same time.

tastemaker

This was my first experience of outdoor ice-skating and what a magical setting it was. I haven't been skating in over 20 years and I struggled my way around the rink but I was glad to see I wasn't the only one as there were skaters of all abilities. I think it is just a great experience to have fun and enjoy the festive season in lovely surroundings more than the act of skating but I should definitely try to practice more often so as not to grab everyone else every time I'm about to fall over!


The system of people putting on skates on one side and taking them off on the other side seems to work well but on exit the room is very busy with a longer wait as everyone is there at the same time, luckily we left the rink 5 minutes before so got our shoes back fairly quickly, still had wet feet from the wet floor though!


After our session we ventured up to the café for a hot chocolate and to check out the next group of skaters from the balcony. I was such a lovely café, lit up just like the trees surrounding it and I'm surprised it was so empty considering the amount of people watching the skating outside.

tastemaker

What an experience! I loved skating at The Natural History Museum rink as it is suitable for all ages and skills. Such beautiful scenery with the amazing museum behind and a central Christmas tree in the middle of the rink. There are strings of fairy lights surrounding you as you skate and you can even have a pit stop at a photo booth on the side of the rink. A few nibbles are outside the rink however best to stick to the Hotel Chocolat van which offers indulgent drinks and chocolate goodies. All round a great night skating in London under the lights. 

tastemaker

Before I start this review, I'd like to point out that I am currently trying to manage a sore knee and I can't even skate on solid ground, let alone slippery ice. However, the Natural History Museum Ice Rink was an amazing experience! I love the Natural History Museum as it is, but put a starry-lit ice-rink, with a twinkling tree and it's magic! We stayed there for the entire hour and I used my wife as a penguin to balance myself on the skates, but what a sight! I loved watching people glide passed on ice, being happy and festive. I know a lot of people who are a bit unsure about their ice-skating abilities, but after last night, I would recommend everyone to just get amongst it. You don't have to know what you're doing, just enjoy it!

tastemaker

Went last night for a slightly early festive outing and had a lovely time! The lights are beautiful and the general surroundings are lovely. Was quite busy, but not crazy. They've got a fun new photobooth thing so you can have a photo on the ice (which is hilarious), quite expensive to actually buy though. The bar upstairs is also fun to watch the carnage of the next session!


tastemaker

I have no balance whatsoever and therefore I can't ice-skate. My main focus on arriving at the rink, was to grab a stabilising penguin and perhaps manage a tiny movement on the ice. A bargain at £5! What a difference a penguin made. Penguin firmly in both hands, I could then start to admire the beauty of my surroundings: trees encircled by myriads of white lights above and below; a statuesque Christmas tree around which we (even I) skated and of course, the awe-inspiring Natural History Museum to the side. It looks like something out of a Walt Disney fairy tale. It's a wonderful way to spend fifty minutes but there are some downsides. It's not cheap for the average person - £16 per adult. Storage is another £2 and if, like me, you must have a penguin, that is another £5. I saw a number of bad falls. One woman was making sure she could move her wrist after her fall. A French boy fell so hard, not only did I hear that terrible thump, I was sure he had cracked his skull. Fortunately, I don't think he had. Others were tumbling around me. Oh, and the boots were uncomfortable to say the least. That is why there are only four stars as my rating. Take at least two pairs of socks to wear and a third pair to change into afterwards as your feet will get wet when collecting your own footwear. Mainly very good and a lot of fun.

tastemaker

Highly recommend not missing out on this one. Beautiful backdrop, fairy lights, music and a Christmas tree so a great place to go with friends, family or a date. The only downside was the long queue to get your skates despite arriving 15minutes before we didn't get onto the rink until 10minutes past the hour.

tastemaker

I visited the ice rink at the beginning of November whilst still being very much in denial that Christmas is on its way so I fully expected to be all Grinch about the whole event. And yes there is a giant Christmas tree in the middle of the rink so there's no getting away from the Christmas vibe, but it's so tastefully decorated along with the backdrop of the beautiful museum and fairy lights twinkling, that you really can't help but embrace all its enchanting Christmassy-ness.


The rink is fairly small in size but they were careful not to overfill it with too many people. Of course there was the usual mix the nervous beginners clinging on to the sides and the speedy show offs dashing in and out of everyone but there was plenty of space to accommodate everyone. I overheard some people complaining about the quality of the ice but given that this was my first time skating in about 8 years I couldn't really judge. I did notice some autumn leaves had got trapped underneath the ice and whilst I'm sure this was purely accidental, I really felt that this added something to the magical atmosphere.


There was music being played but it was neither loud nor upbeat enough to make circling around and around more entertaining. Although I did appreciate that it wasn't Christmas songs, I think that might have been a step too far!


The bar overlooking the ice rink is decorated really nicely with a sort of alpine vibe and has some comfy armchairs to slouch in after a hard hour skating. I was disappointed that they had run out of mulled wine (it must have been good) but I tried their winter Pimms instead and loved it. I do think the food was a bit pricey, in the end I opted for a kids meal because I couldn't justify £10 on what I was sure would be quite a basic café-style dinner.


Overall I would highly recommend booking a session here if only just to remind you that winter (and Christmas) can be fun too!

Tastemaker

Ice skating at the picturesque Natural History Museum is the one thing you must do this winter to kick off the festive season. The Natural History Museum hosts as a beautiful backdrop, adorned with 86,000 LED fairy lights which are lighting up the trees and a 35 ft Christmas tree which have been decked out with over 1,000 precision cut Swarovski crystals, Making it the very inch of the wondrous winter wonderland.


This is the first time I have skated at the Natural History Museum and it was so much fun. It was such a magical experience. Each session lasts about 50mins and if you aren't an expert at skating, you have the help of penguins to help glide you around the rink .


There is also a chance to have photos done at the Swarovski Crystal booth where you can capture the moment perfectly if you don’t fancy to reach out for your phone and take a selfie on the ice. This experience is free, which is excellent, just be ready for the queue at the end to collect your photo.


Lastly, there is also a cafe/bar where you can grab a hot drink/mulled wine to warm your cobbles up after your time on the ice.


The staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Book your tickets early to join in the festive fun.

Tastemaker

By far the most charming ice rink in London during the festive season, skating at the Natural History Museum  is truly magical, and a sure-fire why to get you in the Christmas spirit. 


The location is stunning; the majestic NHM lit up beautifully as a backdrop, twinkly lights adorning trees and a big old Christmas tree right in the centre. The session wasn't too packed, which meant there was lots of room to spin out your pirouettes or cling onto the side for your dear life. There is also a cafe bar which looks over the rink so you can check out the competition with a warming mulled wine. 


There is also the fab addition of a Swarovksi photo booth on the ice, which means you can capture the moment without risking selfie induced accidents. These are then free to print off and take home, and while the queue is quite large, all the staff are really efficient and friendly.


Without a doubt, this ice rink is always super popular so make sure you book your tickets soon to get your festive fix.



Tastemaker

The ice rink at the Natural History Museum is one of the first rinks to open this winter and it is truly stunning. Besides the gorgeous cathedralesque Hintze Hall setting, there’s a 30ft Swarovski Christmas tree in the middle, peppered in glitter, fairy lights and supersized baubles! It has a real magical feel that can only make you happy!


Sessions are 50 minutes long and ticket prices differ depending on when you want to skate (all including skate hire). Peak prices are between noon and 9pm on weekend days (£17.05 for adults) and the cheapest sessions are at 2pm on weekdays (£12.65 for adults).

It’s such a lovely activity to kick off the festive season, however, if you don’t fancy skating, the Café Bar and balcony has afternoon tea, hot food, snacks, drinks and great view of the ice
Tastemaker

Ok so it's only 5th November.... and everyone is celebrating Bonfire night.... but that's no excuse not to get into the Christmas spirit early! 


I had a magical evening with my little sister at NHM Ice Rink this week. It's so Christmassy, with twinkling fairy lights and the big Christmas tree in the middle. It really is enchanting and guaranteed to get even the biggest grinch into the Christmas spirit.


tastemaker

If youre not in a Christmassy mood paying a visit to hear will certainly get you in the mood! The twinkling lights, the tree, the setting....... All good. 


You get 50 minutes on the ice and its £12.95 for an adult and if you need a skating aid (a startled looking penguin) these cost £5 plus if you need to store a bag thats a further £2. Pretty steep if you need all of the above! nevertheless its good fun and the atmosphere is amazing. 


You can pose for a photo but the queue to get a free copy was humungous and theres no reference number so im guessing the queue was massive as people had to flick through so many to find theyre own mugs :D if you badly want your picture can I advise you hurry along to the photo booth after your session. 


Oh and bring gloves and thick socks :D 

Tastemaker

Up until now I have been in denial about the fact the Christmas is fast approaching, but just seeing the rink has changed everything. The NHM itself is a stunning building and it's the perfect backdrop for the ice rink.

I have not been ice skating for at least 15 years and therefore it took me a while to get back into it (luckily it is like riding a bike), but once I had overcome my insecurity it's been amazing!


At first I was a bit worried as they were a lot of people queuing, but the rink is big enough and you can really enjoy yourself. 


Fairy lights and a huge Christmas tree add to the experience and I'd recommend to book an evening session to enjoy it in full. It's best to arrive in plenty of time - there will be a queue.

Tastemaker

I don't usually get in the christmas spirit until December, but it was such a treat to enjoy the beautiful skating rink at NHM last night that I was fully captivated by the stunning Swarovski decorated tree in the centre of the rink, and more than happy to embrace it! It is beautiful, twinkly, very large while not forcing the spirit of christmas too down our throats this early in the season.


The rink itself is a great size - there isn't too much congestion (despite it being popular and busy) so accidents aren't too regular. There is also a smaller rink off the the corner where those who don't have as much confidence in their skating abilities can gain some confidence before going out into the main area. There are also several "penguin assistants" which you can push along and hold onto if you want a bit of extra support. 


They play music over the sound system as you're going round which was actually a bit too quiet, and there is also a photo area where you can pose, have you photo automatically taken and then printed FOR FREE at the end which is really cool and a lovely keep sake from the hour of skating you get!


It's a really lovely thing to do if you feel like getting in the festive spirit, and the cafe/bar/restaurant upstairs is a great place to head if you just want to watch, or fancy grabbing a hot chocolate before or after to warm your cockles!

tastemaker

Magical,mystical and damn right fun! The rink itself is so beautiful!! The swarvoski adorned Christmas tree in the middle is the masterpiece of it all! There are lively tunes and even Christmas vibes to be found whilst skating your life away!

Its well kept and you find yourself in another world where fairy lights and beautifully decorated trees come to life. They have a cosy seating area upstairs where I can imagine a lot of mulled wine and mince pies are guzzled! The best rink I've seen in years! Highly recommend


Wow, skating at The Natural History Museum.

What's not to like ?

Nothing !

This is an unmissable experience.

50 minutes on the ice skating ( or staggering ) to pretty cheesy but totally appropriate tunes is just a treat.

I am now feeling festive and its only November 2nd

Brilliant !

tastemaker

Ticks all the boxes!


Firstly, as an ice rink, the quality is excellent, I went on a busy night and the boots, ice and size were excellent. The service was lovely, and nice to see no sneaky charges such as skate or locker hire.


Next you learn that the rink is non for profit, and all the proceeds go to running the museum- so why not two tourist attractions in one go?


On the sidelines you have market style cabins serving up mulled, hot chocolate and food, and even a fun Christmas souvenir shop. 


Whilst you skate you are treated pop songs as you whiz around the beautifully crafted Christmas tree and under a marquee of fairy lights, it really adds occasion to the experience.


It was definitely the best rink I've been on!

tastemaker

With the fairy lights on the trees, the gigantic colourful Christmas tree, and the Natural history museum lit-up in the background, this venue does really make the most magical and beautiful backdrop. I have been to a few outdoor ice-skating rinks in London and this has to be by far my favourite! My friend and I had an amazing night ice-skating around the Christmas tree and sampling some of the delicious mulled wine they were serving! There’s even a chance to have your picture taken on the ice, which you can then go and purchase. I would definitely recommend a visit over the Winter period, it will certainly put you in the mood for Christmas!


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.


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. 


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!


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


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.


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.


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.


 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! 

Show More