As we get ready for the Christmas holiday, I thought it would be great to share with you a guest post from Hostelbookers about the amazing ice skating rinks that have popped up in London! My family and I have enjoyed some of the rinks that pop up in San Francisco during the holidays and am sure any one of these would be a great addition to any trip to London.
London is well and truly in the Christmas spirit now – traditional Christmas markets line the South Bank, mulled wine stalls are doing a thriving trade across the city, and temporary ‘pop up’ ice rinks are everywhere. There are so many ice rinks to choose from but this is our pick of the best – so that you can get your skates on, whether you live locally, are staying in some cheap hotels in London, or just wish you were here!
Tower of London
Our first choice is a very iconic location for an open-air ice rink – the famous Tower of London. It’s a very popular attraction in itself, so if you’re visiting the capital, a trip to the rink here could kill two birds with one stone. The rink is set in front of the imposing fortress on the tower’s moat, so skating here gives some great views of the castle.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is famous for its dinosaur, planet and human science exhibits. However, in winter it’s also home to a 900 sq meter open-air ice rink. We love the architecture of the Natural History Museum and, as an added bonus, the outdoor café sells hot chocolate and mulled wine. It’s a good place to take a date with the bars and restaurants of Soho just a short walk away.
Somerset House is a very glamorous skating location. The rink is sponsored by none other than the famous jewelers, Tiffany & Co. The house itself is a magnificently proud building and they’ve even erected a sparkling 40 ft Tiffany Tree to add to the decadence. If you’re a little bit of a drama queen, this is the perfect skating location 🙂
The iconic ‘eye’, giving 360 degree views of the city, calls its rink the Eyeskate. A little touristy, the Eye is the closest thing we Brits have to the Effiel Tower and, love it or hate it, it does look pretty lit up at night. The best thing about the Eyeskate is its location on the South Bank – just a short walk away from countless cultural attractions, like the BFI cinema and Royal Festival Hall.
Not only is the Samsung Galaxy Ice Rink London’s biggest ice rink, it’s also a part of Hyde Park’s famous ‘Winter Wonderland’, which is where the city’s largest open space is transformed with markets, fairground rides and even a circus. One of the highlights of Winter Wonderland is the ‘carousel bar’ where you can sit on a plastic horse as you sip mulled wine. Winter Wonderland is so popular that it’s worth going just to experience the crowds and the atmosphere.