Like Marmite, this year’s sponsor of the Christmas lights on Oxford Street, you either love it or hate it. But ice skating has become a massive part of Christmas in London. Whether you can pirouette to impress or are just looking forward to a cup of mulled wine afterwards, there are plenty of places to get your skates on. We’ve picked out the best ones.
Best for family fun
When Hyde Park turns into Winter Wonderland, even big kids can’t contain their excitement. A circus, a German market and santa’s grotto beckon, and with plenty of music and twinkly lights, this is certainly the most Christmassy option. This year there’s a Magical Kingdom made of 200 tonnes of ice and snow for visitors to explore and meet the Ice Queen.
Nearest Tube: Queensway, South Kensington, Hyde Park Corner, or Lancaster Gate
Skating from £10.50 off peak for adults, £8.50 for children aged 12 and under
Best for city cool
Like NYC’s Rockefeller Centre rink, this one is classy as hell. Ice Rink at Canary Wharf has a sparkling new look this season and is sure to impress discerning friends. Skate through the trees along London’s first skate path, which lines the perimeter of Canada Square Park.
Nearest Tube: Canary Wharf
Skating costs £12.50
Best for romance
If you want to take someone skating just so you can hold hands, you might get your wish at Hampton Court Palace. Walk through the grounds by day and watch this gorgeous palace light up at night.
Nearest Station: Hampton Court
Skate from £11
Best for atmosphere
The Natural History Museum is also beautiful at night. Enjoy the best of west London as you glide around this 950-square-metre ice rink to festive music. Then redeem yourself by having a few mulled wines in the bar and laughing at strangers falling over. It’s only fair.
Nearest Tube: South Kensington
Skate from £9
Book your session in advance and arrive at least 30 minutes before your session starts.
Photo by krzakptak courtesy of Flickr