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Out and About: Skate into Christmas

Skate into Christmas, outside, on an imaginary frozen pond in one of London’s most iconic locations. It’s a great weekend to have fun before the crowds – and when it’s not too cold. Here are five of th ...

Skate into Christmas, outside, on an imaginary frozen pond in one of London’s most iconic locations. It’s a great weekend to have fun before the crowds – and when it’s not too cold. Here are five of the best places to go!

Somerset House

I am a bit of a fan of Somerset House – most of the time it manages to feel like a secret location, almost a club. You will want to glide around their Christmas Skate offering –  one of the most popular ice rinks in the beautiful Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court with the famous neoclassical facade as a backdrop. There are ice daytime skating sessions and a programme of cool Skate Lates club nights under the stars, when the rink comes alive with music by top DJs. There’s also a rink-side food and drink lodge and a Christmas pop-up shop, courtesy of Fortnum and Mason. 15 Nov-14 Jan
Read more at https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/whats-on/skate-somerset-house

Natural History Museum

This is the perfect place if you have children, fun and facts in one delightful package. Spend a couple of hours inside and then get your skates on in the east lawn of this iconic museum, transformed for winter with twinkling fairy lights and a magnificent Christmas tree. The ice rink opens all day and well into the evening. After your session, warm up with hot chocolate or mulled wine in the cosy museum cafe which overlooks the rink, or enjoy chocolatey treats at the rink-side Hotel Chocolat pop-up. 26 Oct-7 Jan http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/ice-rink.html
Tower of London

Probably a bit too spooky to attract me but I can see why so many people love this gleaming central London ice skating rink. It is nestled in the attraction’s famous dry moat (famously filled with ceramic poppies in 2014), in the shadow of the 1,000-year-old London castle. Visit the ice rink for an evening skating session to see hundreds of snowflake lights illuminate the walls of the castle. 17 Nov-2 Jan http://toweroflondonicerink.co.uk/

Canary Wharf Ice Rink

If you fancy a spin amidst urban cool – this is the venue for you. It is much quieter on weekends as you might imagine but the gleaming modern glass buildings and blitz of lights remain the same. This London ice skating rink stays open until much later than most and, thanks to its clear roof covering, you can continue to enjoy the ice whatever the weather. This winter, the popular Skate Path returns with a new glittering route through the trees. 4 Nov-24 Feb

 Winter Wonderland

And I have kept the best for last – a personal preference, of course, but who wouldn’t want to skate around Hyde Park’s Victorian bandstand to the sounds of a live band in an enchanting festive atmosphere? This is the biggest open-air ice skating rink in the country and is surrounded by bustling Christmas markets, fairground rides, wintry food and drink stalls and many more festive attractions. Enjoy a day skating session on a crisp winter day, or see the park lit up for Christmas with an evening skate. 17 Nov-1 Jan http://hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/attraction/icerink/
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink
It would be just plain rude to not finish this piece without a mention of our own local ice palace. So don’t forget we have the privilege of having a year round skating venue on our doorstep at Alexandra Palace.
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