Winter Skating

One of the joys of winter in London is ice skating under the stars against some of the capital’s most stunning backdrops. Christmas lights add to the atmosphere, making it great for a romantic evening or a fun family event. Outdoor ice rinks have been popping up all over the capital in the past few years. Here’s THE SEASON'S guide to the best

Somerset House

The ice rink in Somerset House’s grand 18th-century courtyard is one of our favourite winter rinks, with the building's neoclassical facade and 40-foot Christmas tree a magical backdrop to the rink. Skate from morning till night, or skate till late at club nights with top DJs on the soundsystem from disco and pop to jazz and deep house.

There’s plenty of après-skate entertainment too, with a café-bar overlooking the rink and a Christmas pop-up from Fortnum & Mason, Fortnum's Lodge. New for 2017 are Skate Lates, a curated programme of music nights throughout the season - the perfect start to your weekend. Also, almost hidden away upstairs (entrance on the left in the archway at the Strand entrance), is the superb Courtauld Gallery, with paintings from Renaissance to 20th century, many of them instantly recognisable masterpieces.

Location & details

Skate at Somerset House
15 November-14 January 2018  
The Strand  
Covent Garden  
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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

This is the biggest of the outdoor rinks in London (at 1600 square metres). Set around a Victorian bandstand with 100,000 twinkling lights strung over the rink, it is a magical setting. Winter Wonderland also has a Christmas market, Magical Ice Kingdom taking you on a voyage through the Arctic complete with icebergs, shipwrecks and polar bears (made of ice), Santa’s grotto, two circuses and fairground attractions, making it popular with families.

Location & details

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
17 November-1 January 2018  
Hyde Park  
W2 2ET
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Natural History Museum

Another favourite, the Natural History Museum’s 950 sq m rink is set in the gardens of Alfred Waterhouse’s 19th-century building with the surrounding trees all lit up with fairy lights. There is a smaller adjoining rink for kids and there is a bar for après-skate drinks overlooking the action. And, of course, inside are the famous dinosaurs.

Location & details

Natural History Museum
26 October-7 January 2018  
Cromwell Road  
South Kensington  
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Other rinks

Tower of London Ice Rink has skaters gliding across the moat of one of London’s oldest landmarks (17 November to 2 January 2018).
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On the outskirts of London, there's a rink at the historic Hampton Court Palace (24 November to 7 January 2018).
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26 October 2017 - 14 January 2018 


Various locations