It hasn’t half come round quick, but London’s scenic spots have been well and truly iced up again. The rinks are ready and waiting for skater boys and girls to throw some slip n’ slide seasonal shapes. Here are five of our favourites.
Nov 19-Jan 6 2012, London Eye, SE1 7PB
Not exactly beneath the London Eye (that would just be silly), but in the adjacent Jubilee Gardens with a great view of the illuminated Ferris wheel. On the November 19 they’re literally putting the Nutcracker on Ice, and on December 19 you can show off your moves at the Skate Off.
Natural History Museum
Until Jan 8 2012, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD
It’s not all about the dinosaurs, you know. The rink is on a TRex scale with 1,000 square skateable metres and for the fainter of heart, there’s a carousel and a snug bar where you can de-ice with a hot choc or mulled wine.
Tower of London
Nov 19-Jan 8 2012, Tower of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB
From your icy playground set in the dry moat of the fortress, spare a thought for the tragic Princes in the Tower- they never had this much fun. Wheelchairs are welcome with the exception of the last session of the day.
Hampton Court Palace
Nov 26-Jan 8 2012, Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
We can’t quite picture the rotund Henry VIII taking a spin on the rink, but with 900 square metres to go at, there’s room for even the most ungainly of today’s wannabe ice dancers. As above, wheelchairs are welcome except last thing.
Canary Wharf Ice Rink
Nov 12-Feb 19 2012, Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf
Not one for the vertigo-troubled, stare up at the corporate skyscrapers of London’s Gotham City from this 720 metre square ice slab or take refuge in the swanky rinkside bar.
Until Feb 12 2012, Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS
Last but not least, we thought we’d throw in London’s oldest open air rink. The city’s only ‘drop-in’ skate facility just glided into its 26th year with five Humboldt penguins striking out on the ice, much to the bewilderment of passing commuters.
For out of towners, you can still skate the night away with many hotels offering skate and stay packages; a good example is The Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in Knightsbridge which has teamed up with the Natural History Museum to offer cocktails, skating and a cosy stay nearby.
For more info, see Time Out’s Ice Skating Guide.