Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Best of London’s Open Air Ice Rinks

I don’t know about you but I love ice skating and spent most of my senior year in skates. When the nice people at Refresh Accommodation offered to write about London’s iconic open air ice rinks, I jumped at the chance. This is a sponsored post written on my behalf by the team at Refresh Apartments.

This Christmas London will be transformed into a winter wonderland, with some of the most spectacular and magical outdoor ice rinks in the world.

With crisp white sheets of ice set against a backdrop of amazing architecture and famous tourist spots, outdoor skating really is a perfect way to sample England’s festive season.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum provides one of the most magical ice rinks in London, with the building’s beautifully-archaic arches and towers lit up by the icy glow from the rink below.

This 1,000 metre-square rink houses a huge central Christmas tree and thousands of fairy lights, allowing skaters to breeze around in a festive dream.

If your legs get tired, you can enjoy the range of entertainment including a rink-side carousel and balcony café, offering delicious hot chocolate and mulled wine, which really helps to awaken those festive senses.

The rink is open from 31st October to 5th January, with opening times likely to vary across the season. Tickets start from £8.

Winter wonderland

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is transformed into a Winter Wonderland from 22nd November to 5th January, offering a wealth of festive-themed rides and attractions, including a huge observation wheel, two circuses and Britain’s largest outdoor ice rink.

With snow sculptures, an ice village, ice slide, Santa Land and Christmas Market, this is ideal for all ages, providing one of London’s most magical Christmas experiences. Skating is £14.50 for adults, £13.50 for concessions and £9.50 for children.

Eyeskate

Eyeskate in Jubilee Gardens is situated directly below the iconic London Eye, with the rink and wheel lit up in beautifully-matching white lights, providing a truly breath-taking view of the South Bank. Set alongside a string of dimly-lit terraced houses, Eyeskate has a really traditional Christmas feel.

As well as gliding around the rink, skaters have the opportunity to ride the Eye too, giving your festive visit an added sprinkle of magic.

The ice rink is open from 10.00am to 9.00pm from 27th November through to 5th January; adult skate sessions start from a discounted online price of £9.45, with sessions lasting 45 minutes.

Canary Wharf Ice Rink

If you want a real taste of London City life then the Canary Wharf Ice Rink is like a snowstorm on Wall Street, with hives of budding skaters packed in tight between soaring bank buildings and financiers.

The towering glass buildings give this rink a less traditional feel than the other London spots, but a glittering skate path with pretty white lights creates a unique charm; once you have refreshed yourself with a warm drink at the ringside bar you will soon feel like a child at Christmas.

The rink is open from 26th October to 16th February (Monday-Friday 10.30am-11pm, Saturday 10am-11pm, Sunday 10am-10pm); prices vary.

Hampton Court Palace

For an amazing touristic opportunity, Hampton Court ice rink is set right in front of Henry VIII’s stately palace. Beautifully illuminated after dark, this is ideal for tourists who want to add a sense of historical significance to their festive spirit.

Hampton Court Palace is open from 30th November to 12th January; session times last an hour and are priced from £13.00 for adults.

Somerset House

The ice rink at Somerset House is set in the beautiful courtyard of this eighteenth century building, which is now a major arts and culture centre.

The old building provides a beautifully traditional festive setting and includes opportunities to drink champagne and eat luxury chocolates. The rink opens from 14th November to 5th January.

Tower of London

This beautiful ice rink is set in the dry moat of the Tower of London, providing an incredible opportunity to glide across pure-white ice while sampling views of this amazing old fortress.

The Tower of London rink opens from 16th November to 5th January.

If you are looking for high-quality accommodation while visiting London this Christmas, Refresh Apartments can provide you with short-term, fully-serviced apartments that will make your stay a real pleasure.

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© 2008 - Mandy Southgate | Emm in London

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