As nights get darker, and temperatures fall, thoughts begin to turn towards Christmas. London at Christmas time is always a wonderful sight especially when you stay at the London House Hotel Kensington. Thousands of lights decorate the streets in colourful designs, there are Christmas markets – and most of all, fantastic outdoor ice rinks appear in all kinds of stunning locations both on the ground and high in the air!
Finish your shopping in style in Oxford Street, by heading to the amazing John Lewis Rooftop Bar and ice rink. Located five storeys above the ground, this rink is inspired by the seventeenth-century frost fairs that used to be found on the River Thames. Don your skates and take a whirl around the ice, book dinner in one of the many rooftop cabins, and take part in a gin masterclass learning how to make seasonal juniper-laced cocktails.
One of the most glamorous ice rinks can be found along the Strand, close to Charing Cross Station. Head for the stunning eighteenth century Somerset House where you will find the courtyard turned into a magical winter wonderland surrounded by twinkling lights and Christmas trees. Sip some champagne or relax with afternoon tea and skate the night away at one of the music sessions hosted by top DJ’s.
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Over in Kensington, the magnificent Gothic splendour of the Natural History Museum is the perfect setting for a large 1,000 sq metre ice rink. Skate around the Christmas tree, just like Victorians in days gone by. A special children’s rink close by is the perfect place for young skaters to gain confidence on the ice.
Alternatively, you can book any of the hotels near the Royal Albert Hall and head over to the Tower of London where, every year, the moat is turned into a superb ice rink. It makes an amazing skating experience, whirling and twirling around under the walls of this medieval fortress. Keep your camera at hand – Yeomen of the Guard in their colourful uniforms can often be seen practising their own skating skills.
Prefer a more modern, contemporary setting? Eyeskate beside the London Eye may be to your taste. You can even buy a special package which includes a trip on the London Eye. Also, worth considering is Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands where you can skate to your heart’s content among its iconic towers and skyscrapers.
And of course, there is the biggest of them all – the Winter Wonderland rink at Hyde Park. This is the largest outdoor rink in the UK, surrounded by fairground rides, market stalls and even a Christmas circus.