15 Of The Best Ice Skating Rinks In London
Ice skating is a perfect all-weather activity; if it’s too hot, go skating and cool down.
If it’s cold, step inside somewhere just as cold and slip, slide and skate your way around the best skating rinks in London.
The whole family – even your sometimes surly teenager – can enjoy an ice skating session; there are lots of laughs to be had as various family members loll around and (eventually) fall down on the ice.
A word to the wise- stay away from the very centre of the ice – that’s where the serious/fast skaters tend to mingle.
Instead, make sure everyone has their gloves and be prepared to cling on to the sides of the rink for dear life.
The good thing about ice skating is that it doesn’t take an age to get the hang of it – before long you’ll be Torvill and Dean (showing our age) and joining the elite crew near the centre of the rink.
Keep reading for our favourite places to take the kids ice skating in London:
Probably our favourite place to go skating in London, Ally Pally ice skating rink, as it’s affectionately known, is one of London’s most famous and is set in a beautiful location, offering stunning views over the city.
As well as general family-friendly skating sessions, Alexandra Palace offers one-on-one and group ice skating lessons (from world-class professional skaters) as well as private hire for your own ice skating party.
Queens ice rink is open every day of the year and offers general skating private lessons, classes for kids (age 5 and over), ice hockey, go karting, curling and dancing on the ice. You could even take things to the next level with curling, human curling.
You ride a huge rubber doughnut and propel yourself across the ice aiming for a bullseye 20m away. Teenagers will love it. Queensway ice rink prices start from £11 for kids under 12 years old.
Lee Valley offers some of the best ice skating for toddlers in London. Kids under 5 years old can enjoy a skate session on this international sized ice rink.
Choose from skate courses, public skating sessions and lessons for all abilities from toddlers to adults.
Penguin skate aids are available for the very young but check before you book as they’re not on offer every day so the kids aren’t overwhelmed with too many people on the ice.
At the weekend, there are ice jive/disco sessions on offer.
Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre is London’s only Olympic-sized indoor ice skating rink with and offers one on one or group ice skating lessons, dancing and figure skating clubs, skate-themed birthday party hire, hockey and more.
Younger children can use the penguin skating aids on the to help them find feel more stable on their feet. Book them in advance as they sell out quickly, especially during term time.
As the arena is run by Better Extreme, prices are some of the cheapest for ice skating in London.
Prices and sessions vary according to day of the week and in term time. We think this is one of the best ice rinks in London.
Also run by Better, so reasonably priced, the last Saturday of every month is Sobell Leisure Centre Saturday Night Skate for kids 11 to 15, from 7.00pm – 9.30pm, and costs only £3.00 for a fun night out at the rink.
They also offer private hire and skate lessons.
The rink at the Natural History Museum is open from October to January each year.
Whether you’re an expert or a novice, a glider or a slider, outdoor ice skating in the open air is a wonderfully exhilarating experience.
As the winter evenings draw in, the Museum’s east lawn is transformed into a magical setting with thousands of fairy lights adorning the nearby trees, a fairground carousel, gift shop and café bar where you can relax and enjoy the views above one of London’s loveliest ice rinks.
Ice skating at London’s National History Museum is a famous Christmas tradition for many families.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason is back from 13 November 2019 until 12 January 2020, with skating, music, seasonal shopping, plus delicious food and drink.
Highlights from this year’s Skate at Somerset House include:
The return of the ever-popular Skate School for adults and Polar Bear Club for children offering ice skating for kids sessions with National Ice Skating Association instructors, guaranteed to build confidence on the ice.
Late-night skaters and music lovers can take part in Skate Lates where DJs takeover rink-side decks for an open-air party, featuring Nabihah Iqbal, RockersLDN and Eat Your Own Ears
London’s first ever 24-hour skating event to mark the launch of Somerset House’s winter season and the opening of the major exhibition, 24/7
© David Jensen
Delicious food and drink from Fortnum’s Lodge and luxurious gifts from the Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade
Rink-side festivities at Skate Lounge with Baileys bringing the best of the Baileys Treat Bar including the Baileys Chocolate Reindeer Cocktail and customisable hot drinks.
Tickets go on sale in September.
Another picturesque location (open Autumn/Winter only), enjoy an outdoor skate with the historic royal palace – where Henry VIII once lived – as your backdrop.
At dusk, the palace lights up for some gorgeous outdoor skating at night.
Ice skating at tower of London is something kids should so at least once. Enjoy more seasonal skating around one of London’s most famous landmarks.
The dry moat is transformed into an ice rink for some serious festive fun.
If your kids are older, let them enjoy the ice while you enjoy one of the many pop-up food and drink stalls rink side.
Keep your eyes peeled for a Yeoman Warder on the ice.
© Historic Royal Palaces
Notable Mentions (open from around November to January – check opening dates/times before heading down)
City Island Ice Rink
There is no ice rink in Canary Wharf this year so City Island Ice Rink will provide East London with festive but affordable Christmas skating fun.
Alongside this, there will be a four-day artisan Christmas market (12-15 December), and a host of festive workshops, including pre-ice-skating dance warm-ups (led by English National Ballet), wreath-making, seasonal cocktail masterclasses, wine tasting and more.