Eyeskate at London Eye
The London Eye has become one of Londons most iconic landmarks, and the ice rink, positioned between the Thames and the giant wheel, is in a prime spot. If you fancy a turn on the Eye, packages are available that include this with your skate. Expect entertainers, Christmassy attractions and lots of tourists. Pre-booking is definitely a good idea.
EDF Energy London Eye, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB; londoneye.com; November 27th 2013 January 5th 2014, 10am-9pm; Adult tickets, walk-up price £10.50, online price £9.54
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Surrounding Hyde Parks Victorian bandstand and strung with thousands of lights, this is the UKs biggest outdoor ice rink. When youve finished skating, you can gawp at the ice sculptures in The Magical Ice Kingdom, have a drink in the ice bar, wander through the medieval village or marvel at Londons glittering splendour from the Giant Observation Wheel. There will be circus performances and a Bavarian Village serving bratwurst and mulled wine and hosting live music day and night.
Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH; hydeparkwinterwonderland.com; 22nd November 2013 5th January 2014 (closed on Christmas Day), 10am to 10pm (on 22nd November 2013 opens at 5pm); Ice Skating from 10am-9pm, see website for session times; Ice skating tickets, peak £14.50, off-peak £10.50
Somerset House Ice Rink
Filled with ice, the eighteenth-century courtyard of Somerset House is a beautiful, evocative venue to twirl (or stumble) around. After dark, DJs turn the rink into a party and you can purchase Skate Extras, upping the fun with champagne and chocolate, dinner at Toms Kitchen or, if youre planning a big night, a luxury stay at nearby The Savoy. Glad Tidings Tuesdays will be extra Christmassy, with music, seasonal food and drink and late night shopping in The Christmas Arcade, a luxury pop-up mall.
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA; 0844 847 1520; somersethouse.org.uk/ice-rink; 14
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
The ice rink beside the Natural History Museum is pure fairy-tale, perfect for living out your childhood Nutcracker daydream. The 1,000-metre-square rink reflects the lights that hang in the huge old trees and a giant Christmas tree and old-fashioned carousel add to the magic. A café with a balcony overlooks the ice and serves up hot chocolate, mulled wine and festive-themed food.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD; 020 7942 5000; nhm.ac.uk; 31
Tower of London Ice Rink
The Tower of London is always awe-inspiring - eerie by night, impressive by day. On a sparkling winter afternoon, its an experience to skate in the frozen moat of the fortress. Ice guides are available and, when youre skated out, you can marvel at the battlements over a mulled wine in the Ice Bar & Café.
HM Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB 16; 020 8241 9818; toweroflondonicerink.com; November 16
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
The frozen rink in front of Henry VIIIs imposing red brick Tudor palace is very atmospheric, and its worth the journey to experience skating here. Daytime is beautiful but, at night when the palace is illuminated, its particularly special. An adjacent café serves hot and cold tipples.
Hampton Court Palace, East Moseley, Surrey, KT18 9AU; 020 8241 9818; hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.com; Saturday 30
Broadgate Ice Rink
Slap bang in the middle of the city, surrounded by towering office buildings, Broadgate Ice Rink has urban charm galore. The BAR BBQ on Ice is worth a visit in its own right and serves a U.S-inspired menu from the charcoal grill and wood burning oven, as well as craft beers, cocktail and winter warmers. Broadgate is, in fact, the capitals original ice rink and has now been running for 28 years. This year is its first time in Exchange Square.
Exchange Square, Broadgate, London EC2A 2BQ; broadgate.co.uk/ice; November 4th 2013 February 27th 2014, 10am-10pm (last skate starts at 9pm); Tickets £12.50