Words by Adam Bloodworth
Posted by Kasia Hastings
London's biggest landmarks ramp up the festive factor with their Christmas skate seasons. Make your move at one of this year's most exciting venues.
The Newcomer: Winterville
Answering the calls of east Londoners who felt left out, Winterville launches in Mile End's Victoria Park, a seasonal gift to the trendy creatives that frequent the area's pubs and bars. The skating rink has good views over Victoria Park and even better ones from the top of the on-site Ferris wheel. Winterville's pub, Bar Humbug, serves street food and craft ales, and there are even horse-drawn carriages if all the merriment leaves you legless.
Victoria Park, E3 5TB, winterville.co.uk.
Open now until December 31 2014, 10am-late (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day), Mon - Thurs: 3pm-10.15pm, Fri: 3pm-10.45pm, Sat: 10am-10.45pm, Sun: 10am-10.15pm. Ice skating from 10am, see website for session times; peak £13.20, concessions £8.30.
The Lavish Day Out: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Seven years young, Winter Wonderland has in its short life become known as the unmissable festive day out in London. The fairground-style destination features a stunning rink, beautiful world foods, stellar views (from the Giant Observation Wheel) and a really equipped sense of seasonality. Didn't you know? It's Christmas! And Hyde Park shouts about it the loudest.
Hyde Park, W2 2UH, hydeparkwinterwonderland.com.
Open now until January 4 2015 (closed Christmas Day), 10am - 10pm daily. See website for session times, peak £14.50, concessions £13.50.
The Insta-Outing: Natural History Museum
More gorgeous than all of your Christmas presents put together, this South Kensington rink is indebted to London's Natural History Museum, which stands in a grandiose 1800s building towering over the ice. Unlike 'village fair' type rinks, this is a no-frills job: don't expect the circus – just a perfect Café Bar and vintage carousel if pirouetting on dry land is more your thing.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd, 00 44 (0)84 4847 1576, nhm.ac.uk.
Open now until January 4 2015, (closed Christmas Day), opening times vary, for those and session times see website for session times, peak £12.65.
The American Dream: Ice Rink Canary Wharf
London's banking district might seem a far cry from your American Dream – but for Christmas, London's business hub has staged an ice skating rink next to a US-inspired smoked meats restaurant for those fancying a slap-up meal post-ice. If you're nervous about the slippery sport, clean up on hot toddies at the bar beforehand, then celebrate your sure-to-be slick achievements with a feast back in Q Grill (the smoked meats joint) later.
Ice Rink Canary Wharf, Montgomery St, E14 5AB, icerinkcanarywharf.co.uk.
Open now until February 28 2015, (closed Christmas Day), Mon - Fri: 11am-11pm, Sat: 10am-11pm, Sun: 10am-10pm. See website for session times, peak £14.40.
Bold & British: Skate at Somerset House
Listen up: this is likely your only chance to mix Ibiza dance anthems, neo-classical architecture and skating this winter. Don't believe us? The bold and romantic courtyard and ice rink at Somerset House has this year enlisted top UK labels and DJs to keep the crowd on their feet on selected evenings. The celebrated rink has a couple of 'apres-skate' bars, like this year's Fortnum's Lodge, serving exclusive drink mixes to suit the occasion.
Somerset House Trust, Strand WC2R 1LA, 0844 847 1520, somersethouse.org.uk.
Open now until January 11 2015, (closed Christmas Day), 8.45am-11.30pm daily. See website for price variations and session times.
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink
If you fancy a trip out of central, or you're simply pining for a view of London from up high, head North to stalwart rock gig venue Alexandra Palace. First, enjoy stunning winter views on the walk uphill from Wood Green tube to the rink, then wrap up warm to hit the indoor rink, out of reach of the elements in Ally Pally's grand Victorian architecture. Toast your efforts in The Ice Cafe afterwards in the knowledge that you can return whenever you want – like the best presents, this rink's not just for Christmas: it's open all year.
Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY, 020 8365 2121, alexandrapalace.com.
Open now until January 4 2015 (but rink open all year). See website for ad-hoc opening and session times, peak £8.90.
Adam Bloodworth is the editor of Just Opened London and Culture or Trash.