London has lots of ice skating rinks, many of them right in the heart of the city. Here are some of the best places to go ice skating in London.
Ice Skating in Hyde Park
The Winter Wonderland theme park comes to London’s Hyde Park every year before Christmas with lots of seasonal activities and a very popular ice skating rink. Hyde Park is a nice setting for skating and you can also browse the German Christmas Market, check out the Christmas Circus and enjoy a hot drink in the bar.
The Winter Wonderland is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm. Entrance to the park is free, but you’ll have to pay for skating. One-hour skating session prices start from £10 for adults and £8 for kids and include skate hire. The Winter Wonderland is open from 19 November 2010 to 4 January 2011, and the nearest underground station is Hyde Park Corner.
The Ice Rink in Somerset House
Somerset House, one of London’s main centres for arts and culture, has its own ice rink from 23 November to 23 January. There is a café for hot drinks and snacks, and music by top DJ’s. From 10 to 21 January 2011 daily lunchtime ice dancing classes are held in the Somerset House Ice Rink, and the highlight of the first week is the Big Ice Dance Day on 13 January. If you’re planning to skate more than once, the £50 Skate Pass lets you try your skills on the ice as often as you wish.
The Somerset House is on Strand, right by the River Thames, and the nearest underground stations are Temple, Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Embankment.
The Natural History Museum Ice Rink
The outdoor ice rink at London’s Natural History Museum, South Kensington, is an impressive 1000 square metres in size and is a good place for families to go skating. There is a separate area for children and special “ice marshals” are available for help and advice. Kids will also love the fairground carousel. The café and bar serve snacks and drinks; try hot chocolate or mulled wine while you watch other skaters on the ice.
Early morning skating is offered on weekends from 8.45 am and you can skate until 10 in the evening. If you want to learn to skate, or to improve your skills, it is possible to book a session with one of the ice marshals. Skating tickets cost £8.50 for peak-time sessions for children and £13 for adults (off-peak times are slightly cheaper) but special family discounts are offered. The ticket gives you one hour of skating and includes skate rental.
The Natural History Museum ice rink is open from 5 November 2010 to 9 January 2011. The nearest underground stations are South Kensington and Gloucester Road.
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