Ice Skating in London at Christmas!
From sparkling lights on Oxford Street to Southbank’s magical Market, London comes into its own at Christmas time. For those that are a little adventurous and love ice skating, there are many pop up rinks all over town for you choose from in the festive season. We are here to tell you all about them.
One of the things I have noticed overs the years is that the bigger rinks at places like Sommerset House and London Eye are just so incredibly crowded you barely get around the rink before you have to get off. That’s not to say the more popular rinks are not any fun. We’re here to point you towards the not as popular rinks where you can have just as much, perhaps more, fun.
One of my favourite Christmas ice rinks this year is at Broadgate. It’s the only rink in the heart of the city. Broadgate has a very nice sized ice rink with plenty of room to skate and show of your skills. If you’re like me and feel you have to hold on to the side for dear life for the first ten minutes, the lovely ice assistants are there to help and show you some basic moves. I’d watch the little kids with their helper penguins though: they can be quite lethal!
What I enjoyed most about Broadgate Christmas ice rink was the very relaxed atmosphere and room to skate. If you’re a novice skater, you can easily be put off by a lot of people skating around you and racing. Since the ice rink at Broadgate is a lot quieter than most, there is a lot of room to spread out and take your time going around the rink. For the pro skaters, there is plenty of room to show what you’re truly made of without getting in people’s way and a lot of room for big parties.
This is not to mention there is a pretty good bar right next to the rink so you can calm your nerves with a stiff drink and feed the appetite you built up while skating. The best part: you get to have a look at all the other skaters falling, racing and gliding while you relax!
Another virtually unknown rink is at the Bluebird in Chelsea. It’s small and it’s made of plastic ice (Google it, I had no idea what it was either) but it’s cheap, un-crowded and the perfect way to end a dinner date.
I was invited to the launch party of the ice rink at the Bluebird and the atmosphere was pretty great. Good music from the DJ, samples of food at the blue bird, great cocktails courtesy of Belvedere and we even had a go on the ice. It took me a while to get used to the new type of ice- it’s not as slippery as normal ice- but as soon as I got going I was skating well enough.
Although the Christmas ice rink is small at the Blue Bird, what sets it apart from the rest is its setting in the Bluebird’s court-yard. It’s very picturesque, closed from street onlookers and is quite ambient in the evening. Whether you decide to build your appetite or burn dessert calories so you don’t feel as guilty, the small rink is the perfect accompaniment to any meal at the Bluebird. The cafe itself serves some great food, wine and cocktails and the staff are always super helpful. I personally loved their Mac and Cheese and will definitely be heading down their again before the festive season is over.
If you’re looking to ice skate in London this year but you don’t want to face the crowds, the rinks at Broadgate and Blue Bird are definitely a must visit. You get all the perks of a festive skate without the popularity and price tag in a more relaxed and ambient atmosphere.
Where will you be skating this year and are there any others you would recommend?
- Skating fun at Selfridges ice rink (expressionandconfession.wordpress.com)