Each winter the courtyards and grounds of some of Britain's most beautiful palaces, castles and iconic landmarks are laid with glimmering ice rinks and decked with fairylights and Christmas trees. It makes for a stunning backdrop to an unforgettable ice-skating experience, whatever your ability on the ice! Here are some of our favourite places to ice skate in the UK this winter...
In the Tower of London's moat
Get your skate on at one of Britain’s most famous landmarks, the Tower of London. Skate beneath the ramparts, towers and battlements of this spectacular Norman fortress, home of the crown jewels, historic arms and armour and nearly 1,000 years of blood-chilling British history. Then pick up some mulled wine to warm you back up!
In a grand London courtyard
Surely one of the most beautiful ice-skating backdrops, Somerset House is the neoclassical arts venue, also home to the Courtauld Gallery, located between the River Thames and the Strand in the centre of London. The ice rink is in the impressive courtyard presided over by a giant Christmas tree. You could check out the world renowned art gallery after or top off your night with spiced mulled wine or a hot chocolate in the rink-side Skate Lounge!
In front of the Natural History Museum
London's gorgeous National History Museum is a must-see any time of year, but from November to January there is another reason you will want to visit. In addition to an ice rink, there is a giant Christmas tree that you will love practising your pirouettes in front of!
In the Eden Project's bio dome
Cornwall’s Eden Project may be the largest indoor rainforest in the world, but in the winter it is also a great place to skate! Warm up in Eden’s mighty greenhouses before chilling out on the ice. Eden’s ice rink has a glacier theme and is part of their ‘Time of Gifts’ celebrations which include lantern parades, live music and storytelling.
In the capital of Wales
Cardiff’s winter ice rink is the centrepiece of the Welsh capital's Christmas celebrations. If you’re not keen on skating you can always take refuge in the heated spectators’ terrace, ride on the Ferris Wheel and fill up on mulled wine from the ice café bar!
Below Edinburgh Castle
Skate on one of Europe’s biggest open-air ice rinks below Edinburgh’s ancient castle and take in the city's unique skyline lit up for Christmas. You can also enjoy a whole host of wintry activities including festive music, theatre and seasonal food and drink.
At Hampton Court Palace
You won’t find many ice rinks in a more romantic location than Hampton Court Palace. Skate the night away under the stars outside Henry VIII’s favourite royal palace, by the River Thames on the outskirts of London.