Winter ice rinks in Britain’s most unexpected places
The courtyards and grounds of some of Britain's most beautiful palaces and iconic landmarks are adorned with glimmering ice rinks in the run up to Christmas, giving visitors the chance to enjoy some of the country’s most recognisable spots in a uniquely festive way.
In the Tower of London's moat
Visitors can enjoy ice skating at one of Britain’s most famous landmarks, the Tower of London, and glide along the ice beneath the ramparts, towers and battlements of this spectacular Norman fortress. Home to the crown jewels, historic arms and armour as well as nearly 1,000 years of British history, the Tower comes alive with the scent of mulled wine and shouts of festive cheer as Christmas nears. This year visitors can enjoy an even bigger ice rink, along with a brand new ‘Prosecco and Skate’ package, a great way to add even more sparkle to a trip to the Tower.
Open: 16 November – 5 January 2020
Prices: Adults from £16.20, children from £11.70, families (2 adults and 2 children) from £46.20. Prosecco and Skate package costs £21.20 per person.
In a grand London courtyard
Join the celebrations at Somerset House ice rink, which turns 20 this year! Run in collaboration with Fortnum & Mason for the past six years, the neoclassical arts venue is one of the most beautiful ice-skating backdrops in Britain. With events ranging from ice skating lessons and Polar Bear kids’ club to big nights out at Skate Lates, winter at Somerset House has experiences for all ages. Presided over by a giant Christmas tree, visitors can take to the ice in the building’s impressive central courtyard and enjoy music, festive shopping, and high-quality food and drink. A selection of gourmet dishes will be available in Fortnum’s Lodge, a cosy alpine themed eatery serving indulgent drinks and snacks including champagne and chocolate fondue for two, mulled wine and sharing mince pie, cheese fondue and baked camembert brioche.
Open: 13 November 2019 – 12 January 2020. Fortnum’s Lodge is open 13 November – 5 January.
Prices: Adults from £11, students, seniors (60+) and children from £8.50.
In front of the Natural History Museum
From autumn to early January, the courtyard of the Natural History Museum transforms into a glistening ice rink straight from a fairy tale. A favourite festive activity in London, skaters circle the Christmas tree in the centre of the rink while on-lookers admire the scene and the building’s mesmerising Romanesque architecture from the viewing balcony, or while sipping warming mulled wine and hot chocolate along with festive cakes and savoury dishes at the café bar.
Open: 19 October 2019 – 12 January 2020
Prices: Adults from £12.65, children from £8.80, families (2 adults and 2 children) from £39.60. Visitors can save 10% when booking online.
In the Eden Project's bio dome
Warm up in one of the Eden Project’s mighty greenhouses before chilling out on the ice this winter, at Cornwall’s only indoor ice rink. Housed in one of the Eden Project’s wondrous biomes, this uniquely located ice rink will be part of the wider Winter Festival happening at the Eden Project. With additional dates throughout November and December 2019, the festival will host special after-dark events, as well as the chance to meet Father Christmas and his elves!
Open: Ice rink open 12 October 2019 – 23 February 2020. Winter Festival runs on selected dates in November and December.
Prices: Ice skating - Adults from £7, children from £6, families (2 adults and 2 children) from £24. Entry to the Eden Project at extra cost.
At Hampton Court Palace
Set in romantic Hampton Court Palace, this ice rink gives visitors to Britain the chance to skate beneath the stars outside Henry VIII’s favourite royal palace, situated by the River Thames on the outskirts of London. Want to ramp up the romance even further? Enjoy some bubbles under the night sky with the ‘Prosecco and Skate’ package.
Open: 22 November 2019 to 5 January 2020
Prices: Adult from £16.20, children under 12 from £11.70, families (2 adults and 2 children) from £46.20. Prosecco and Skate package costs £21.20 per person.
In Britain’s North Pole
Visitors to Cambridge can get in the festive spirit at The North Pole, the city’s answer to ‘Winter Wonderland’. With an Alpine Cabin bar, serving craft ales, gin, hot chocolate and traditional German sausages, the ice rink also boasts a transparent roof, so visitors can have fun skating whatever the weather.
Open: 16 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
Prices: Adults from £13.70, children from £11.70, families (2 adults and 2 children) from £41.20.
At Liverpool’s Ice Festival
Located on Liverpool’s Waterfront, the Ice Festival lets visitors experience one of the city’s most historic areas, with dramatic festive views over Pier Head. As well as a fantastic ice rink, come November Liverpool’s Waterfront transforms into a bustling festive hub of twinkling lights, market stalls, traditional German bars, funfair rides, and a 30-metre long ice slide. At 6 metres above the park, this is the largest ice slide in the UK allowing for great views of the city.
Open: 13 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
Prices: Adults from £13.20, children from £9.70, families (2 adults and 2 children) from £41.20. Ice Slide - £6.00 per person for three rides.
Beside a Royal Pavilion
One of the most romantic times of year in Brighton, winter is when the famous Brighton Pavilion comes to life with twinkling lights, laughing friends and children pushing penguins across the ice. Dripping with fairy lights and with a rink-side bar and kitchen for seasonal foodie treats, this magical backdrop makes for an extra-special festive day out in the south coast of England.
Open: 2 November 2019 – 19 January 2020
Prices: Adults from £10, students and children under 12 from £7, Children under 5 – free. Families (2 adults and 2 children) from £7.50.
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