Glide into the season on pop-up ice rinks at iconic locales
We won’t fib — the London weather can be bone-chilling this time of year, and the daylight is limited — but ironically, there’s no better way to warm the body and lift one’s spirit than on ice.
Pop-up ice rinks at some of London’s most popular sights are open daily, except for Christmas, into the New Year — including a pair close enough to Nell Gwynn Chelsea Accommodation to make them part of your daily routine:
- NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM: Daytime and nighttime skating (generally 11 a.m.-10 p.m.) is available through 7 January at the rink set up on the museum’s east lawn, in the shadow of a towering, decorated Christmas tree. There are warm beverages available rinkside or from the adjacent museum café, which serves both mulled wine and hot chocolate. Admissions are priced for individuals, children, and families. We admittedly favour this lovely setting, the nearest to #MyChelseaFlat at Nell Gwynn Chelsea Accommodation. Our friendly porters will show you a walking route or secure a ride.
- HYDE PARK: Also quite close, the rink at the park’s Victorian bandstand, open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. through 1 January, is the largest in the U.K. and an enchanting tradition, with its twinkling lights and live music. A range of pricing is available, and extras include the offer of an Ice Guide to shepherd your family or group at an hourly rate, and professional photographs of your experience. The rink is just one feature of Winter Wonderland, a magical holiday experience which includes Santa Land for youngsters, a Cinderella-themed ice show, a circus, Christmas markets for holiday shopping, a wide array of food and beverages on offer, and more than 100 rides and games.
- TOWER OF LONDON: If it’s history you fancy with your skating, you’ll be in the midst of it on the ice rink in the dry moat of this legendary 1,000-year-old castle on the banks of the Thames. The rink is open for skating morning and night through 2 January, with spectacular views of the castle looming over you and the river running alongside. A rinkside bar serves beverages, hot and chilled, for all ages. Getting there is easy on the Underground from nearby Sloane Square. We’ll help you find your way from #MyChelseaFlat.
- SOMERSET HOUSE: This splendid Thames-side rink near Waterloo Bridge, with a Tudor palace as its backdrop, offers an unparalleled skating experience through 14 January. The special features run the gamut from a Polar Bear Club and lessons for youngsters to sophisticated nighttime club nights, known as Skate Lates, with music curated by popular DJs. There are two café and bar choices, with Christmas shopping available at a Fortnum and Mason pop-up. You can even see in the New Year on ice, with a packed evening of live and DJ-curated music, food and drink, and access to the Somerset House’s River Terrace for breathtaking views of fireworks over the Thames at midnight.