As we slide into autumn, thoughts naturally begin to turn towards the festive season – and even if, admittedly for good reason, many of us are far from getting Christmassy yet, the need to start putting wheels in motion and sort out just how and where we’ll be to celebrate the yuletide soon becomes onerous. So, should you be intending to come to London this Christmas (or at least this winter), then something properly seasonal you might fancy giving a go – not least if the family’s in tow – is to visit one its many outstanding pop-up, open-air ice-rinks…
(November 15th 2017-January 14th 2018)
An enduringly popular venue for people of all ages for many a winter now, the rink that blesses this iconic Thames north bank-located building (just down the road from Westminster) is set in its extremely elegant courtyard, lending skaters a spiffing neoclassical architectural façade as they leisurely complete lap after lap on the ice. And if that weren’t enough then this year you can coincide your visit with a ‘club night’ at which a major DJ provides the soundtrack, while every day – and evening – refreshments’ll be provided by a food and drink lodge and there’ll also be an on-site Fortnum and Mason Christmas shop.
Natural History Museum
(October 26th 2017-January 7th 2018)
Situated on this legendary South Kensington attraction’s east lawn, this little patch of wintry heaven has established a very respected name for itself in recent years. Making the absolute most of its magnificently decorative backdrop – the gloriously neogothic frontage of the museum – by allying it with thousands of twinkling lights and a sumptuous Christmas tree, it makes for a magical atmosphere, to say the least. A beguiling day out – especially for the little ones – at Christmastime, that’s for sure.
The Tower of London
A big hit last year with the punters – both visitors from overseas and locals – and so sure to make a return to this near-millennium-old landmark of the capital this winter season, this particular rink is to be found in the dry moat that circles the legendary fortress-cum-jewel-depository-cum-torture-and-execution-site of lore. Last winter, there were hundreds upon hundreds of snowflake-like lights to enjoy as they illuminated the ancient stone walls of the building – what will it be like this year? Why not go along and find out (indeed, if you’re staying relatively nearby at accommodation near Brewery Road London City, such as The Montcalm at The Brewery London City, it’ll be a very short journey there too).
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park
(November 17th 2017-January 1st 2018)
The undisputed champion of the capital’s Christmas season attractions, the Winter Wonderland conglomeration of a festive fairground, seasonal and circus shows and Christmas markets and bars may just be as popular as it is because of this, its ice-rink. But this isn’t any ordinary ice-rink; no, indeed – it’s actually the biggest you’ll find anywhere in the UK and, most days and evenings of this yuletide-tastic event held in London’s biggest centrally-located park, is teeming with skaters of all ages, circling the park’s elegant Victorian bandstand; before that is, they peel away to discover all the other tasty treats, performance delights and funfair rides to be discovered just a short stroll away.