The Tobacco Dock is one of London’s hidden gems. Located in the Wapping Docklands area of East London, this area is slowly becoming one of the most popular attractions in the city. Whether you’re shopping, looking for a great place to eat or you’re just going for a stroll, there’s many a scenic area of the Tobacco Docks area. The Montcalm London City the Brewery Hotel guests will no doubt be looking for a family friendly way to spend some of their winter holiday days and the Tobacco Docks may provide you with some of the best activities you don’t know about. It’s fair to say that some of the best experiences you will have as a family are the truly unexpected and unique ones. This is true of the Docklands area of London, where you can find so much hidden in between the rustic warehouses and canal sides. There’s nothing more hidden than the Skylight on the Tobacco Docks rooftop. This winter gem is a must for any ice skating aficionados who want a littler slice of the ice during their trip to the docklands. Below you can find out everything you need to know about the Tobacco Dock Ice Rink alongside insider information on what else you can do in this wondrous area.

The Skylight ice rink

The Skylight Ice Rink is a new addition to the skylight complex. Based above a repurposed warehouse on the roof of one of the iconic tobacco dock buildings. This summer saw the rooftop garden become home to a range of activities such as petanque and croquet and keeping the leisure sport activity trend, winter will bring even more active joy to the Skylight roof garden. This smaller ice rink will be open to all, with no booking necessary. This means that at peak times, you could face queues to get on the rink but it’ll sure be worth it. With the views over London, you can’t go wrong, especially when paired up with the street food, bars and fondue on tap in the street garden.

Ice Rink

Getting there

Located nearby to the Whitechapel area of East London, the Tobacco Docks are gifted with a stunning view over the river Thames whilst also having atmospheric industrial scenery in and of itself. The area is surprisingly easy to get to from most parts of London, situated close by to many of the Boutique Hotels in London Shoreditch. The Skylight itself is located at the Pennington Street Entrance of the Tobacco Dock at the post code E1W 2SF and is also reachable by walking from several tube stations. These are Tower Hill on the District and Circle Line, from where it is a mere 15-minute walk. Wapping station is even closer, at a 7-minute walk from this Overground station, whilst Shadwell for the Overground and DLR train services is at 5 minutes.

Opening times

As with all winter events, it is a good idea to consider the sporadic opening times of the holiday season. The skylight ice rink is open weekly from Thursday till Sunday. The times are from 5pm till 11pm every day except for the holiday season. Over this period, you’ll find the ice rink open from midday till 6 pm on Christmas Eve whilst being closed on Christmas day and Boxing Day. Up until New Years Eve, the ice rink will be open from midday till 11pm whilst new years eve will see it close at 6pm before it’s new year countdown event when it will be open till 1am.

Other events at the Skylight and Tobacco Docks

It’s not just the Skylight Ice Rink you should look out for when visiting the tobacco docks, there’s also a wide range of other events you can look out for this winter. This includes the wonderful winter secret garden event which sees a grade 1 listed Victorian building find new life as an indoor garden and finds you enjoying drinks receptions, lavish feasts and some spectacular dance performances. If that isn’t enough, you can enjoy the winter secret garden’s giddily fun dodgems. If the ice rink hasn’t filled your fun night out, then try the secret winter garden as well!

Where to eat

The Skylight rooftop is home to a range of cutting edge restaurants. One of these includes the tantalising Yiros, a restaurant which finds Greek inspired dishes combining international foods such as Japanese Gyoza’s with traditional Greek food. This makes the restaurant a buzzing fusion of tastes. If Halloumi fries, chicken Soulvaki and Korean Beef Brisket don’t float your boat, then why not try the Melt Fondue menu. Here you can find comforting cheesy chips, Canadian Poutine and luxurious chocolate fondue. The drinks menu at Skylight promises a range of amazing drinks. These include a range of winter themed cocktails including the Gin Skate, Autumn Sky and the cute Squirrel cocktail which does not include any real squirrel, merely Jack Daniels Whiskey.

Tobacco Docks history

The Tobacco Docks itself is an historic landmark in London, dating back to 1811 when it was used as a storage unit for imported tobacco. The brick and iron building work also hold in its entrance a sculpture of a boy and tiger, at a dazzling 7-foot height. This bronze sculpture commemorates Charles Jamrach’s exotic pet store which was located near to the tobacco docks and is famous for an incident involving a young boy and an escaped tiger. The area has since seen redevelopment into a commercial shopping area and hence the repurposing of the tobacco dock into an events venue. The tobacco docks are still being developed, with future of further commercial enterprises in the area.

Attractions in the Wapping and Shadwell area

The tobacco docks are not the only area where you can find enticing family events. The surrounding Whitechapel and Shadwell area include many great opportunities for those looking for something to do in the area. Whether it’s tours of Jack the Rippers stalking grounds or the Whitechapel art gallery, there’s plenty to do in the area.