Where To Go Ice Skating In Essex and London This Christmas

*Updated for Christmas 2023* You can go ice skating all year round at a number of permanent rinks in Essex and London, but there is something extra special about the temporary and seasonal ice rinks which appear around Christmas. You often have to pay a premium for these experiences though so keep an eye out for officers.

Locations vary on:

  • how long you get on the ice, 
  • how long before your session you should arrive, 
  • expect to not be allowed to take your bags on to the ice, but locker arrangements and costs vary,  
  • if you can prebook skate aids or not,
  • what age children can skate from (most allow skating from age 3 or 4, but some have no lower limit),
  • what age adult tickets start from (age 13 or 16 depending on the venue),
  • what age children need to be supervised on and off the ice,
  • number of children to adult supervision ratio,
  • height of children allowed to use the skate aids,
  • expect to pay a booking fee in addition to prices given. 

All information is correct according to available information at time of publishing.

If you want to get the most out of your session, you can also practice ice skating prior to visiting an actual ice rink. This will aid in the development of necessary skills and techniques, resulting in a more enjoyable and less frustrating experience when you finally hit the ice.

An adult pushing a child around a seasonal ice rink on a skate aid
There are a few ice rinks in Essex this winter and a wide choice of places to go ice skating in London

Ice Rinks In Essex This Christmas

Braintree Village

Where? At Braintree Village, Charter Way, Chapel Hill, Braintree CM77 8YH
When? 10th November to 7th January, session times vary.
Cost? Off peak/ peak. Adults (13 and over) £13.50 / £15.50, children (3 to 12) £11.50 / £13.50
You can also prebook a seal (£5) or penguin (£3) support.

Other information:
New for 2023
Sessions are 45 minutes long.
They have quiet sessions, parent and toddler sessions (under 5s) and disco nights.
Penguin and seal skating aids and bob skates (the 2 blade skates) are available. Aids cost £5, hire on the day first come first served.
Children must be able to walk unaided. Under 8s must have an adult on the ice with them.
The double blade skates glip over shoes, available junior size 4 to 9. Normal skates available junior size 10 to adult size 15. 
They recommend you arrive 20 minutes before your start time.
Free car parking, North Car Park is the closest.
You get discounts at many of the Braintree Village shops and restaurants with a booking. 

Fairlop Winter Village 

Last year there was an ice rink and winter village at Fairlop Waters Country Park, it doesn't look like it is open for 2023-2024


Where? At Christmas Wonderland Lakeside, Lakeside Shopping Centre Quay, West Thurrock Way, Grays, Essex RM20 2AD
When? 15th November to 3rd January, session times vary.
Cost? Off peak/ peak. Adults £8.50 / £16, children (3 to 12) £7.50 / £14 You can also prebook a seal (£5) or penguin (£3) support.

Other information:
The ice rink is undercover part of the Christmas Wonderland event which is free entry. There are also fairground rides and refreshments. Located in the quay area near Hollywood Bowl and Nickelodeon Adventure
Prebooking of ice skating is recommended.
Children must be 3 or older. Under 14s must be accompanied on the ice by an adult.
Skates available child size 9 to adult size 10.
Sessions are 1 hour long.
Free car parking, car park 11 is recommended as the closest.

Marsh Farm 

Where? Marsh Farm Rd, South Woodham Ferrers,CM3 5WP. Marsh Farm have their amazing (and expensive) Father Christmas Experience you can read about here. Included in the entry price there is a good size (under cover) ice rink.
When? Open 18th November to 24th December, ice skating sessions are only timed if they are very busy.
Cost? As this is part of their Father Christmas sessions the price is £30 to £75 per person. There is no adult only entry.

There are also 2 indoor permanent ice rinks in Essex:

Riverside Chelmsford, Riverside Leisure Centre, Victoria Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1FG
In December they have Christmas Ice Skating Sessions although I can’t see what is different about these sessions. There are public skating sessions every day, times vary.
Skates available in child's size 7 to adults size 14
Cost £9 (or less) per person, free membership required. You can hire a penguin or snowman skating aid for 30 minutes at a cost of £3.70.

Sapphire Ice & Leisure, 24 Western Road, Romford, RM1 3JT. Run By Everyone Active so you need to register to book. Family and public sessions are available. 

For more festive events check out these posts about light trails in Essex and Christmas tree farms in Essex.

Seasonal Ice rinks in London

As there are so few ice rinks in Essex this year you might want to get the train into London and plan a day full of Christmas magic. This winter London has the following ice rinks: 

Canary Wharf 

Where? Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, London E14
When? 21st October 2023 to 24th February 2024
Cost? Adults £17.95 to £20.95, children (aged 4-12) £13.50 to £15.95. Skate aids cost £5.95 each and can be prebooked.

Other information:
1275 square metre ice rink under a glass roof. 
Tickets must be booked online
45 minute session, they recommend you arrive 30 minutes before your session.
Children 4-12 must be accompanied on the ice by an adult.
Skates available 8 (EU25) to adults size 15 (EU52).
Skate aids available on first come first served basis £5.95
Live music in some sessions
£1 non refundable locker for bags

Glide at Battersea Power Station

Where? Next to Battersea Power Station, Circus Road West, Nine Elms, London, SW8 5BN
When? 10th November to 7th January, session times vary.
Cost? Adults £12.50 to £24.20, children (under 12, no minimum age) £8.50 to £16.50

Other information:
Open air rink
Most skate sessions are 50 minutes, but there are some off peak mornings where you can have extended skate time.
Arrive 40 minutes before session

Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland 

Where? Hyde Park, London. Follow the signs when you get to Winter Wonderland. Allow plenty of time to get there as it can be crowded.
When? Open 18th November to 2nd January 10am to 10pm (last session time 9pm). 
Cost? Peak/ Standard/ Off peak Adult (13+) £16.50/ £15/ £11.50 Child (age 3 to 12) £11.50/ £10/ £8.50. Entry cost to Winter Wonderland needs to be booked in addition to skating.

Other information:
Skating sessions last 45 minutes.
Arrive at least 20 mins before sessions
Open air rink.
All bags to be left in cloakroom at £2 per item
Skates available in child’s size 9 to adult’s size 13 (limited supply of skate size 14/15 available).
Skate aids £5 but can't be booked in advance (first come first served). They do have “bob skates” which fit over children’s shoes though. These have 2 blades and are easier to balance.
Read about our visit to Winter Wonderland with young children here.

JW3 Ice Rink 

Where? 341-351 Finchley Road, London, NW3 6ET
When? Open 10th December to 7th January 
Cost? £15 per adult, £10 per child (under 16), £5 for a skate aid (penguin)

Other information:
200 metre squared outdoor ice rink
Part of Chanukah celebrations at JW3
Sessions last 50 minutes
Children under 9 must be supervised on the ice by an adult
Skate sizes are given as: 3-12 UK for adults and 10-14 UK for children.

Kingdom of Winter, ExCel London

Where? ExCeL London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL
When? 8th December to 7th January 2024
Cost? Adults £10 to £15, children (4-12) £7 to £11

Other information:
This rink is part of an indoor winter festival with an ice trail, rides, circus and more. You need to pay for entry to the event in addition to skating, this costs £5.50 to £9.50 per person.
45 minutes session times
Not suitable for under 4s.

Skylight Tobacco Dock 

Where? On the roof of Tobacco Dock, London E1W 2SF
When? Open from 10th November, closing date not listed (but open throughout November and December)
Cost? £15 per person for 45 minutes. Ice skating is first come first served although you can prebook a table or even an igloo.

Other information:
No information provided on age suitability however they do mention penguin skate aids available which are designed for children
On Sundays you can book a family Sunday for £59.99 which includes 2 hours in an igloo, 4 ice skating vouchers and 4 drinks (hot chocolate or mulled wine/ gin)
Open air, roof top ice rink

Somerset House 

Where? Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
When? 15th November to 14th Jan, skate times vary
Cost? Adults £10 to £25, children (up to age12) £8 to £13

Other information:
Prebook, but limited on the day tickets are released each day when the box office opens. If any are still available at midday they will go online. 
Skate aids available for under 8s on first come first served basis.
45 minute sessions, arrive 30 minutes before (or earlier to use the cloakroom)
All bags and large items must be left in the cloakroom: first item free, subsequent items £2
Skate sizes from child size 6 which is smaller than most rinks to Adults size 15

The Queen’s House Ice Rink, Greenwich

Where? Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF
When? 23rd November to 7th Jan. Opening times vary
Cost? Adults from £17 - £19, children (3 to 12) from £10 - £12. Discounts for Royal Museums Greenwich members. 

Other information:
Open air ice rink.
Children must be accompanied on the ice by an adult.
There are dedicated SEND and toddler sessions available
Skate aids available to prebook for £5
Skates available from junior size 8 to adults 14, bob skates are also available.
Secure parking is available at weekends (£10 a day)
Arrive 30 minutes before your session
Skate sessions last 45 minutes, but an off peak times there are some long sessions available.

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink 

Where? Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, KT9 9AU
When? Open from 17th November to 7th January 
Cost? Adults £19 - £21, children (3 to 12)  £14 - £15.50. 

Other information:
Outdoor rink.
Sessions last 45 minutes.
Recommended that you arrive 15 to 30 minutes before your session.
Skate aids £5 and can be booked online.
Under 10s must be supervised on the ice.
There is a cloakroom for small items (£2 per item), they request large bags and items are not allowed.
They have bob skates available for younger children, but availability cannot be guaranteed

Skate West End, Hanover Square

Where? Hanover Square Gardens, W1S 1JD
When? 4th November to 1st January
Cost? Adults £12.50 - £16.50, children (under 16s)  £10.50 - £14.50. 

Other information:
There is no cloakroom on iste.
Arrive 20 minutes before skate aids.
You can hire bob skates and skate aids for children.

Westfield W12 

Where? Westfield London W12, Westfield Square, Ariel Way, Shepherds Bush, London, W12 7GF
When? 10th November to 7th January 10am to 10pm (last skate 9pm)
Cost? Adults £15 to £18, children (3 to 12) £11 to 13

Other information:
Sessions last approximately 45 minutes
Arrive 15 to 30 minutes before your session.
Skate aids can be prebooked for £5.
Bags must be left in the cloakroom, £2 per person, cashless.
Ice skates available from Junior size 8 to adult size 14, bob skates also available.

Permanent Ice Rinks In London

There are also indoor all year round ice rinks at Alexandra Palace, StreathamQueens (Queensway) and Lee Valley

Tower Hill Ice Rink, Broadgate Ice Rink and the Natural History Museum Ice Rink are permanently closed. The Winter Festival at Brent Cross is closed for the 23/24 season.

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