Outdoor Ice Skating in London – it’s so flipping PRETTY #GreatDaysOut
Following on from our red bus tour we scooted across London to get to the Natural History Museum for a spot of outdoor ice skating.
I LOVE to ice skate (though haven’t been more than a couple of times in the last 20 years), so I was as excited as the children – who have all tried it once, and are universally as terrible as their father at staying upright on the ice…
We were booked in for the 3p.m. session, and didn’t actually read the tickets which said we should arrive 40 minutes beforehand… But there wasn’t an issue, and we managed to get our skates on (literally, no pun needed) just as the rink opened for our session.
As we skated (I use the term loosely obviously – I manage happily going forwards, but appear to have lost the ability to stop in any kind of graceful manner, and the children just wobbled and slid around the edge to begin with) the sky darkened, and the lights around the rink really started to show.
It was… magical.
The children slowly gained their confidence until the older two were able to skate (after a fashion) in the centre of the ring, away from the safety net of the barrier. The youngest got tired of working with the penguin support, and managed to work it out for herself, and 11yr old Jolly took it all in his slow, slippy stride as he gently worked around.
The younger ones liked the small beginners rink that they could dip into when they felt a little concerned by the bigger people on the main rink, and it certainly helped their confidence. Even the non-skating husband gave it a go, and whilst I’m not sure he really managed to properly enjoy the actual skating part, as always he was pleased he’d managed to give it a go and get around the rink.
The rink never felt over-crowded, and apart from a small posse of teen girls showing of their stylish spins in one corner everyone was having a tremendous amount of fun just trying to stay on their feet – or laughing at the next helpless person landing with a thud on some tender part of their anatomy.
In between helping my family find their balance, I managed a few circuits alone, travelling at my own speed – and on one of those the ice cleared as it randomly does when you’re in a crowd of circulating people and I found myself skating alone in the snapping cold under the dark skies, lit all around by a mass of twinkling fairy lights, and singing along gently to “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”. It was a few seconds of pure magical bliss I think I’ll remember for a very long time.
You can find the prettiest outdoor ice rink in London right outside the Natural History Museum – sessions last for 50 minutes, and adults are £12.65, children £8.80. Family tickets cost £9.90 per person in bundles of four.