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Skate on London’s highest ice rink at Skylight

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Enjoy a twirl on London’s highest ice rink at Skylight

Following its launch earlier this year, Skylight became a popular summer destination for rooftop drinking, food and games. Although many rooftop venues have closed for the winter, the Tobacco Quay destination has had a festive makeover. Launching last week, Skylight has been transformed for the winter season with the installation of an ice rink. Although smaller than other alfresco rinks, the Skylight one’s unique selling point is it offers fabulous views of the London skyline while you skate.

I went along to the launch last week having previously visited the venue in the summer and was impressed by how much it had changed. Despite anticipating it would be chilly and windy, I was pleasantly surprised. The top level features two bars – one enclosed in a heated tent and a pergola – heated too – with plenty of seating and blankets if you’re feeling cold. The lower-level is enclosed and include a fondue station, bar, lots of neon and alpine-esque furry seating and day beds. It’s a warm and cosy place which makes a great retreat after a whirl on the ice. There’s also an ice hockey slap shot outside if you’re looking to let off some steam.

Skylight London © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Skylight offers a rink, alfresco and undercover drinking, hockey shot and fondue

The bars serve a wide range of beers, cider, spirits, winter cocktails and mulled wine. We tried the Apple Crumble, a rum and apple concoction that certainly gave us a warm and fuzzy feeling. Meanwhile, cheese fans will be in their element with the fondue station.

Overall, it’s a great, versatile destination for a wintry night out. The abundance of heating means you’re unlikely to be cold for long, which would usually be my main aversion to outdoor winter venues. There was plenty to keep us occupied and it was a nice change to have a great view while ice-skating. Instagrammers will find there’s plenty of material to pose against with Skylight’s neon and stunning vistas.

  • Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. Free entry to Skylight. Under 18s allowed until 6pm. Open 2 November 2017 – 14 January 2018. Skating tickets: £10 (45 minutes). For booking, visit the Skylight London website.
Skylight London © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

The various bars serve a range of spirits, beers, ciders and winter cocktails

For a guide to what else is on in London in November, click here.

For a guide to London’s open-air ice rinks this winter, click here.

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Guide to open air ice rinks in London this winter 2016/2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Take to the ice at the Natural History Museum rink

It’s that time of year again. With the temperatures dropping and the lights a twinkling, it’s no surprise many people want to take to the ice. As usual, there are a host of pop-up, open air rinks on around town. Many are accompanied by other wintry activities and festive food and drink offerings. Here’s a guide to open-air and pop-up ice skating in London this winter season.

  • 27 October – 8 January 2017 : Natural History Museum Ice Rink

A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults from £12.65, Children 12 and under from £8.80. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.

  • 4 November – 25 February 2017 : Luminocity – Ice Rink Canary Wharf

Skate over ice filled with 8km of LED lights in the middle of the soaring skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. Non-skaters can watch the action from the bar or street food stalls. Session times last 1 hour. Opening times vary. Adults £9.95-£16.95, Children £9.95-£10.95. Canada Square Park, E14 5AB. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.

  • 14 November – 2 February 2017 : Broadgate Ice

Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for over three months. There is also a rinkside bar and street food stalls. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13.50, Children £9.50. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2BQ. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Whole lotta history: Skate in the dry moat of the Tower Of London

  • 16 November – 3 January 2017 : Tower Of London Ice Rink

Skate on a rink in the moat of the Tower of London. After a skate, visit the Eis Haus Ice Experience, an immersive ice bar where you can drink out of glasses made of ice. 11am-10pm. Tickets: Adults £13.50, Children under 12: £9.50. Tower Of London (off Lower Thames Street or Tower Hill), EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill. To book, visit the Tower Of London Ice Rink website.

  • 17 November – 15 January 2017 : Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason

One of the original pop-up ice rinks located in the courtyard of Somerset House. As well as general skating, they also host club nights on ice and skate lessons. Session times last 1 hour and are from 10am until 10.30pm (later for club nights and New Year’s Eve). Adults from £14.65 (inc booking fee) and Children from £8.90. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. To book, visit the Somerset House website.  Read the rest of this entry

Guide to open air ice rinks in London this winter 2015/2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Get your skates on at one of London’s ice rinks this winter

The Christmas period seems to be hurtling towards us at full speed, which means the capital is getting a festive makeover. One of the most popular winter activities is visiting some of London’s open air ice rinks. Many rinks have lessons and penguin aids for those less confident balancing on the blades. As well as the rink, many of the venues offer pop-up cafes and Christmas markets so you can warm up after a swirl – or fall – on the ice. Here’s a guide to London’s rinks this winter.

For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

  • 29 October – 3 January 2016 : Natural History Museum Swarovski Ice Rink

A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults from £15.95, Children 12 and under from £11. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.

  • 31 October – 27 February 2016 : Ice Rink Canary Wharf

Skate in the middle of the soaring skyscrapers on Canary Wharf and surrounded by shops. Non-skaters can watch the action from a heated viewing terrace. Session times last 1 hour. Opening times vary. Adults £14.95, Children £9.95. Canada Square, E14 5AB. Nearest tube Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.

  • 14 November – 3 January 2016 : Eyeskate @ London Eye

Skate in a raised rink in the park shadowed by the London Eye as part of their Frostival. Open daily from 10am until 9pm. Session times last 45 minutes . Tickets start from £9.45. London Eye, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, Southbank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. To book, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s post on the Frostival, click here

  • 16 November – 25 February 2016 : Broadgate Ice

Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for over three months. This year’s rink will be accompanied by a pop-up Alpine Bar, where you can warm up and enjoy a Choc-tail and cheese or chocolate fondue. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13, Children £9. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square EC2A 2BQ. Nearest tube: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

In the courtyard: Skate at Somerset House on The Strand

  • 18 November – 10 January 2016 : Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason

One of the original pop-up ice rinks located in the courtyard of Somerset House. As well as general skating, they also host club nights on ice and skate lessons. Session times last 1 hour and are from 10am until 10.30pm (later for club nights and New Year’s Eve). Adults and Children start from £8.85. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple. To book, visit the Somerset House website.

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Ice ice baby! Get your skates on at Ice Skate Vauxhall

© Ice Skate Vauxhall

The open-air rink runs at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens until early January 2015
© Ice Skate Vauxhall

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you may have noticed that Vauxhall is one of London’s up and coming areas. Long renowned as a transport hub and for its business parks, SE11 is now gaining attention for its nightlife and restaurants after a huge investment in the area. With its close proximity to the Thames, it’s a wonder it hasn’t happened sooner.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Get your skates on: An ice sculpture at the Vauxhall launch

This festive season, the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens has been transformed into a mini winter wonderland of sorts with an ice rink, maze of Christmas tress and suitably Christmassy food and drink. Last Friday, we went to the launch of Ice Skate Vauxhall, the first temporary rink to come to the area. The full-sized rink has an atmospheric, urban surrounding of multi-coloured lights, trees and street art. The amount of people on the ice at one time is controlled in 45 minute sessions so you have enough room to skate regardless of your confidence.

For those who aren’t so gung-ho on the skates, there’s plenty to keep you occupied at the sidelines while your friends or family members twirl around the ice. After our Torvill and Dean impressions (ahem), we headed to the pop-up Cabin Bar, which was serving mulled wine and hot cider, perfect for those chilly winter days. During the weekends there will also be an extended street food market.

An added attraction, which is unique to Ice Skate Vauxhall, is the Christmas Tree Maze next door. A labyrinth of lanes separated by fir trees, covers a square kilometre of the Gardens, providing a challenge to find the centre. Overall, the combination of attractions and choice of food and drink mean you could easily spend a few hours here, getting into the festive spirit with family or friends.

  • Ice Skate Vauxhall is open daily from 11am-8/9pm from 21 November until 4 January 2015. Skating tickets: Adults £10.80/£12, Children start from £9.45/£7.65. (Cheaper if booked online in advance). Entrance to the maze is £4.50. Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HL. Nearest tube/train: Vauxhall. For more information, visit Ice Skate Vauxhall website.

For Metro Girl’s guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

Or for a guide to open air ice rinks in London this season, click here.

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Guide to open air ice rinks in London this winter 2014/2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl

Gliding: Take to the ice at the Winter Wonderland’s ice rink

Open-air ice skating has fast become a tradition for many Londoners around Christmas time. This year sees some temporary venues open earlier than ever, with many open for over two months. The activity is incredibly popular so it’s highly recommended that you book tickets in advance. Session lengths and times vary between venues. Of course, all are closed on Christmas Day, with most finishing early on Christmas Eve. Some – such as Somerset House – have club nights so you can try your hand at ice dancing.

  • 30 October – 4 January 2015 : Natural History Museum Ice Rink

A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults from £12.65, Children 12 and under from £8.60. Nearest tube: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.

  • 1 November – 28 February 2015 : Ice Rink Canary Wharf

In the middle of the soaring skyscrapers on Canary Wharf and surrounded by shops is another pop-up rink. There will also be a Christmas Market nearby from 17 November – 24 December. Session times last 1 hour. First session times vary from 9.45am/10.45am ending at 11pm most nights. Adults £14.50, Children £9. Canada Square, E14 5AB. Nearest tube Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.

  • 11 November – 11 January 2015 : Skate at Somerset House

One of the original pop-up ice rinks located in the courtyard of Somerset House. As well as general skating, they also host club nights on ice and skate lessons. Session times last 1 hour and are from 10am until 10.30pm (later for club nights and New Year’s Eve). Adults and children start from £8.80. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple. To book, visit the Somerset House website.

  • 14 November – 4 January 2015 : Ice Skating Wembley Park

Ice skate in the grounds of Wembley Park outside the London Designer outlet. There will also be a Christmas market on from 14 November – 23 December. Open 11am-8pm Sun to Thurs and 11am-8pm Fri and Sat. Tickets: Adults start from £10.80, Children start from £9.45/£7.65. Cheaper if booked online in advance. London Designer Outlet, Wembley, HA9 0PA. Nearest tube/train: Wembley Stadium or Wembley Park. For more information, visit the Wembley website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

In the courtyard: Skate at Somerset House on The Strand

  • 15 November – 4 January 2015 : Eyeskate @ London Eye

A newer addition to the open air ice rinks is the raised rink in the park shadowed by the London Eye. Open daily from 10am until 9pm. Session times last 45 minutes . Adults £10.50 (£9.45 online), Children £7.50 (£6.75 online). London Eye, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. To book, visit the Eyeskate website.

  • 17 November – 26 February 2015 : Broadgate Ice

Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for over three months. This year’s rink will be accompanied by luxury pop-up bar and restaurant The Tasting Room, which will serve smoked dishes, gourmet doughnuts, local craft beers and winter warmers. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £12.50, Children £8.50. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square EC2A 2BQ. Nearest tube: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.

  • 20 November – 4 January 2015 : Westfield Ice Rink
© Ice Skate Vauxhall

Ice Skate Vauxhall runs at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens until early January 2015
© Ice Skate Vauxhall

In between shopping, enjoy a spot of skating at Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush. Will host also host DJ evenings, family days, date nights and student events. Mon-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-6pm. Adults: £9-£13.50 (online), Children: £7-£8.00 (online). Westfield shopping centre, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7GF. Nearest tube: Wood Lane or Shepherd’s Bush. To book, visit the Westfield website.

  • 21 November – 4 January 2015 : Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

Skate in front of King Henry VIII’s favourite London residence. Session times last 1 hour. First sessions start at 10am, last session starts at 9pm. Adults £11.50/£13, Children £9.50/£8.50. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest train Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). To book, visit the Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink website.

  • 21 November – 4 January 2015 : Ice Skate Vauxhall

A new ice rink this year comes to Vauxhall, not far from the River. Open daily from 11am-8/9pm. There is also street food and mulled drinks and a Christmas tree maze. Tickets: Adults start from £10.80, Children start from £9.45/£7.65. Cheaper if booked online in advance. Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HL. Nearest tube/train: Vauxhall. For more information, visit Ice Skate Vauxhall website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on her visit to Ice Skate Vauxhall, click here.

  • 21 November – 4 January 2015 : Ice Rink @ Winter Wonderland

A pop-up ice rink at the annual Winter Wonderland in the south east corner of Hyde Park. Session times last 1 hour. First sessions start at 10am, last session starts at 9pm. Adults £10.50/£14.50, Children £8.50/£9.50. Hyde Park, W2 2UH. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. To book, visit the Winter Wonderland website. For a sneak peek, check out Metro Girl’s blog posting on Winter Wonderland.

  • 2 December – 1 January 2015 : Winterville

Pop-up rink in this alternative festive wonderland in East London. Skating times vary, but Winterville is open from 10am-10pm. Tickets: Adults £10.50/£12, Children: £7.50/£8.50. Victoria Park, Grove Road, Bow, E9 7DD. Nearest tube/train: Hackney Wick, Mile End or Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Winterville website 

  • 6 December – 25 January 2015 : Richmond Rink

Skate against the backdrop of the stunning 18th century Gothic castle Strawberry Hill House. Open 9am-8pm. Adults: £12 (off-peak), £13.50 (peak), Children: £8 (off-peak, £9.50 peak). 268 Waldegrave Road, Richmond, TW1 4ST. Nearest station: Strawberry Hill. For more information, visit the Richmond Rink website.

  • 7 December – 11 January 2015 : JW3

Pop-up ice rink at the Piazza at JW3, the Jewish Community Centre London. Also including café serving mulled wine, hot drinks, etc. Tickets prices TBC. JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET. Nearest station: Finchley Road and Frognal. To book, visit the JW3 website.

And if you fancy ice skating any other times of the year, these rinks are open all year round…


To find out what else is on in London in January, click here.

Or for a guide to what’s on in London for Valentine’s Day, click here.

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Burlesque On Ice: A new show mixing the art of burlesque with ice dancing

© Burlesque On Ice

© Burlesque On Ice

Enjoy burlesque? Enjoy ice-skating? Well how about a combination of both..? This is where the new production of Burlesque On Ice comes in, a unique show coming to West London this month. Fans of Dancing On Ice or Madame JoJo’s will love this fusion of the two arts in the stunning setting of the Edwardian Bush Hall. The show runs from 4-8 February 2014 with two performances nightly.

Ahead of the world première of this exciting new concept, Metro Girl spoke to the team behind the show.

1) How did the concept of Burlesque On Ice come about?

Burlesque On Ice is the brain-child of lawyer, ice skater and burlesque enthusiast Sam Jenkins. Sam had enjoyed going to burlesque shows for some years, so when she was asked to put together a routine for an ice test, she decided to put skating with a burlesque fan dance. The routine went so well that Sam approached West End burlesque star Polly Rae to help her develop it as an act for a Christmas ice show. It was here that the first sparklings of Burlesque On Ice began.

2) What’s the biggest challenge of combining ice-skating with burlesque?

© Burlesque On Ice

© Burlesque On Ice

First of all, training burlesque performers to skate is no small task! Sam really wanted to use professional burlesque performers in the show, because you can’t have an authentic burlesque show without burlesquers! The performers the show has employed are at the top of their game, but with the exception of the ethereal Vicky Butterfly, none of the performers had trained in skating. So began six months of intensive training, in the capable hands of principal skater Hollie Deller and pro-skater Sarah Christou, who are both coaches. As for training the pro-skaters to perform burlesque, Sam turned to castmember and burlesque expert Gwendoline Lamour, who spent time with the skaters to introduce them to the world of burlesque and share her infinite wisdom on the subject. As you can imagine, all this has led to some interesting mash-up sessions!

3) What’s the most important quality the show looks for when it comes to the performers?

For a show like this, the performers have to simply burst with personality and stage presence; that is the essence of a burlesque show. Additionally, It was important to have skilled ice skaters with show experience and experience skating on synthetic ice, as this is what the show will be performed upon. The skaters that were chosen perfectly combined the skill with the sparkle. The burlesque performers were cast to show the variety of the burlesque world; from the ridiculously glamorous to the dreamlike to the absurdly comedic. The performers also needed to be able to work as a group, and most have a dance background as well as a burlesque performance background. When the casting call went out, there were many expressions of interest but not all the burlesquers were willing to get on the ice, so the cast that was eventually chosen were those who were willing to learn and able to keep their dynamic stage presence while skating; something which skaters know is not always easy!

Cast: Burlesque performers – Gwendoline Lamour, Vicky Butterfly, Joe Morose, Glorian Gray, Mia Merode, Ruby Deshabille, Bonnie Fleur, Jasz Vegas, Trixie Kixx with guest acts from Polly Rae, Betsy Rose and Crys Columbine, Miss Danni Dee

Skaters: Hollie Deller, Sarah Cristou, Jess Ashby, Kerri-Ann Thomas, Rosie Van Someren.

  • ‎Burlesque On Ice runs from 4-8 February 2014 with performances at 7pm and 9.15pm. Tickets range from £28-£60. Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, W12 7LJ. Nearest tube: Shepherd’s Bush Market (Circle or Hammersmith & City line) or Shepherd’s Bush (Central Line). For more information and tickets, visit the Burlesque On Ice website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London this Christmas 2013

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Tourists drinking mulled cider underneath giant candy canes in Covent Garden

December is one of the best months to be in London. Yes, the weather is rather cold, but there’s so much going on. Obviously, most of it involves Christmassy stuff. Just because  the temperatures have plummeted, it doesn’t mean outside is totally off-limits – there’s plenty of fairs, winter wonderlands and other places to have fun in the fresh air. Or if you can’t stomach being outside, there’s also tons of activities and places to visit in the warm too.

For the 2014 guide to what’s on in London this Christmas, click here.

  • 3 – 7 December : Pig’s Ear Beer Festival

Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA at the Round Chapel in Hackney. Over 200 beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, E5 0PU. Admission £2 for CAMRA members, £4 for non-members. Open from noon until 11pm. Nearest rail station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. Visit the Pig’s Ear website for more information.

  • 3 December : Candlelight evening opening at Sir John Soane’s Museum

The former home of 19th century architect Sir John Soane is a treasure trove of sculptures, painting and antiquities which he collected over his lifetime. Once a month, the museum is open on the first Tuesday of the month for an evening candlelight opening Bookings are not taken in advance, with tickets only issued to the first 200 people. Open from 6-9pm, however tickets are issued at 5.30pm. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP. Nearest tube: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John Soane website.

  • Now until 4 December : Nordic Film Festival

A celebration of the best films to come out of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at various locations across London, including Riverside Studios, ICA and Ciné Lumière. For more information, visit the Nordic Film Festival website.

  • 5 – 8 December : East London Design Show

Showcasing the best in UK contemporary design, including homewares, ceramics, furniture, jewellery, lighting and fashion. Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, Shoreditch, EC1V 9LT. Nearest tube: Old Street, Shoreditch High Street or Hoxton. For more information, visit the East London Design Show website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Norwegian Wood: The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square

  • 5 – 22 December : Christmas at Trafalgar Square

After the lighting of the Christmas Tree on December 5 (a gift from Norway), there is annual carol singing in the Square. Carol singing weekdays 4-8pm, weekends 2-6pm. Trafalgar Square. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • 6 – 17 December : Spitalfields Winter Festival

Music festival in the Spitalfields area of the East End featuring music old and new. For listings and more information, visit the Spitalfields Music website.

  • 7 December : Great Christmas Pudding Race

Watch or take part in the annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden, which sees participants dressing up and raising money for Cancer Research UK. Covent Garden Piazza, WC1. Nearest tube: Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and details on entering, visit the Xmas Pudding Race website.

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Guide to open air ice rinks in London this winter 2013

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Get your skates on!

Open-air ice skating has fast become a tradition for many Londoners around Christmas time. This year sees some temporary venues open earlier than ever, with many open for over two months. The activity is incredibly popular so it’s highly recommended that you book tickets in advance. Session lengths and times vary between venues. Of course, all are closed on Christmas Day, with most finishing early on Christmas Eve. Some – such as Somerset House – have club nights so you can try your hand at ice dancing.

  • 31 October – 5 January 2014 : Natural History Museum Ice Rink

A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £11.50/£13.50, Children 12 and under £8/£9. Nearest tube: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.

  • 4 November – 27 February 2014 : Broadgate Ice

Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for nearly four months. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £12.50, Children £8.50. Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS. Nearest tube: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.

  • 11 November – 5 January 2014 : Bluebird Skating Rink

The courtyard of the Bluebird in the King’s Road will play host to an ice rink this festive season for the first time. Tickets available on the day at £10. Open 1-9pm daily. 350 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UU. Nearest tube: South Kensington or Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Bluebird website.

  • 14 November – 5 January 2014 : Skate at Somerset House

One of the original pop-up ice rinks located in the courtyard of Somerset House. As well as general skating, they also host club nights on ice and skate lessons. Session times last 1 hour and are from 10am until 9.15pm (later for club nights and New Year’s Eve). Adults £10.00/£16.00, Children £7.50. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple. To book, visit the Somerset House website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl

Gliding: Take to the ice at the Winter Wonderland’s ice rink

  • 16 November – 5 January 2014 : Tower Of London Ice Rink

Skate in the moat of one of the most iconic and historic buildings in the capital. Session times last 1 hour. First sessions start at 10am, last session starts at 9pm. Adults £11.50/£13.50, Children £9/£8.50. Tower Of London (off Lower Thames Street or Tower Hill), EC3N 4AB. Nearest tube Tower Hill. To book, visit the Tower of London Ice Rink website.

  • 21 November – 5 January 2014 : Westfield Ice Rink

    © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

    Whole lotta history: Skate in the dry moat of the Tower Of London

In between shopping, enjoy a spot of skating at Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush. Will host also host DJ evenings, family days, date nights and student events. Mon-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-6pm. Adults: £7-£11.50 (online), £8.50-£13 (walk up). Children: £5-£6.50 (online), £6.50-£8.50 (walk up). Westfield shopping centre, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7GF. Nearest tube: Wood Lane or Shepherd’s Bush. To book, visit the Westfield website.

  • 22 November – 5 January 2014 : Ice Rink @ Winter Wonderland

A pop-up ice rink at the annual Winter Wonderland in the south east corner of Hyde Park. Session times last 1 hour. First sessions start at 10am, last session starts at 9pm. Adults £10.50/£14.50, Children £8.50/£9.50. Hyde Park, W2 2UH. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. To book, visit the Winter Wonderland website. For a sneak peek, check out MOAMG blog posting on last year’s Winter Wonderland.

  • 26 October – 16 February 2014 : Ice Rink Canary Wharf

In the middle of the soaring skyscrapers on Canary Wharf and surrounded by shops is another pop-up rink. Session times last 1 hour. First session times vary from 9.45am/10.45am ending at 11pm most nights. Adults £13.50, Children £9. Canada Square, E14 5AB. Nearest tube Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.

  • 27 November – 9 January 2014 : Eyeskate @ London Eye

A newer addition to the open air ice rinks is the raised rink in the park shadowed by the London Eye. Open daily from 10am until 9pm. Session times last 45 minutes . Adults £10.50 (£9.45 online), Children £7.50 (£6.75 online). London Eye, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. To book, visit the Eyeskate website.

  • 30 November – 12 January 2014 : Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

Skate in front of King Henry VIII’s favourite London residence. Session times last 1 hour. First sessions start at 10am, last session starts at 9pm. Adults £11.50/£13, Children £9/£9.50. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest train Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). To book, visit the Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink website.

  • 8 December – 12 January 2014 : JW3

Pop-up ice rink at the Piazza at JW3, the Jewish Community Centre London. Also including café serving mulled wine, hot drinks, etc. Tickets: Adults £10, Children £6 (includes skate hire). JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET. Nearest station: Finchley Road and Frognal. To book, visit the JW3 website.

And if you fancy ice skating any other times of the year, these rinks are open all year round…

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

In the courtyard: Skate at Somerset House on The Strand


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Ideas for Valentine’s Day… or just a romantic date in London

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Cheers to us! Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a loved one

February 14th is fast approaching and we all know what that means… the sudden urge [or pressure ;-)] to put some romance into your relationship and make a song and dance about the fact you’re in love. Now, here at MOAMG, we believe romance should be a regular occurrence in a relationship, not just for one commercialised day a year. Nevertheless, there should never be an excuse to not be romantic on the 14th as millions of couples across the world will be doing just so.

I’ve been to Paris, Venice, Santorini and many other supposed ‘cities of romance’, but I have to say, London is incredibly romantic. It can be difficult to find yourself in an amorous mood in a city you may associate with going to work, but believe me, there are so many great places to visit with your loved one. So if you’re stuck for some ideas on what to do on Valentine’s Day, here’s a few ideas both for on the day… or if you’re organising a date at any time of year. (NB. If any require booking, obviously I would recommend booking asap due to the Valentine’s Day surge in bookings).

For a guide to what’s on in London this Valentine’s Day 2016, click here.

  • Dinner cruise on the Thames

As I have blogged about previously, cruising down the Thames is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. However, at night, the city takes on a whole different look with the millions of twinkling lights and lit-up landmarks. Several companies offer dinner cruises down the Thames so you can eat, drink and be entertained while checking out the beautiful sights of London. ThamesDinnerCruise.co.uk are offering different Valentine’s Day packages depending on what you want, ranging from £37.50 to £170. Bateaux London includes food, drink and entertainment, with their Valentine’s Day packages ranging from £125-£160. For something a little different the PS Dixie Queen is a paddle steamer offering a three-hour cruise including dinner, drinks and live band, with prices ranging from £78 to £125. City Cruises, one of the most popular Thames tour companies, are offering a Valentine’s Cruise with three-course meal and live music (£100-£110) or a Valentine’s Party for those who feel like shaking their tail feather (£30 per couple).

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Tower Bridge opening to let the PS Dixie Queen through

  • Walk along the Southbank

During the day, the Southbank can be a bit overwhelmed with tourists. However in the evening, the pace really changes and with the city lit up and many options to stop off for a drink or something to eat, it’s a nice place to stroll along. You could even do a pub crawl. Either start at Westminster or London Bridge – or if you have more time on your hands start or end at Tower Bridge, where there are lots of riverside restaurants and bars. Many of them include a great view and are listed on MOAMG’s Guide to London Restaurants with a View on Urbanspoon.

  • Talk to the animals at London Zoo

In recent years, London Zoo has become a popular hotspot with couples for dates. In the summer, London Zoo Lates is a great date because it’s adults-only. However if you have the day off on Valentine’s Day or are celebrating it at the weekend, the zoo is open from 10am-4pm. On the 14th, tickets are £20pp, going up to £22.50pp on 16th February onwards. For more information, visit the London Zoo website.

  • Hold hands for some ice skating

    © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

    Mingle with giraffes at London Zoo

Although the open air ice rinks of Christmas are mostly closed, there’s still plenty of rinks in the capital in operation throughout the year. Alexandra Palace in North London is open all year round and costs between £7.50-£9. Queensway rink in West London also has a bowling alley in the same building and is open daily all year round. Price: £10.50. Planet Ice in Brixton includes themed parties in the evening, with prices starting from £5-£9. Broadgate ice rink near Liverpool Street is one of the few open-air ice rinks open past New Year’s and closes 24th February 2013.

  • Fun, frolics and flirting at the Trocadero

Yes, going to the Trocadero in Piccadilly Circus may sound insane to some of you, but many couples enjoy gaming together. The entertainment complex features 5D World virtual reality experience, Star Command Laser Tag, Golden Nugget Casino, a Cineworld cinema, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum or the opportunity to dress up in historical clothing for a goofy photoshoot. When you get hungry or thirsty, there’s Yo! Sushi, Ed’s Easy Diner, Rainforest Cafe and Piccadilly Institute. For more information, visit the Trocadero website.

  • Museum Lates

Many people can find large school groups of children or buses full of tourists a tad overwhelming during the day, so lots of the capital’s museum host special late nights, usually monthly, for adults-only activities. As well as a chance to see the museum exhibits when it’s less busy, there is usually music, food and drink, as well as other fun activities. Sometimes there are themed evenings where guests are invited to dress up. Victoria & Albert Museum and Natural History Museum host their late nights on the last Friday of every month, Science Museum not so often so check their website for details, National Portrait Gallery is open until 9pm on Valentine’s Day (and every Thursday and Friday) and  the Wellcome Collection gallery in Euston Road is open until 10pm on Valentine’s Day (and every Thursday), with current exhibition Death: A Self-Portrait proving popular. The Design Museum hosts occasional ‘Design Overtime’ nights every few months. The Museum of London and Museum Of London Docklands host regular late-night events, and for this Valentine’s Day will be hosting a 1920s-themed evening at the City museum, with absinthe, cabaret and Charleston lessons on offer. Lates at Tate Britain take place on Fridays every few months including talks, drinks and performances, while the British Museum is open until 8.30pm every Friday.

  • Cocktails in a unique or lavish setting
Cocktails © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Cocktails with a view at the Oxo Tower

There are tons of bars serving cocktails around the capital, but some are more special than others. If you want a good view, I recommend booking a table (or you can just walk in if you’re willing to take a risk there will be availability) at Oxo Tower on the Southbank, Galvin at Windows bar at the top of the Park Lane Hilton, Vertigo champagne bar at Tower 42 in the City, Vista rooftop bar overlooking Trafalgar Square (only open from April to September for the summer season) at the Trafalgar Hotel or the Rooftop bar at the Sanctum Soho Hotel. Other great bars without the views, but with stunning interiors include the Long Bar at the Sanderson Hotel in Fitzrovia, the Booking Office restaurant and bar at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, the Art Deco Beaufort Bar at The Savoy off The Strand, or the Cocktail Lounge at the Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell. If you don’t mind swapping cocktails for wine, then check out the unique, old ‘cave’ at Gordon’s Wine Bar near Embankment and Charing Cross tube, the oldest wine bar in London. The Queen Of Hoxton in Shoreditch is hosting their pop-up winter venue WigWamBam on their rooftop from end of October 2012 until end of March 2013, which features a wigwam with roasting fires, the chance to toast marshmallows and drink alcoholic hot chocolates. However, one of the capital’s most unusual bars has to be Cellar Door – a converted Victorian underground public toilet at Aldwych, which feature live acts from 9pm each evening. Click here for Metro Girl’s review of Cellar Door.

  • Climb over the roof of the O2

For those couples who want a bit of adventure in their life, climbing up and over the roof of the O2 in Greenwich is perfect. Open all year round, Up At The O2 offers 360 degree views of the city. Tickets start from £22, but O2 Priority customers can get discounts. Metro Girl went in the summer and absolutely loved it. Here’s our review.

  • Take a boat trip through Little Venice

The Thames isn’t the only waterway in London – the canals of the North side of the centre are particularly lovely. Departing from Little Venice or Camden Lock, you can ride along checking out the stunning regency architecture of the area’s townhouses, go through the dark Maida Vale tunnel and either start or end your journey at the Camden markets. In the winter (November to March), the trips only run on weekends, but are daily through the summer season (April to September). Tickets are £7.20 one way or £10.30 return. For more information, visit the Waterbus website. After your trip, stop by The Bridge House for a pint or some food.

  • Or here’s some old favourites if you’re not feeling too imaginative…

Visit the official TKTS booth in Leicester Square to get up to half-price tickets for West End shows for that day. Book a romantic meal for two through TopTable. If you’re planning on going to the cinema, I highly recommend staying local to wherever you live in the capital as the venues in the West End are highly overpriced (e.g. Vue West End £13.90, Empire Leicester Square £12.95-£15.95, Odeon Leicester Square £13-£22).


For listings of what’s else is going on in London over Valentine’s Day, read MOAMG’s Guide to what’s on in London in February 2013

Get your skates on: Guide to ice rinks in London for Christmas 2012

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Get your skates on!

Open air ice rinks have been rising in popularity over the past 10 years. In December, I can’t think of many activities more festive than going ice-skating with friends, family or a date, before warming up afterwards with a hot chocolate or mulled wine. While there’s a handful of permanent ice rinks open all year round, from late November until early January, a host of iconic venues host pop-up ice rinks. Here’s a guide to some of the rinks open this season. Although walks up may be possible, I recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment, especially at weekends and Christmas holidays. (NB: Most ice rinks will be closed on Christmas Day and early closing on Christmas Eve).

For the updated 2014 guide, click here.

  • Natural History Museum Ice Rink

A 950 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Open from 2 November until 6 January 2013. Mon-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Fri 10am-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-10pm. Adults £11.50/£13.50, Children 12 and under £8/£9. Nearest tube: South Kensington (Circle, District and Piccadilly line). To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.

  • Skate at Somerset House

One of the original pop-up ice rinks located in the courtyard of Somerset House. As well as general skating, they also host club nights on ice and skate lessons. Open from 16 November until 6 January 2013. Session times last an hour and are bookable from 10am until 9.15pm (later for club nights and New Year’s Eve). Adults £12.50/£15.00, Children £7.50. Nearest tube: Temple (Circle and District line). To book, visit the Somerset House website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

In the courtyard: Skate at Somerset House on The Strand

  • Eyeskate

A newer addition to the open air ice rinks is the raised rink in the park shadowed by the London Eye. Open from 17th November until 6 January 2013. Open daily from 10am until 9pm. Session times last 45 minutes . Adults £10.50 (£9.45 online), Children £7.50 (£6.75 online). Nearest tube: Waterloo (Overland, Jubilee or Bakerloo line) or Embankment (Circle, District or Northern Line). To book, visit the Eyeskate website.

  • Ice Rink Canary Wharf

In the middle of the soaring skyscrapers on Canary Wharf and surrounded by shops is another pop-up rink. Open from 3rd November until 13 January 2013. Session times last 1 hour. First session times vary from 9.45am/10.45am ending at 11pm most nights. Adults £12.50, Children £8.50. Nearest tube Canary Wharf (Jubilee line). To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Whole lotta history: Skate in the dry moat of the Tower Of London

  • Tower Of London Ice Rink

Skate in the moat of one of the most iconic and historic buildings in the capital. Open from 17th November until 6th January 2013. Session times last 1 hour. First sessions start at 10am, last session starts at 9pm. Adults £11/£13, Children £8.50/£9. Nearest tube Tower Hill (Circle or District Line). To book, visit the Tower of London Ice Rink website.

  • Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

Skate in front of King Henry VIII’s favourite London residence. Session times last 1 hour. Open from 1st December until 13th January 2013. First sessions start at 10am, last session starts at 9pm. Adults £11/£12.50, Children £8.50/£9. Nearest train Hampton Court (overland from Waterloo). To book, visit the Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink website.

  • Ice Age 4 Ice Rink @ Winter Wonderland

A pop-up ice rink at the annual Winter Wonderland in the south east corner of Hyde Park. Session times last 1 hour. Open from 23rd November until 6th January 2013. First sessions start at 10am, last session starts at 9pm. Adults £10.50/£13.50, Children £8.50/£9.50. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line). To book, visit the Winter Wonderland website. For a sneak peek, check out MOAMG blog posting on Winter Wonderland.

  • Broadgate Ice

Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London where you can actually turn up and skate without a need to book. Open from 9 November until 24th February 2013. Weekday sessions 12.15-9pm, weekends 9.30am-9pm. Adults £9, Children £7, Skate Hire £2. Nearest tube: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.


For more fun things to do around London this January and February, read my blog post Guide to what’s on in London in January and February 2013.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl

Gliding: Take to the ice at the Winter Wonderland’s Ice Age 4 ice rink