It’s that time of year again. When London goes tennis mad for a fortnight and it feels like you hear the words ‘Murray’ and ‘Djokovic’ on a hourly basis. With the fight for tickets set to be as tough as usual, many tennis fans will have to settle for watching the action on TV rather than in the flesh. So if you can’t reach the heady heights of Centre Court, why not see the likes of Murray in action with some atmosphere. A host of parks, spaces and bars are hosting Wimbledon screenings on the big screen – many alfresco – so you can enjoy the match while sipping Pimm’s and nibbling strawberries and cream.
- 3 – 15 July : Andy Murray Fan Zone @ Mac & Wild
Mac & Wild restaurant are transforming their terrace into an Andy Murray fan zone during Wimbledon with tennis on the big screen, grass courts and balls galore. A special Wimbledon Murray menu will be served, featuring Highland Summer Cup (whisky Pimm’s), Scottish Strawberries and Cream, Venison Scotch Egg and the Murray Mound Burger. The bar will be offering 2-4-1 on glasses of Prosecco and Brewgooder beer during the tournament. Terrace open 1pm-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Mac & Wild, 9A Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M 4YM. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. To book, visit the Mac & Wild website.
- 3 – 16 July : St Kats Big Screen presents Wimbledon
Sit back and relax on a deckchair or beanbag on a floating pontoon as you check out the latest action from SW19. Pimm’s and strawberries will be served during the semi-finals and finals (13-16 July), but otherwise you’re welcome to bring your own drinks and snacks. Times vary. Free. St Katharine Docks, 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the St Kats website.
- 3 – 16 July : Wimbledon @ Merchant Square
Watch the action while chilling on deckchairs in the city oasis of the Paddington Basin. Open daily until 10pm. Free. The Lawn, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 3 – 16 July : Wimbledon @ London Bridge City Summer Festival
Check out the latest games on the big screen just metres from the River Thames and City Hall. The London Riviera will also be open serving food and cocktails. Times vary. Free. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website. Read the rest of this entry
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.
- 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
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.