Winter is setting in and the Christmas effect is in full swing – be it 2 months early! – but it’s time to start planning a Christmassy day out at some of the best outdoor ice skating rinks in the UK!

Canary Wharf Ice Rink

This year’s Canary Wharf ice skating rink theme is LuminoSity; over 8-thousand LED lights will be sparkling under the ice and illuminating skaters in colour. There will be a bar serving drinks and season snacks. For those who fancy watching their loved ones’ skate and don’t fancy trying it themselves, there will be a heated outdoor viewing terrace to relax in.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Hyde Parks Winter Wonderland ice rink is the largest one in the UK, set around Hyde Park’s Victorian bandstand under sparkling lights and festive décor. You can skate during the crisp winter mornings, the afternoon sun, a romantic twilight setting or under the stars. There will be live music playing and a bar serving hot drinks and festive drinks.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

The 1,000 metres square ice rink is situated in the grounds of the Natural History Museum buildings, with rows of trees covered in fairy lights, and a Christmas tree in the middle of the ice rink. There is also a slightly smaller course for younger skaters to practice in. There is also a Café Bar overlooking the ice rink, with live music and a traditional fairground carousel.

Skate at Somerset House

Somerset House is the most beautiful backdrop to see whilst skating around the 18th-century courtyard. The 900-square-metre outdoor rink will be open for hundreds of skaters this year, and it’s sure to be the most Instagrammable destination this Christmas! Alongside the skating, there will also be a bar, private dining area and posh pop up shops, creating the most relaxing Christmassy vibe this year.

Nottingham Winter Wonderland

Set in the heart of Nottingham, this year’s Ice Rink is at its biggest size yet, decorated with LED lights and a large decorated Christmas tree in the centre. New for this year will be a ski-lodge themed boot room!

Despite their glitzy and simplistic appearance, ice rinks are complicated things to set up and maintain! Ice rinks require good quality and reliable diesel powered generators to power the coolers to maintain the ice rink and make it last as long as possible.

They’re also time consuming to make. Water has to be applied carefully and slowly, in order to make sure it is all the same thickness. An ice surface that is too thick requires more power to keep it frozen, which in turn can make it prone to going soft on top. However, if a surface is too thin, it can be dangerous for skaters as they could cut straight through to the ice.