Skating at the Tower of London ice rink

Skating at the Tower of London ice rink

For a few weeks of every year, part of the moat around the Tower of London is transformed into a frosty blue lake for skating upon. There are several ice rinks to choose from in London, but the Tower of London ice rink has to be one of the best. Giant whirling snowflakes are projected onto the walls that house the Crown Jewels, and which once imprisoned Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey. You can practically feel the history oozing out of the walls, as you whizz around on the rink underneath.

Tower of London ice rink

 

We were invited to skate there last week, at a special session with Mothers Meeting. If you come from Tower Gateway tube station, as we did in the early evening last week, the majesty of the Tower hits you in all its lit-up glory as you walk down towards the Thames. A solid fortress of a castle, the Tower was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror and has gone through a series of transformations, from symbol of oppression to prison to – most recently – the site of a colossal sea of ceramic poppies, to commemorate the lives lost during the First World War. Over Christmas, when you turn the corner and head towards the river, the calm blue glow of the ice rink shimmers frostily underneath the city skyline, with City Hall across the water in the background.

Tower of London ice rink

It was the first time on ice for my two children, aged seven and four. To skate, you enter via a tent, where there’s a bar selling warming hot chocolate, European beer and soft drinks. An extra charge gives you entry to the Eis Haus, another bar made of ice and where you can snuggle up under blanket while sipping a gluhwein. We didn’t go inside this time, as there were even more exciting times ahead of us: joining us on the ice rink were some of the stars of Disney’s Frozen on Ice. Although my son claims he’s not interested in Frozen, the two children were fizzing with anticipation while they handed their shoes in at the skate-hire counter, and put on their boots (with some help from the friendly ice rink staff).

Tower of London ice rink

At the Tower of London ice rink you can hire penguins on ski blades, with handles that your children grasp onto for stability. If your kids haven’t skated before, I’d strongly recommend getting one of these. Although they’re a bit slippy-slidey, and my two still had their fair share of tumbles on the ice, the penguins gave them lots more confidence to stride out on their own. Plus, they’re super-cute.

Tower of London ice rink

Tower of London ice rink

Tower of London ice rink

My two were determined to go it alone with their trusty penguins, and we spent a happy 45 minutes slipping around and squealing. None of us noticed our frosty fingertips; we were having too much fun (Top tip: don’t forget your gloves, and a hat. The air around the rink is very cold).

Tower of London ice rink

 

The Disney Frozen on Ice team were brilliant with the kids; lively, encouraging and patient, with plenty of one-on-one attention. My daughter was even whizzed all the way around the rink at high speed by one of the actor/skaters – there’s not many four-year-olds who can say they’ve done that.

The multi-talented bunch treated us to a mini-performance at the end, some of which you can see in the little video I made of our evening. Spectacular stuff; I imagine the real thing, with full costumes and music, is a phenomenal sight.

Our two enjoyed their session at Tower of London ice rink so much that we’ve resolved to go back over Christmas. Sessions run every day until 3 Jan, and begin at 11am and end at 9pm. The cost is £13.50 per adult, £11.50 for children aged 13-15, and £11.50 for those aged 3-12. The price includes skate hire (you can wear your own if you prefer), but it doesn’ include the penguins, which are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Have you been ice skating in London? Where did you go?

Pin for later:

toweroflondonicerink

 

MummyTravels

Save

Save

Follow:
Like this post? Why not share it:

24 Comments

  1. December 6, 2016 / 8:05 am

    OMG how awesome! I didn’t know that the Tower of London turned the moat into an ice skating rink! Saving for later! #CityTripping

    • Nell
      Author
      December 9, 2016 / 10:21 am

      Yes, it’s quite a recent thing. Spectacular!

    • Nell
      Author
      December 9, 2016 / 10:21 am

      It really was fun.

  2. December 6, 2016 / 9:17 am

    Aw this is brilliant – your two are having such fun with their penguins. Do they not do adult ones for scaredy parents?
    I had no idea the Tower of London had an ice rink at Christmas – it looks so beautiful.
    #citytripping

    • Nell
      Author
      December 9, 2016 / 10:22 am

      It’s quite recent, I think. Yes I could have done with one of the penguins myself!

  3. December 6, 2016 / 1:37 pm

    I love that you can rent penguins to help kids on the ice. I love that there is so much history surrounding it. And oh my goodness, skating with the Frozen stars would be every little girl’s dream! #citytripping

    • Nell
      Author
      December 9, 2016 / 10:23 am

      Yes, I just hope they don’t expect it every time they go! 🙂

  4. December 6, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    How fun! What a great experience and helpful to watch your video. I can imagine that is how my four-year-old daughter would be on the ice. As someone who isn’t great on ice, I am hugely impressed by the talents of professional skaters. My daughter would love Frozen on Ice. #citytripping

    • Nell
      Author
      December 9, 2016 / 10:24 am

      I imagine it’s an incredible show, judging by the stars’ practise performance.

  5. December 6, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    This is SO amazing!!! We went to watch Disney on Ice and my girls would love something like this. What an incredible experience for you all.
    Nat.x

    • Nell
      Author
      December 9, 2016 / 10:24 am

      It’s one of my favourite blog-related experiences so far!

  6. December 6, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    What a wonderful, wonderful place to skate, so atmospheric, (though I’d happily skip the Frozen bit!!! Sorry, household of teen and tween boys, it’s really not our thing!) #citytripping

    • Nell
      Author
      December 9, 2016 / 10:34 am

      Haha I understand! Mind you, even my son was blown away by the stars’ skating….xx

  7. December 7, 2016 / 6:57 am

    I love the Tower rink – I used to work not far from here so would walk past the Tower every morning. I never got tired of it and having skated there too, it’s an amazing spot. How incredible to have the Frozen on Ice cast there too. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • Nell
      Author
      December 9, 2016 / 10:35 am

      That must have been a nice walk to do every day. I had something similar. I do miss going into town regularly now I’m a freelancer!

  8. December 7, 2016 / 8:02 am

    Hahahhaa, the penguins on ice blades is such a cool idea! I think I would probably need that as I’ve never ice skated before 😉 #citytripping

    • Nell
      Author
      December 9, 2016 / 10:40 am

      You should give it a try!

    • Nell
      Author
      December 9, 2016 / 10:40 am

      I wish!

  9. December 9, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    The skating rink looks fabulous, I love it, I had no idea they do this at the Tower of London. One more reason to visit London in winter 😀 #citytripping

    • Nell
      Author
      December 12, 2016 / 10:49 am

      Yes – there are plenty of reasons!

  10. January 31, 2017 / 7:07 pm

    What a gorgeous setting!! I would love to skate there someday….

    • Nell
      Author
      February 2, 2017 / 11:58 am

      It’s such a stunning location.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.