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Top 5 ice skating rinks in London

Tis the season to be sporty (or at least give it a go). If you're not hitting the slopes on a board or skis this year, why not give ice skating a go?

Outdoor rinks are popping up all over the UK faster than you can say "Ice Age", so we thought we'd start with a run down of the top 5 places to go in the capital. If you can't skate / won't skate, you can always enjoy yourself watching others with a cup of mulled wine, or meander around the Christmas markets which usually surround the rink. Here's where to head:

1) Somerset House - already open, this dramatically lit eighteenth-century courtyard at Somerset House hosts a fantastic music agenda over summer and during the winter months houses London's oldest temporary outdoor ice rink. A must - stunning location and a London tradition.

2) Greenwich Ice Rink - From December 8 to January 13 at the Old Royal Naval College. You get fab views of the Thames and can pop in to visit the newly opened Cutty Sark to boot. There's a Baroque courtyard also with views of the Greenwich Observatory and Queen's House. With a café service up hot chocolate, mulled wines and mince pies, even the non skaters will enjoy a visit.

3) Kew Gardens Ice Rink - From November 25 -to Sunday January 6. Wow. We checked out the botanical gardens ice rink last year and were not disappointed. Set among an evocative garden backdrop and often misty at night, this is London at it's outdoor best. Great facilities (read: mulled wine in the cafe) and it's also nice to get out of the centre of town.

4) Tower of London Ice Rink - a great tourist attraction and also popular with City workers, this rink sits meekly under the shadow of the Tower of London. Great for a real "London experience" and also in a perfect position for checking out all the South Bank and More London has to offer on the other side of the bridge.

5) Natural History Museum Ice Rink and Christmas Fair - For a venue, it just doesn't get any better than this. 1000 square metres of rink, plus a junior rink and a free Christmas market which includes 30 German stalls. For the first time this year there is also a food court so you can spend time warming up and getting into the Christmas spirit. A lovely overall experience.


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