Ice Skating at Somerset House

19:00 Alyson Tart 2 Comments

During the Christmas holidays, which in London seem to range from October to December, you see ads for ice skating everywhere. Postered all over the tube, in the daily papers, online.

I decided to surprise Paul with a trip to go ice skating on his birthday, because we would be in London and it was the first time we would be by ourselves, without family to help celebrate it.

I was excited about my little secret. I went online, purchased the tickets, got the email confirmation and felt proud of my plans for his special day. Then, next day, I re-read my confirmation email and realise I bought the tickets for the wrong month. Doh. What was I thinking?!

Luck was on my side though. Despite Ticketmasters refusal to change the tickets, my travel plans got cancelled and I was able to take the afternoon off to enjoy our skating. Despite losing the element of surprise, Paul has enjoyed the gift of mocking my lack of details in this birthday planning.

So which of the venues did we decide to try out for London's imfamous ice skating? Westfield? The History Museum? Tower of London?

None of the above. We tried out the Somerset House. I had seen an ad in London's Time Out magazine and a co-worker told me it was the IT place to be for ice skating. I'm sold! To add to that, it's on the Thames and is a stately 17th century building that was once remodeled by Christopher Wren, the same one who you may remember designed St Paul's Cathedral.

Beautiful Christmas tree
So, we decked ourselves out in sweaters, coats, hats and gloves and hit the rink. It was awkward at first. I started out holding the rail. Made it a couple of laps around. What?! It's only been 5 minutes?!

Doning my "babushka" aka rabbit hat for the first time.
Figured it was the perfect opportunity for its debut!

Then, I was able to hit my skating "groove" if you will. This consists of not constantly teetering and avoiding most of the hand rails.

30 minutes later, I was done. Man, skating is tough! My legs will be sore tomorrow.

Overall, it was a fun experience. It was a beautiful, picturesque setting. For those who enjoy skating, its a must. For those who don't enjoy skating, give it a spin, but then cut your time short and hit up the rink's bar for mulled wine or hot chocolate and Bailey's. I may not ever go back for a second round of skating, but I'm glad we were able to take time together to go for our first Christmas in London. Now, what's up next in our countdown to Christmas in London?


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  1. love love LOVE skating at Somerset House! it's the best way to kick off Christmas in London :)

    wish I had found your blog before I wrote last Friday's post, haha! very glad to start following along now.

    1. Thanks for following! Sounds like I picked a winner with the Somerset House. Looking forward to searching through your blog for more great tips