It’s the time of year again when it seems that towns and cities all over the UK roll out the ice mat and invite coach parties, families and children to get their skates on. Everyone has the opportunity to skate to the best of Christmas hits played out through loudspeakers situated at all four corners of the rink, the sound skimming across the ice. Tonight I attended the launch of the opening of the ice rink right in front of Hampton Court Palace. This is the eleventh year that the Palace has offered skating to the general public.
As you walk over the bridge from Hampton Court railway station the first thing that strikes you is the subtle color of blue lights in the trees. If you look a little further you will see heads moving around the rink in the background of the pink hue light, shining on the palace.
As you walk through the palace gates there is a carousel to the right – at night this was lit up beautifully with Wurlitzer style music being played. Beyond this is the ice rink, which is situated directly in front of the main entrance of Hampton Court Palace. The whole place looked magical and beautiful. I would thoroughly recommend visiting the rink at night.
If you want to skating at the palace then it will set you back £13.50 for an hour session if you are an adult going at peak time. There are various concessions for families and it is cheaper if you go off peak. All evening sessions are off peak from 5.15 pm. Just have a look at the website for all the details.
Here are 5 things to do at Hampton Court Palace Ice rink.
- Choose your time carefully depending on your circumstances. If you are skating with friends then you may want to go for a later session. The final session starts at 9.00 pm. I imagine that the day sessions will be children and family heavy.
- If you are with a group who are quite inexperienced you may want to hire an ‘ice guide’ who will be with you for your hour on the ice to cater for your every need. If you fall over then no worries – you will be picked up.
- Enjoy a hot chocolate, mulled wine or beer in the café next to the rink. There are lots of festive foods to buy too. Let your Christmas start now!
- Spend time looking around Hampton Court Palace first and then finish off with a skate.
- Once you have skated enjoy a meal just over the Hampton Court Bridge on Bridge road. There are some excellent restaurants here ranging from Lebanese to French. There is also a unique wine bar called Nomads. Just walk down the road and you are bound to find something.
I would thoroughly recommend a visit the Hampton Court Palace ice rink. You will find yourself in a unique venue away from the hustle and bustle of the central London rinks. Only 35 minutes from London Waterloo.