select - skating

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Want to feel the cold rush of winter air on your face, warm toes a-tingle, as you glide across the ice in some of the world’s great capitals? Yes? Some well-placed international ice rinks are then just the place to be this January.

 

London

In a city of venerable traditions , ice-skating at Somerset House has only been going for a decade, but has already become a firm part of the Christmas scene in London. The rink sits against the impressive backdrop of Somerset House, an 18th century neo-classical building that hosts modern art and design exhibits. Special family mornings known as Breakfast at Tiffany’s include free hot chocolate for the kids and a glass of breakfast champagne for parents.
Kids can also take skating lessons at the Penguin Club at the adjacent mini-rink on weekends. But perhaps most popular are the evening DJ Nights, where live DJs pump up the volume and coloured lights illuminate the ice as skaters spin through the dark. Non-skaters can watch the action rink-side over treats at Skate Café and Bar.

WHY
Skating accompanied by an impressive range of special events and live music.

WHERE
Somerset House is between The Strand and Victoria Embankment along the River Thames, opposite the Oxo Tower, London.

HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has four flights a day to London Heathrow, and daily flights to London Gatwick.

 

 


Moscow

It lays claim to be the biggest open-air skating rink in the world and can easily hold 500 skaters. But it’s the location of this rink that’s breathtaking, right in front of the famous GUM department store, with the red walls of the Kremlin and the fantastic rock-candy spires of St Basil’s Cathedral in the background. A festive 25m Christmas tree also adds glimmering lights.

WHY
Skating in the heart of Red Square under the Kremlin Walls. Who could resist?

WHERE
You can’t miss it: the impressive rink takes up a tenth of Red Square and occupies 2,700 square metres.

HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways flies to Moscow daily. The nearest subway stations are Ploshchad Revolutsii or Okhotny Ryad.

 

 


 


New York

While any snow in the streets of Manhattan soon turns to slush, the great expanses of Central Park can remain sparkling white for weeks. Ice-skating in this vast escape from busy streets is one of the real treats of New York in winter. Statues with helmets of ice, white tree branches frozen against a blue sky, and great drifts of snow provide a beautiful foreground to the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan, especially after dark.
There are two skating rinks here: Lasker Rink is mid-park and often less crowded, while the more famous Wollman Rink is on the south side of Central Park, right under the twinkling lights of nearby Columbus Circle. Much used as a backdrop in movies and television, Wollman Rink is currently operated by that doyen of all things Manhattan, Donald Trump.

WHY
Skate against a Manhattan skyline and feel like a character from Friends.

WHERE
Lasker is towards the north end of Central Park, Wollman on the southern boundary.

HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways flies to JFK, New York daily. Take Subway line 1, 3, C, or D to 110th Street (Lasker); or N, R, or W to 5th Avenue (Wollman). 

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